AQUA 2021, the UK’s aquatics and water gardening industry exhibition, is ready for an eagerly anticipated return in October with an impressive list of exhibitors showcasing their new products and services.
Visitors to the event at Telford International Centre on October 13-14 can expect a busy event with the exhibition hall hosting more than 50 UK and international companies.
Retailers and suppliers have admitted they can’t wait for the return of an in-person AQUA exhibition, where they can meet face-to-face for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
With still six weeks to go before the exhibition opens its doors, visitor registrations from buyers are already at a high level with more than 700 registered to attend – this figure compares favourably at this stage to the previous event in 2019.
AQUA event chairman Mark Winter, of Aqua One, said: “As the industry rebuilds after the challenging and difficult period of the past 18 months, AQUA 2021 remains an ideal platform to seek out new products, new manufacturers or simply touch base with existing suppliers, in many cases for the first time since March 2020.
“Now, more than ever, there is a need for retailers to freshen up their offering to keep customers coming back again and again. For the watergardening and aquatics industry there is no better place than AQUA Telford to find the products that can help them achieve their goals.
“A lot of planning and hard work has gone into organising this show and I’m confident people will have an enjoyable and profitable visit.”
OATA’s chief executive Dominic Whitmee added: “We are very excited by the return of AQUA which presents a great opportunity for the industry to come together after the difficult 18 months we have all experienced because of the dual impacts of the pandemic and Brexit.”
Many of the industry’s leading companies have booked stand space, including Aquadistri UK, Aqua One, Aquatic Now, Beaver Plants, D-D The Aquarium Solution, Evolution Aqua/Bermuda, Hikari, J&K Aquatics, Neil Hardy, OASE and Pond Xpert. For a full list visit www.aquatelford.co.uk.
“We can’t wait to be able to see customers again face to face rather than through virtual meetings,” said Dale Lewis, UK manager for Aquarium Systems. “It’s also great to have the chance to discuss the new products that we have to offer. The pandemic caused so many disruptions over the past year or so. This show will hopefully be the start of things getting back to normal. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone in October.”
Emma Simmons, of J&K Aquatics, commented: “Our team is really looking forward to the return of AQUA this year. It gives us a chance to meet new and existing customers, catch up with friends in the industry, and take stock of the UK aquatics trade as we prepare to head into 2022.’’
A strong international presence at the two-day exhibition will be represented by Aquadip, AquaLine and Moerings (The Netherlands), Aqualantis (Portugal), Prodibio (France), Eheim (Germany), Tropica Aquarium Plants (Denmark), Xtreme Aquatics Foods and Zoo Med (America).
Henriette Pellekooren, of AquaLine, summed up the significance of the show for international exhibitors. “We are pleased to be at the AQUA 2021 this year. Especially after the pandemic, it is great that we can welcome our customers again at the exhibition. It will be strange to go to a large show after our time in lockdown but we have confidence in the organisation of the event. We are very excited and looking forward to it.”
Cyril Geoffray, UK sales manager of Zoo Med, added: “We’re excited to return to an actual physical show to both meet customers in the flesh and to demonstrate the multiple new products that are about to be released. It’s a very exciting time and we really look forward to welcoming all visitors. We will have numerous goodie bags to thank them for their support.”
Despite the many challenges faced by businesses during the pandemic there has been a welcome boost to the hobby of fishkeeping, both indoors and out.
With more people spending more time at home, demand for indoor aquariums has increased significantly, and there has also been a rise in popularity for garden pond products.
As a result of this boost in activity, the New Product Showcase, sponsored by pbwnews, is set to be one of the highlights of the exhibition. All the items will be entered into the New Product Awards, which will be judged by a team of independent retailers on the opening morning of the show.
Retailer Kevin Rose, a director of Lynchford Aquatics, recognises the importance of a return of an ‘in person’ AQUA show, saying: “It is the first real opportunity for the aquatic trade to meet and network after such a long time. It is a chance for retailers to meet old and new suppliers and vice versa. I think this will be advantageous as we start to emerge from recent events.”
Details of the 2021 event can be found on the exhibition’s website www.aquatelford.co.uk, which includes the latest show news and how to register to visit.
To discover more reasons why AQUA has become a vital date in the water gardening and aquatics trade calendar, retailers and suppliers can view a special video of the 2019 event at https://vimeo.com/371139081.