Immersed, Shifting The Paradigm

|   Immersed - Because Your Friends Look at You Funny when You Tell Them You Are Going to a Fish Show

It's no mystery how certain brands have established themselves as being among the best in the industry. Meticulous dedication, understanding the process, and exceeding the expectations of your audience are among the qualities that will put a brand, product, or service in the spotlight — these are the exhibitors and brands we look forward to working with throughout the year.

Immersed Aquatic Art Show is more than fish painted on a canvas or tossed in a water tank. It's about bringing the best in the industry to the public eye.

The Backstory

During my time visiting closed trade shows such as Global Pet Show, the most common topic discussed between industry members focuses on how they can increase their reach in order to deliver their product to the home hobbyist. The single most important discussion that has stuck with me for several years now, involved an exchange between a buyer and exhibitor expressing concern that not enough was being done on the retail end to boost demand and sustain [our hobby].

We've all seen the decline in retail as online sales steadily increase. This is no different in the pet industry. The Internet has enabled us to access information more readily. Hindsight is 20/20. The transition began in the early 1990's when hobbyists began operating within online communities — forums frequented by like-minded individuals, sharing their knowledge and passion for fishkeeping and fragging, learning about where to purchase oddballs and high-quality livestock that may not be readily available in their area. By the mid 2000's, another shift came, this time in the form of social media.

By the time smartphones became widely affordable — many with carriers whose Internet speeds surpasses that which we have in our homes — there has been an overall shift in the paradigm. The amount of time hobbyists are working with their aquarium setups is steadily decreasing as a result of better technology and more accessible information. There are many more distractions nowadays too. Consider your own routine — how many times a day do you watch videos or even full-length movies, play games or apps, supplementing your spare time with click bait on social media websites? How much time do you spend “catching them all?” (PS: Looking for good spots in Central Florida to farm Magikarp).

Reaching Beyond

Although it features live aquariums and themed art, Immersed Aquatic Art Show wasn't designed with the aquarium hobbyist in mind. Immersed is a showcase developed for Florida's art-centric community. Because let's face it, your non-hobbyist friends look at you funny when you tell them you are going to the fish show. Besides, you don't need to be a hobbyist to have a gorgeous installation in your home or office for enjoyment. The fact of the matter is that all of our aquarium exhibitors will deliver, install, and even maintain your living art installations for you, so that all you need to do is sit back and enjoy the view.

As we embark upon our 3rd year show, we tip our hats to the industry leaders whom have been with us every step of the way. We acknowledge Seachem Laboratories, not only for their support our own projects, but for their involvement with conservation projects like the Coral Restoration Foundation. We thank our industry partners The Fish Gallery for their innovative solutions, inspiring showrooms, and outstanding installation and maintenance service. You can see much of their work throughout Orlando, including Florida Hospital, the world's largest McDonalds on I-Drive, and Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen. We are proud to feature Florida-based feed company, Southern Delight Fish Foods. A heart-felt thanks to our lead workshop instructors and CFLAS team members, Christina and Ethan of Fancy Tails Fish. Last, but certainly not least, our event producer, Denna of Pink Hair Productions, who keeps Immersed looking polished.

Immersed Aquatic Art Show opens Thursday, September 15, 2016 (6 – 9pm). Check out for additional information.


Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea, Salvador Dali. Photo: Levine & Levine

Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea, Salvador Dali. Photo: Levine & Levine

The entire dynamic of how we live our lives is changing. Progress can be haunting, or it can be a breath of fresh air depending on how you decide to approach it. Just be sure you are standing far enough away to see the bigger picture.

[When Salvador Dali's Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea is viewed from a distance, the image is transformed into a portrait of Abraham Lincoln.]

CFLAS In The News