Aquatic Experience – Chicago 2015 reels in more than 6,200 guests

12 Nov, 2015

Aquatic Experience - Chicago 2015. Image by Dan Woudenberg/LuCorp Marketing for the World Pet Association.

Aquatic Experience – Chicago 2015. Image by Dan Woudenberg/LuCorp Marketing for the World Pet Association.

Third annual show with “everything aquatic under one roof”
reports 30% increase in attendance from last year

CHICAGO (November 12, 2015)—The World Pet Association (WPA) is thrilled to announce more than 6,200 guests visited its third annual Aquatic Experience – Chicago, November 6-8, 2015, at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center—a 30% increase from last year’s show. Additionally, over $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 PIJAC’s Marine Ornamental Defense Fund. Plans are already underway for the fourth Aquatic Experience – Chicago set to take place on November 4-6, 2016. For more information, contact the World Pet Association at 626-447-2222.

Exhibits at Aquatic Experience - Chicago 2015. Image by Dan Woudenberg/LuCorp Marketing for the World Pet Association.

Exhibits at Aquatic Experience – Chicago 2015. Image by Dan Woudenberg/LuCorp Marketing for the World Pet Association.

At Aquatic Experience – Chicago 2015 a total of 133 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. 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 over 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. Guests also learned from the best in the industry as they attended seminars featuring high-profile speakers such as Heiko Bleher, a conservationist, lecturer and scholar whose nearly 1,000 expeditions have been featured in the quarterly International Journal of Ichthyology.

The Florida Tropical Fish Farmers Association display of over 60 tanks at Aquatic Experience - Chicago 2015. Image by Dan Woudenberg/LuCorp Marketing for the World Pet Association.

The Florida Tropical Fish Farmers Association display of over 60 tanks at Aquatic Experience – Chicago 2015. Image by Dan Woudenberg/LuCorp Marketing for the World Pet Association.

A Florida-cultured Arabian or Neon Dottyback, on display at the 2015 Aquatic Experience - Chicago.  Image by CORAL / AMAZONAS Sr. Editor Matt Pedersen

A Florida-cultured Arabian or Neon Dottyback, on display at the 2015 Aquatic Experience – Chicago. Image by CORAL / AMAZONAS Sr. Editor Matt Pedersen

DAS Aquariums’ 82-foot Amazon rainforest riverbank tank, complete with thousands of fish, was a highlight of Aquatic Experience - Chicago 2015. Image by Dan Woudenberg/LuCorp Marketing for the World Pet Association.

DAS Aquariums’ 82-foot Amazon rainforest riverbank tank, complete with thousands of fish, was a highlight of Aquatic Experience – Chicago 2015. Image by Dan Woudenberg/LuCorp Marketing for the World Pet Association.

“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 WPA President Doug Poindexter. “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.”

Aquascaping Live! competition at Aquatic Experience - Chicago 2015. Image by Dan Woudenberg/LuCorp Marketing for the World Pet Association.

Aquascaping Live! competition at Aquatic Experience – Chicago 2015. Image by Dan Woudenberg/LuCorp Marketing for the World Pet Association.

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.

Mike Bernard’s first-place winning small tank entry in the Aquascaping Live! Contest at Aquatic Experience - Chicago 2015. Image by Dan Woudenberg/LuCorp Marketing for the World Pet Association.

Mike Bernard’s first-place winning small tank entry in the Aquascaping Live! Contest at Aquatic Experience – Chicago 2015. Image by Dan Woudenberg/LuCorp Marketing for the World Pet Association.

Mike Bernard’s first-place winning small tank entry in the Aquascaping Live! Contest at Aquatic Experience - Chicago 2015. Image by Dan Woudenberg/LuCorp Marketing for the World Pet Association.

Mike Bernard’s first-place winning small tank entry in the Aquascaping Live! Contest at Aquatic Experience – Chicago 2015. Image by Dan Woudenberg/LuCorp Marketing for the World Pet Association.

Media Partners for Aquatic Experience – Chicago 2015 included: BlueZoo TV, Pet Age, Pet Business, Pet Product News, Reef Hobbyist Magazine, Reef to Rainforest Media (Amazonas/Coral) and Tropical Fish Hobbyist.

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, and Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference, the Southeast’s largest competition and trade show for the professional pet stylist. For more information, please visit www.worldpetassociation.org.

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About the author

Reef To Rainforest
Reef To Rainforest

Reef to Rainforest Media, LLC is the publisher of award-winning magazines and books in the fields of aquarium keeping, aquatics, and marine science. It is the English-language publisher of CORAL and AMAZONAS Magazines and is based in Shelburne, Vermont, USA.

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