Aquatic Experience Sees 30 Percent Growth, 133 Exhibitors, Exclusive Attractions
The World Pet Association (WPA) has announced that more than 6,200 guests visited its third annual Aquatic Experience – Chicago, Nov. 6-8, 2015—a 30 percent increase from last year’s show.
A total of 133 exhibitors filled the show floor, showcasing the latest in aquatic trends and products alongside local and national hobbyist groups, livestock and equipment experts, and industry manufacturers. This year’s show hosted the world’s only traveling gator touch tank, Gator Encounters, and the return of the Aquascaping Live! Contest presented by the Aquatic Gardeners Association and sponsored by Fluval.
Other exhibits included a display of more than 63 aquariums of tropical fish from the Florida Tropical Fish Farmers Association, the educational Fish from Around the World exhibit, live octopus and piranha tanks, and a Kid’s Aquarium Contest.
“Every year we continue to grow and exceeded our own expectations as well as the expectations of the vendors, retailers and consumers; this year was no exception,” said Doug Poindexter, WPA president. “We realize the need and importance of an all-aquatics show and we look forward to continuing to provide a show where both sophisticated hobbyists and new aquarium keepers can be inspired and supported.”
The Aquascaping Live! Contest participants competed in two categories (small or large tank) for $3,900 dollars in prize money. First place winners in the large tank category were Jennifer Williams, Rachel O’Leary, Abigail O’Leary and Clelia O’Leary; first place in the small tank category went to Mike Bernard.
In addition, more than $13,000 was raised in an on-site raffle to benefit the Pet Care Trust’s Pets in the Classroom program, the Coral Restoration Foundation and the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council’s Marine Ornamental Defense Fund.
Next year’s Aquatic Experience – Chicago is scheduled for Nov. 4-6, 2016.