AQUA 2019 pre-match build-up

So the AQUA Telford 2019 trade show is just a day away. Hours away for the guys there now building their stands, and the clock is counting down rapidly.

I’m lucky to have been to every AQUA show since it was conceived. A British aquatic trade show for the British aquatic trade, forged by the OATA members because the aquatic turnout at GLEE Pet Index was dying.

Blend in a rather big pinch of Impact Exhibitions’ trade show expertise, and knowledge of everyone in the UK aquatics industry, and AQUA was born.

Aqua, Telford, 2017
Aqua, Telford, 2017


And despite austerity, and Brexit, and the EU banning plants left, right and centre, AQUA has been a great success. It’s all we have, but it still exceeds expectations and is high quality.

Anyone who is anyone in the UK aquatics industry is there, and those that aren’t are noted by their absence.

Rival reps who’ve fought tooth and nail for business over the last two years then have to go shoulder to shoulder at the bar, and disgruntled retailers who’ve threatened to smash faces in come face to face, and shake hands with, those whom they’ve threatened.

But for the un-jaded, still passionate aquatic shop staff who’ve been allowed out its the Super Bowl. Every company in one place, all with shiny new products, shiny new tanks and new varieties of fish.

The standard of display tanks and show stands gets better and better, and company bosses who winced at the fifty grand spend now get secretly excited by all the shop bosses coming onto their stands and talking orders.

The reps get excited because they get to let their hair down in the evenings, and talk to each other without holding onto a steering wheel.

And if the tank water was clear, the fish happy, and the stands busy, I was always happy. Walking round shaking hands all day and seeing old friends, colleagues and customers always gave me such a positive aquatic high.

So let’s see what Wednesday October the 16th brings. I’ll be there, again, and I wish it well, I really do.

Aqua, Telford, 2017
Aqua, Telford, 2017


Jeremy Gay

Author of three fishkeeping books and lifelong fishkeeper. Experience includes editor of Practical Fishkeeping magazine, editor of Pet Product Marketing magazine, multi award- winning livestock manager and aquatic store manager.