Monday, March 17, 2008

German Magazine "Schwimmbad und Sauna"

The following is a translation of the article that appeared in the last issue on the BioNova World Congress on Natural Swimming Pools.

International Summit Meeting

In the traditional Austrian region of Carinthias' hot springs of Bad Bleiberg, BioNova Partners from all around the world met during the last week of January, in order to get current on the newest things in Natural Swimming Pools and to honor the best in their profession.

BioNova has finally outgrown its' baby shoes. What began many years ago in a provincial section of Germany and Austria, has grown into a truly global network.

49 BioNova Licensed Partners from 22 different countries, turned out for the summit to discuss both private and public Natural Swimming Pools – which are gaining popularity world-wide. For example, the BioNova trademark is now also in Mauritius, Australia, Israel, the US and Canada.

Three years ago, at their resident headquarters outside the Bavarian city of Munich, Germany, BioNova Director Rainer Grafinger began to actively push the idea for taking the BioNova Natural Pool Trademark international.

"Most of our contacts emerge from the internet", explained Grafinger. In the last year there has been a boom in inquiries.

The most fun was greeting the numerous new official BioNova International Partners and presenting the newest of technological developments in Natural Pools.

In order to meet and discuss these developments, the Bavarians invited all of the licensed Partners to the First BioNova World Congress in the town of Bad Bleiberg in the Austrian Alps. The Bavarian organizers were practically overrun with the enthusiasm: except for four firms, all of the BioNova Partners travelled to Austria. "We were overwhelmed with the number of particpants", Grafinger openly admitted.

Grafinger and his team held the World Congress at the "Bleiberger Hof" Wellness Hotel, which is one of the largest conference destinations in the Austrian Alps. In spite of the fact that there were 85 international guests, from a variety of cultures and backgrounds, they were pleased that the professional hotel staff could handle this so easily during their peak winter period.


The conference location was not at all accidental. After a comprehensive rehabilitation completed during the preceding summer, this traditional wellness hotel had reopened to greet its guests with both a 7500 square meter new Wellness Area with an outdoor thermal spa, and a large Natural Swimming Pool. This pool was naturally the work of one of the BioNova Partners, the company of Firma Teuffenbach from Austria (a report about the Hotel, "Bleiberger Hof" can be read in the February ’08 edition of the magazine B├ĄderBau, a new publication of the German trade journal "Schwimmbad & Sauna". But the participants did not have any time to take advantage of the facility. Six long days of training and presentations were scheduled and the exchange of experiences of the participants from different countries and even different continents made for exciting conversations during the breaks and especially in the evenings at the bar. "In spite of the lengthy programs, the participants remain very concentrated, disciplined and curious", Grafinger said happily.

One highpoint of the World Congress was the presentation of the First BioNova Awards. Along with a plaque and a trophy for all of the participants, BioNova presented some of the Partners with special awards - including the Most Diligent Natural Pool Builder, the Newest and the Oldest Partner, the best Newcomer Country and the Most Beautiful Installation. These participants of the World Congress then had a photo opportunity.

The founder of BioNova, Austrian Gerhard Brandlmaier, received a Lifetime Achievement Award to a standing ovation for his pioneering work in Natural Swimming Pools. Brandlmaier has gone into a well-deserved retirement but still regularly gives advice to BioNova management.

Finally, since this First BioNova World Congress was such a successful meeting, the next congress is planned for around two years in the future. "Even for our larger Partners coming from all over the world, these week long meetings are a significant commitment. Biannual meetings will easier to schedule", Grafinger said.



(Translation courtesy of Rin Robyn)

1 comment:

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