This year’s AQUA 2023 trade show and parallel consumer Water Alive event, planned for the autumn, will not take place, the organisers have confirmed.
The events were scheduled to run from Thursday October 12 to Saturday October 14 at Telford Conference Centre. The inaugural consumer element Water Alive was offering retailers and suppliers the opportunity to talk to fishkeepers directly, with a trade-only exhibition on the opening day of the show.
However, OATA Impact Exhibitions and trade association OATA have jointly taken the decision to cancel the shows due to lack of commercial support.
The biennial AQUA trade show is organised and run by OATA Impact Exhibitions, a separate company in which OATA is the majority shareholder. While not directly involved in the running of the show, OATA representatives do sit on the board and committee that helps to organise the show.
Matt Stevenson, who sits on the board of OATA Impact Exhibitions, said: “It is regrettable this decision has had to be made, but without the prospect that the event would break even then we could not commit to continue the show.
“When the show’s organising committee started to look at the 2023 event, we knew we had to look at new ways to fund AQUA so it remained viable. The past few years have been a turbulent trading period for our industry, causing inevitable challenges to the trade and therefore the show’s income.
“Incorporating a consumer element has long been talked about within the show’s advisory group so OATA Impact Exhibition’s board made the decision to add a consumer element bringing the revenue to support AQUA.”
OATA chief executive Dominic Whitmee says the trade association is extremely disappointed the show will not proceed in 2023 and will take some time to explore options for the future.
He said: “OATA understands the importance of the AQUA show to the industry but, nevertheless, there was an undoubted need to change the show to ensure it remained financially viable so we understand why the organising committee decided to try something different with the format.
“We will now take stock and look at how a successful and profitable show could be organised in the future.”