by TFH Magazine on December 9, 2013 at 1:56 pm
First show in industry history with “everything aquatic under one roof” was weekend destination for Chicagoland hobbyists and families
CHICAGO (December 9, 2013)—The World Pet Association (WPA) enthusiastically reports that more than 3,700 guests visited its inaugural Aquatic Experience – Chicago show, November 15-17, 2013, at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center. Additionally, over $11,000 was raised throughout the weekend to benefit Pets in the Classroom, PIJAC Marine Defense Fund and the Coral Restoration Foundation.
“This event was several years in the making, and we ultimately exceeded the expectations of vendors, retailers and consumers,” said WPA President Doug Poindexter. “We’re filling the need for an all-aquatics show and laid a great foundation this year. The opportunity to see both saltwater and freshwater fish in one place is a big draw for professional aquarists, and we made sure to provide lots of family-friendly activities to get younger generations excited about the hobby, too.”
More than 85 exhibitors filled the thriving show floor at Aquatic Experience, showcasing the latest in aquatic trends and products from the most sophisticated aquarium keepers, local and national hobbyist groups, livestock and equipment experts, and the industry’s best and trend-setting manufacturers. Aquatic Experience was a one-stop show for retailers and consumers seeking all things aquatic.
Attendees learned from the best in the industry at more than 30 educational seminars featuring high-profile speakers—such as Aquatic Experience keynote speaker and aquatic ecologist Zeb Hogan, host of National Geographic’s Monster Fish. Families enjoyed a live program from the only travelling shark show in the country, Haai Inc’s Live Shark Encounter; had the opportunity to enter a Kids Aquarium Contest; and participated in the Betta Toss, where winners of a ball toss game could take home a betta fish of their own, with proceeds benefiting Pets in the Classroom. The Betta Toss and on-site raffle of aquatic prizes together raised over $11,000 for organizations including PIJAC Marine Defense Fund and Coral Restoration Foundation.
Plans are already underway for the second Aquatic Experience – Chicago in 2014. For more information, contact the World Pet Association at 626-447-2222.
The World Pet Association (WPA) is the oldest industry organization promoting responsible growth and development of the companion pet and related products and services. WPA works to inform and educate the general public in order to ensure safe and healthy lifestyles for our animal friends. WPA is the host of America’s Family Pet Expo, the world’s largest consumer pet and pet products expo, held annually in Costa Mesa, California. The organization also produces SuperZoo, an annual pet industry trade show that showcases a comprehensive collection of exhibits and offers a variety of informative educational seminars. For more information, please visit www.worldpetassociation.org.