PetAge_Cover_NOV14
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All Things Aquatic

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If you sell aquatics in your store, or are a manufacturer or distributor of aquatic products, there is one place you must be in November, the Aquatic Experience in Chicago Nov. 15-17.

A production of the World Pet Association, the show will feature everything from saltwater to freshwater with pond and aquatic reptiles, as well as livestock and equipment experts. There will also be educational sessions, fish auctions and a show floor filled with hobbyists from entry level to the most sophisticated aquarium keepers.

The idea for the  Nov. 15-17 show started about a year and a half ago during a meeting in San Francisco between a number of manufactures, and with the helped of WPA, the group began to lay the groundwork to make this event possible.

“The major sticking point to getting an event like this off the ground was time,” Mike Elliot, of Aquatic Life, said. “None of the manufactures discussing an aquatics only show are able to commit the time require to help coordinate and run an event of this size. After many discussions with WPA, we were able to come to an agreement for them to cooperate to help make this event happen yet allow the monies generated from this show to be used specifically for aquatics building activities, further funding for tanks in the classroom, home show exposure for aquatic decorating ideas, research funding or threatened species breeding, etc.”

Doug Poindexter, the president of WPA, said it’s something they has been exploring for a while.

“We have heard from a number of the aquatic companies that they wanted an aquatics only show,” Poindexter said.

Event organizers said they expect a lot of aquatic companies, who don’t attend many of the other shows, to attend this one.

“We are working hard to make the event something retailers will support, through attendance and solicitation of their customers to visit, entry level hobbyists will enjoy, advance hobbyists will find meaningful and anyone thinking about an aquarium will find inspiration attending,” Elliot said. “This event is intended to benefit anyone with aquatics in their DNA: retailers, consumers, manufactures, breeders, fish wholesalers, etc.”

From a retailer standpoint they will see only aquatic vendors there, Poindexter said.

“Not only that, but it’s going to include freshwater fish, saltwater fish, coral, reefs, it’s going to bridge all the gaps,” he added.

While this is the first Aquatic Experience show, Elliot says they have ideal plans for the future.

“Ideally we would like to be able to do one of these events on the east coast, in the Midwest and on the West Coast annually,” Elliot said. “Our initial thinking is this event would move north and south within those areas from year to year, unless of course the support is so strong in one or more markets that moving the event just doesn’t make sense. Our intention is to expose aquatics to as many folks as possible in each market.”

Information can be found at www.aquaticexperience.org

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