The World Pet Association’s (WPA) inaugural Aquatic Experience — Chicago show, which was held in Schaumburg, Ill., in November, drew more than 3,700 guests, who had the chance to connect with more than 85 aquatic vendors and learn about the hobby at more than 30 educational seminars.
“This event was several years in the making, and we ultimately exceeded the expectations of vendors, retailers and consumers,” said Doug Poindexter, WPA president. “We’re filling the need for an all-aquatics show and laid a great foundation this year. ”
Families enjoyed a live program from the only traveling shark show in the country, Haai Inc.’s Live Shark Encounter; had the opportunity to enter a Kids Aquarium Contest; and participated in the Betta Toss, where winners of a ball toss game took home a betta fish of their own, with proceeds benefiting Pets in the Classroom, a non-profit organization that helps fund classroom pets. The Betta Toss and on-site raffle of aquatic prizes together raised over $11,000 for the PIJAC Marine Defense Fund, Coral Restoration Foundation and Pets in the Classroom.