The World Pet Association (WPA) is thrilled to announce more than 6,500 guests, a 75 percent increase in attendance over the show’s first four years, visited its fourth annual Aquatic Experience – Chicago, November 4-6, 2016, at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center. Plans are already underway for the fifth Aquatic Experience – Chicago set to take place on November 3-5, 2017. For more information, contact the World Pet Association at 626-447-2222.
At Aquatic Experience – Chicago 2016 a total of 124 exhibitors filled the thriving show floor, showcasing the latest in aquatic trends and products alongside local and national hobbyist groups, livestock and equipment experts, and the industry’s best and trend-setting manufacturers. 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 Arturo Commiso, Cory Hopkins, Megan Hopkins, Hiep Hong and Xiaozhuang Wong; first place in the small tank category went to John Pini. The top Shrimp King Award went to Robert Jackson Harkey Jr for his submission of Blue Bolts Shrimp in the 1st International Shrimp Competition, and the grand prize of $500 was awarded to Mario Toromanovic for Best of Show in this year’s American Cichlid Association Fish Competition.
“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,” WPA President Doug Poindexter said. “Thank you to all attendees who continue to exceed our expectations every year and to all our sponsors who make this exciting show possible.”
This year’s show hosted the only traveling sea lion experience in the United States, Sea Lion Splash; the educational Fish from Around the World exhibit; a touch tank with small sharks and starfish; and a Kid’s Aquarium Contest. Guests also learned from aquatic experts as they attended seminars featuring high-profile speakers addressing intermediate level information to advanced aquatic issues.
Aquatic Experience – Chicago 2016 was generously supported by: Platinum Level – Aqueon, Coralife, & Kent Marine; Gold Level – Fluval, Hikari Sales USA, Inc., Seachem Laboratories, Segrest Farms; Silver Level – DrTim’s Aquatics, Fritz Aquatics, Reef Nutrition, Southwest Cargo, Spectrum Brands Pet, Home & Garden, Two Little Fishies. Media Partners include: BlueZoo TV, Pet Age, Pet Business, Pet Product News, Reef Builders, Reef Hobbyist Magazine, Reef to Rainforest Media (Amazonas/Coral) and Tropical Fish Hobbyist.