According to the Marine Aquarium Societies of North America (MASNA), the Marine Aquarium Conference of North America (MACNA) 2018 in Las Vegas was the second highest attended MACNA in history with 6277 ticketed days, just 73 ticketed days below the largest MACNA ever in 2015 in Washington, DC.
MACNA 2018 had the largest turnout of any West Coast MACNA, supported by 158 exhibitors on a 70,000-square-foot exhibit floor, 30 speaker presentations, 11 workshop presentations and 12 interest group meet-ups resulting in over 40 hours of educational content just for the marine aquarium hobby, not including the hours of presentations made by MASNA Scientific Poster Session presenters. MACNA says it prides itself on its ability to bring together marine aquarium professionals, business owners, industry professionals, distributors, hobbyists and scientists all in one place to freely exchange insights and information to help further the marine aquarium industry.
MACNA 2018 enjoyed a 25.9 percent increase in ticketed days from 2017. Among those included 352 children aged 17 and younger as well as nearly $15,000 in discounted tickets to MASNA clubs and retail store owners to support business and hobbyist attendance at MASNA’s 2018 event. Children attending MACNA 2018 also enjoyed the first-ever Kid’s Cove, provided with assistance from the education professionals at Orange Coast College, which included touch tanks and immersive scientific education programs to inspire young minds.
In addition to the overwhelming support from attendees, MASNA introduced a new award to complement the current MASNA Award and MASNA Aquarist of the Year awards, the MASNA Pioneer Award. This award is designed to recognize the foundational contributions of scientists, conservationists, industry and trade practitioners who have contributed immensely to what is perceive as today’s common knowledge. At MACNA 2018, MASNA honored Dr. John “Jack” E. Randall with the 2018 MASNA Pioneer Award for Science and Walt Smith with the 2018 MASNA Pioneer Award for Industry.
MACNA 2019 is to be held in Orlando, Florida, August 30-September 1, 2019 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. MACNA 2019’s theme is Celebrating Aquaculture, and educational content and attendee opportunities are currently in development to help promote and showcase the latest advances in aquaculture within the hobby. Attendee tickets and exhibitor booths are currently on sale for MACNA 2019 at MACNA.org.