AQUA 2010: The old buzz is back

This new event, which was first floated as an idea about 18 months ago, was like a tradeshow of old according to Steve Bladon of Nishikoi. He enthused: “It’s brought the buzz back into the water gardening and aquarium sectors. It’s fantastic to see all the majors here. There’s been a great turnout of customers. ”

Over the course of the two days, AQUA 2010 attracted 1294 visitors to the International Centre in Telford with 819 attending the opening day.  They weren’t just from local businesses, many had travelled miles to get the Telford with almost 4% from overseas.Among the long distance travellers was Richard Baxter who had driven down from the Mossatburn Garden Centre in Aberdeenshire and summed up the show as “brilliant”. “It’s been well worth coming. I am really happy all the trade is here in one location. Noel McGuire from McGuires Garden Centre in Waterford in southern Ireland was another very satisfied visitor. “It’s been a very trip for me and I would definitely come again if the show is staged next year. From an international perspective, the rail link from Birmingham Airport was excellent.” Len MacGlashan of Water World in Cheshire who was there with his two sons described the show as “vibrant”. He said it was good to see show much confidence in the halls. “From our point of view we could focus on the products, something we always want to do. “The venue is so much better than the NEC in every way. All in all we are very pleased. There is such a good atmosphere here and the show is keeping the trade within the trade.” Carol Paris, the operations director of the Garden & Leisure Group who was visiting with several members of her team, said it was very good to see all our suppliers under one roof. She added: “The exhibitors really have made a great effort with their stands. From my perspective AQUA 2010 gives us the opportunity to focus on what is a very important part of our product ranging.” One of the driving forces behind the staging of AQUA 2010 was Mark Winter of Aquapacific who described the show as a breath of fresh air. “It’s been everything we hoped it would be. There’s been a constant buzz of excitement.” It wasn’t only the established industry figures who were excited. For Foosy Jaye of PikStik UK, AQUA 2010 was their first with their first venture into the sector. “We didn’t know what to expect. Everyone’s been so positive, there’s no negativity at all.  We launched a product at the show and to come away with a best new product award is just great.” He also had praise for the venue. “It’s been so easy to get stuff in and out of the hall and the staff here have been so friendly.” Neil Hardy of Neil Hardy from Neil Hardy Aquatics was also very pleased with the organisation at Telford. “I have been very impressed by the way we have been treated by the staff at the International Centre. “It’s been a pleasure to come to somewhere where you are appreciated, where you are treated as a customer rather than an inconvenience.” As for the event itself Neil Hardy added: “I didn’t know quite what to expect, but it has certainly exceeded my expectations.” “We couldn’t have had a more positive response,” declared show director Annie Dyke. “Feedback from our exhibitors and visitors has been extremely encouraging and it proves that we were right to stage this specialist event for the aquatics, water gardening and reptile sectors.” Speaking on behalf of OATA, Keith Davenport said all the feedback from exhibitors had been very positive. “Everybody seems to have got what they wanted from the show,” he added.