AQUA 2015 has broken all records for visitor attendance, exhibitor stands and the number of new products being showcased.
A total of 1,711 visitors attended the show at Telford International Centre, a 9% increase on 2013. Added to the fact that this year’s event attracted the highest number of exhibitors (more than 80), there’s clear evidence that AQUA 2015 has been a huge success for everyone concerned.
The superlatives flowed thick and fast after the two-day show, and among the words being used to describe the event were ‘record breaking’, ‘excellent’, ‘innovative’ and ‘fantastic’.
As the doors closed on a highly successful show, organiser Annie Foord said: “I am delighted with the enthusiasm shown by exhibitors and visitors to our biennial event. The record-breaking attendance proves that the format of AQUA is continuing to deliver the audience our exhibitors have come to expect from the largest show of its kind in the UK.”
Matthew Bubear, CEO of Casco, summed up the mood in the exhibition hall, saying: “It’s amazing, this show keeps getting better. It attracts a high-calibre of visitor and is right up there with other international shows. AQUA is a great showcase for a thriving UK market.”
And Mark Winter, of Aqua One, was equally enthusiastic about the outcome of the event. “For us it has been a very successful two days capped off by winning a New Product Award. This industry is full of innovation and it needs an event like AQUA to showcase everything that is being launched.”
International companies have also given the show the thumbs-up. Peter Workum, of Arpe BV, said: “It’s the first time I’ve exhibited here and I think this show is fantastic. The quality of the visitors to my stand has been of such a high standard.”
Another international company exhibiting for the first time was Bimex BV from The Netherlands. Ton Dielissen admitted: “The show has exceeded all our expectations already. We have visited AQUA in previous years to see if it would be worth us exhibiting, and I have to say the decision to show our products this year has paid off in a big way.”
Satisfaction among visitors was equally high. Jerry Arnold, managing director of Seapets, said: “This year’s AQUA exceeded my expectations in every way. The exhibitors had clearly made a huge effort in their presentations and fully utilised the excellent facilities and benefits that Telford and the show organisers present. It’s well worth the time and effort of every aquatic retailer to visit and it seemed as though they did.”
Kevin Rose, of Lynchford Aquatics, admitted: “It is a great business opportunity that provides all sectors of the industry a chance to come together under one roof which, in turn, engenders a feeling of community.”
Phil Lawton, of Kidsgrove Tropicals & Water Garden Centre, said: “The show was huge success. It was very well presented to the retailer with lots of ideas on what products to stock.”
As well as the record number of new products being showcased, one of the main talking points was the AQUA dinner attended by 700 guests after day one of the show.
Jo Bladon, who organised the dinner, said: “It was a great evening with an amazing number of exhibitors and visitors enjoying themselves,” a comment echoed by Giuliano Buccino, from Tetra. He said: “Wow, what a fantastic event. I’m astounded that so many people from the industry were able to attend.”
The final word goes to Annie Foord, who thanked everyone for making it such a memorable event, adding: “We look forward to welcoming everyone back to Telford in two years’ time.”