Launch aquatics show plans 2011 return
27-Oct-10by Annie Byrne
A show for the aquatics and water gardening trade is preparing its second iteration after a positively received 2010 launch. The inaugural Aqua 2010 tradeshow was organised by Impact Exhibitions and held at the Telford International Centre from 6-7 October. According to the organiser, just under 1,300 visitors attended the two-day event, which included an exhibition, seminars and breakout sessions, product showcases and a gala dinner. Aqua 2010 was first announced in November 2009 and delivered in conjunction with the Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association (OATA). The tradeshow is an offshoot of the longstanding Glee exhibition, which was held at The NEC in September. According to Impact Exhibitions managing director, Gordon Thomas, the aquatics sector had been crying out for a specialist and separate show and approached Impact to deliver it.“The relationship between us and the people within the industry was key – when you’re dealing with tradeshows, there’s often a huge divide between what is often perceived as the ‘greedy’ organiser and exhibitors involved. But with Aqua, it was a tight relationship throughout the whole event,” Thomas claimed. “The success of the show comes down to content and that’s the exhibitors – it always has been. We had all the right exhibitors under one roof, and you can’t underestimate that value.”Aqua 2011 will return to Telford on the same dates next year. Thomas said it would extend its second day opening hours from 3pm to 5.30pm, but didn’t plan any fundamental changes to its free build stand layout or content. All visitors were provided with complimentary lunch, tea and coffee. Exhibitor and visitor feedback was positive on the solid visitor turnout and focus. “It’s brought the buzz back into the water gardening and aquarium sectors. It’s fantastic to see all the majors here,” Steve Bladon of Nishikoi said.“From our point of view we could focus on the products, which is what we always want to do,” Len McGlashan of Water World in Cheshire added. Impact Exhibitions also organises the Pets and Aquatics Tradeshows (PATS) at Sandown Park and Harrogate International Centre.