Starting today and running through the end of the weekend, the first annual Aquatic Experience trade show is taking place in Schaumburg, Illinois and it looks to be the biggest aquarium event that unites both halves of our hobby, freshwater and saltwater. With vendors from all walks of aquarium life coming together under one roof, hobbyists will be treated to almost more aquarium goodness than they can handle…especially if they dabble in multiple types. Guest speakers from all across the industry will lead lengthy presentations on their areas of expertise, and a keynote will be given by Dr. Zeb Hogan, host of National Geographic’s hit show Monster Fish. To keep the kiddos interested and involved, a children’s aquarium contest will be held during the show.
Aquatic Experience will follow a MACNA-like format in that they will have three days of conferencing with a banquet capping off Saturday’s events. As we mentioned, ecologist and National Geographic star, Dr. Zeb Hogan will be giving the keynote speech which will focus on his experience with monster fish from his travels. As for the saltwater aquarium industry’s representation at the show, experts like Charles Delbeek, Julian Sprung, Richard Ross, Jake Adams, and Sanjay Joshi will all be giving presentations.
The trade show will start today at 8am and run until 6pm. Saturday’s schedule is identical, except for the banquet following the close of the show floor. Sunday will wrap things up a bit earlier, with the event coming to a close at 3pm. A raffle will occur at the end of each day, and from our experience with other shows, these will certainly be chaotic times that will leave plenty of hobbyists with a whole bunch of sweet, new gear.