OATA Impact Exhibitions and OATA have jointly taken the decision to cancel this year’s AQUA 2023 trade show and consumer Water Alive event, planned for the autumn.

The show was due to run from Thursday 12 October to Saturday 14 October at Telford Conference Centre. For the first time in its history, the trade show was due to open its doors to fishkeepers in a joint element, called Water Alive, on the last two days of the show.

“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,” said Matt Stevenson, who sits on the board of OATA Impact Exhibitions, which organises 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,” he explained.

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.

“OATA understands the importance of the AQUA show to the industry,” he said. “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.”

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.

Issued by OATA on behalf of OATA and OATA Impact Exhibitions.