This year, Aquascape celebrated the 20th anniversary of Pondemonium, the water feature industry’s premier training and networking event. Hundreds of contractors, retailers and distributors were in attendance from Aug. 22 – 26, 2018 in St. Charles, Illinois, to participate in hands-on training sessions and workshop classrooms. “An Attitude of Gratitude” was the theme for this year’s special anniversary event.
Pondemonium opened Wednesday with a first-time Digital Marketing Summit that focused on bringing water features to life through video, vlogging and digital marketing. Several high-profile vloggers were in attendance to provide expertise, including Stanley Genadek of Dirt Monkey University.
Hands-on training events were the focus Thursday, with a custom decorative fountain water feature installed by Certified Aquascape Contractors at the Q Center training facility in St. Charles. Foremen and those new to pond building attended a morning classroom session followed by a hands-on waterfall-building contest in the afternoon to apply the skills they learned. Throughout the day, “deep-dive” sessions covering topics from accounting to operations to marketing were provided by a variety of Aquascape experts.
Early-morning educational and networking discussions known as Cup of Coffee roundtables started the day on both Friday and Saturday. A variety of topics were discussed by industry experts from around the world. Presentations and discussions included water feature construction, marketing techniques, human resource practices, accounting principles and more. Many sessions were moderated by Certified Aquascape Contractors who are experts in their featured topic.
Friday morning, Greg Wittstock, owner and CEO of Aquascape, presented his annual inspirational Pondemonium keynote address to a packed room of water feature professionals. Classroom sessions followed the keynote and focused on construction, business operations, retail and marketing topics. The evening came to a close with a special Casino Night fund-raiser to benefit the Aquascape Foundation.
Saturday’s events included a local pond tour exploring a variety of water feature applications in residential settings. More classroom workshops were available for those not attending the tour. The afternoon featured a panel discussion of former recipients of the Aquascape Water Feature Artist of the Year award. The Pondemonium Blow-Out Bash, complete with live music, food and human foosball, brought the annual event to a close.
Pondemonium 2019 is slated for Aug. 21 – 25 in St. Charles, Illinois. For information on Pondemonium and Aquascape training provided throughout the year, visit www.aquascapetraining.com.