Making Waves at Aquatic Experience 2016
Breaking attendance records for the fourth year in a row, the 2016 edition of Aquatic Experience - Chicago showcased an aquatics category on the rise. The event featured a bustling show floor and a host of returning and new competitions for novice and experienced aquarists to display their skills. According to the show organizer, World Pet Association, more than 6,500 guests attended, marking a 75 percent increase over the show's first four years.
Manufacturers exhibited numerous new and trending products, ranging from new tanks to high tech lighting systems to expanded food lines. Making their debuts at the show this year were the International Shrimp Competition and the American Cichlid Association Fish Competition, while the popular Aquascaping Live! Contest returned for a second year. Meanwhile, Sea Lion Splash, the only traveling sea lion experience in the U.S., drew enthusiastic viewers of all ages from the show floor.
In contrast to the industry-wide shows, where this category has a strong but, relative to the overwhelming dog and cat-focused segments, small footprint, this aquatics-exclusive event pointed a spotlight at the continued innovation and growing enthusiasm among manufacturers and hobbyists. Here's a look at some of the standout exhibitors and features from the show: