CoralCon2013 gets reviewed
Taking place over 2 days (16-17th March), CoralCon213 marked the second year that this event was organized at the Orlando Fairgrounds, which are a bit spartan, frugal maybe, but very well suited for setting up all the booths, displays and aquariums that are typically part of these type of events, especially since it is not unusual for water spills to occur, and even tanks to start leaking, and water dripping on the floors when frags and corals are bagged for buyers.
In fact that is exactly what happened a few times, but on concrete floors it does not really matter.
All available booth space was sold out, a good sign, and the Exhibitors were for the most part quite well-known ones, and in addition there were a number of local Florida ones that had booths as well.
Had the pleasure of meeting the Speakers, which included besides myself, Tony Vargas, Jake Adams, Joe Yaiullo, and representatives from some large manufacturers such as Jack Kent from Continuum Aquatics, Bashsea Aquatics, Kessil, Reef Nutrition, Proaquatix, Dr. Mac, Dr. Tim, Dirk’s, Brightwell Aquatics, Hydor, and many more.
The Speakers presented some real interesting talks on many reef related topics including, amongst others, nutrition, fishes for the reef including a long one on reef safe Wrasses by Tony Vargas, Corals, and on Nano-Reefs by myself. Jake Adams held a question and answer session that was equally well attended, and covered many reef related topics including, of course, LED’s and the developments made in the lighting area.
I do not have the exact number of attendees but based on my observation and talking to the organizers, there were close to 2000 Hobbyists at the show, some who attended both days, and some that attended only either the Saturday or Sunday event.
The exhibits were for the most part of a high caliber and some were truly “impressive” and far above what I have seen at many other such events. Very professionally run one by just about all of them I must say. A list of exhibitors can be found at CoralCon’s website. A view of the layout with all the exhibitors can be seen below.
Amazing was the number and value of the raffle prizes that totaled in the thousands of dollars and included just about anything you can think of that is used around a reef or saltwater aquarium.
Several Companies contributed well over $1000 each in prizes, quite amazing for a conference that was only in its second year. They even included an Apex Controller, aquariums, LED lights, Skimmers, Reactors, and more, and of course a very large number of dry goods. Lots and lots of attendees went home not only with what they purchased, but with some great raffle prizes for sure.
Overall I would call it a very successful event and one that I recommend to all who can to attend next year as CoralCon2014 will be held around the same time next year and at the same location.
I definitely came away with a very positive impression of the Show. It was worthwhile being there and as a Speaker I had the opportunity to really talk in detail about Nano-Reefs, and based on a count made for me over 100 people attended the talk (and a lot of them on a standing only basis as the room was totally packed). Great was the interest in Nano-Reefs, even though the event was geared to reef aquariums in general and not specifically towards Nanos.
I will make it a point to be there again next year. Thanks to all the organizers for setting up such a great and worthwhile event.