Friday, March 15, 2013

Global Pet Expo 2013 (Part I)

A few weeks back, one of the larger events on Segrest Farm's (and the pet industry at large's) calendar took place in Orlando: Global Pet Expo 2013. One of, if not the largest pet industry trade shows in the US, Global is a great showcase for manufacturers, distributors, and their retail customers to come together and see what's new in the industry.

View of one corner of the trade show floor from above
For us, the show is an opportunity to show off our fish in the Aquatic Lounge, a huge central area in which a circular bank of commercial aquarium units contains displays by a number of major tropical fish wholesalers and producers. This whole 'lounge' area is decked out with tables, chairs, and couches arranged around the tanks creating a great (and heavily utilized) meeting space for attendees. For several years now Segrest has foregone the hassle and expense of setting up an elaborate booth in favor of a simple, elegant display across a bank of aquariums in the the center of the lounge. It fits in with our longstanding philosophy that our fish should speak for us as a company, and gives us a chance to show our current and potential customers a cross section of some of our nicest, newest, and of course, weirdest fish. This year was no exception, and I had the pleasure of being there from the setup phase all the way through the frantic breakdown on Friday afternoon. Over the course of the 3-day show I had the chance to really explore the show floor, catch up with industry friends old and new, and see some really cool new product in the meantime. Here are some of my (unabashedly aquatics-biased) highlights:

Fish! Everywhere!
Perhaps the single most notable part of the show was that a large number of manufacturers, distributors, and the like who were there primarily to showcase their dry goods incorporated live fish into their displays. This was a refreshing change of pace from previous years where many vendors balked at elaborate "wet" setups, considering them to be not worth the expense and added difficulty to break down. This year, it seemed like almost everyone with something aquatics-related to show off had at least a tank with fish in it. Many had gorgeous, well-stocked display with a whole spectrum of fish, plants and invertebrates. Even better, we supplied nearly all of them with fish!

Well-known manufacturers such as Penn Plax, Hagen, Marineland/UPG, Aqua Top, Boyd Enterprises and Current USA all opted to integrate live aquatic displays into their booths, and we were happy to provide them with a great selection of fish that did justice to their stunning setups. I spent Tuesday morning hurriedly carting around boxes of fish all over the huge trade show floor to each of the respective vendor's booths while two of our sales reps worked their magic to aquascape our tanks and acclimate fish. By the end of that day we were all pretty worn but the end result was so worth it. Here are some shots of our fish (and non-fish!), both at our area in the Aquatic Lounge and in other exhibitor's booths:

2 nano aquariums on display at Penn Plax's booth

More of Penn Plax's booth: Reptology product and some really fun Spongebob aquarium gear

More Aqua Top product including their new line of artificial plants

Relative newcomer Aqua Top had a really impressive display including some Segrest Fish. More about their product in part II of this post!
Aqua Top booth during setup, check out their rimless tank with Segrest fish! 

Some photos of the Hagen aquatic display below. Always one of the most impressive and popular booths at industry trade shows, we were proud to supply all of Hagen's live fish, inverts, and corals for Global this year. Their spectacular displays took more than a full pallet of fish boxes to stock!

144 gallon extreme bowfront with shoals of Rainbowfish, Green Tiger Barbs, and Festivums

Nano Tank with a school of Black Rasboras

 Thanks for reading and stay tuned for part II of our review of Global Pet Expo 2013!