Event Trends

TOP FIVE EVENT TRENDS OF 2019

Tips to Take Your Event to the Next Level

Thursday, June 13, 2019 photographed by Mika Miller

What’s trending in event planning? What are the must-haves? What do employees and executives want? We asked event professionals at the Aquarium to share trends from more than 250 events over the past year.

 

1. Take your guests on a journey

Companies are tired of the same old trainings and seasonal dinners. Whitney Bentz, an event designer, incorporates exciting activities to the events she creates. Think team building photo or trivia scavenger hunts, wellness programs, interactive entertainment like art nights and animal meet-and-greets, and giving guests something to do before the event officially begins. Check in can even be fun and feel faster with a drink in hand or an entertainer working the line.

 

2. Let your guests share their experience

It’s getting more difficult to hold an employee-only gathering after hours. Jared Springer, Director of Sales and Events, notes, “Families are an extension of the employee – not a new idea, but companies are recognizing it now.” Springer emphasizes the need for social media and suggests making every event “Instagrammable.” At the Aquarium, we can upload customized Snapchat filters to show-off events.

 

3. Use technology and add unique entertainment

“Tech is providing amazing tools,” says Dustin Stark, a seasoned event designer. Some amazing technology integration we have seen includes designated charging stations, lighting packages to create texture and enhance the mood of a space, and even Silent Discos delivered by Life of the Party Entertainment, a vendor commonly used at Aquarium events. Individuals wear headphones playing one of several playlists. From the outside, everyone is dancing to their own beat. Inside, each moment is a singular personal experience.

 

4. Go eco-friendly and sustainable

“People are more aware today than ever before about their impact on the environment,” says Digital Marketing Specialist Mika Miller. From the Reef Restoration Program, to Species Survival Plans, the Aquarium believes in building a world in which everyone takes an active part in protecting Earth’s diverse ecosystems. We have seen events embrace this mission by utilizing sustainable items like biodegradable plates, recyclable confetti, and even reusable balloons.

 

5. Be surprising, disruptive, and unique

Always start with the purpose. What do you want your event guests to take home? No matter the trends you incorporate, you want to take care of your people on a personal and professional level. Emphasize what sets your brand and company culture apart and incorporate “wow” elements and moments throughout your event. Springer’s answer to planning a spectacular event is, “Make it surprising, disruptive, and unique.”

 

Consider talking to a member of the Aquarium event team to make your event a journey to remember. Start planning with a site tour by clicking the button below! Come alone or bring your event planning team and enjoy complementary admission on the day of your tour.

Springer’s answer to planning a spectacular event is “Make it surprising, disruptive, and unique.”

Endangered Species at the Aquarium

ENDANGERED SPECIES WEEKEND 

Meet 10 of Our Endangered Species

Friday, May 16, 2018 written and photographed by Mika Miller

Endangered Species Weekend starts today, May 17 through Sunday, May 19 and we’re partnering with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service! We have many species at the Aquarium that are endangered, threatened, or sensitive. Hover over the photos below to learn about ten endangered species you should look out for on your next visit to the Aquarium.

Asian Arowana

Aquarium Location: Expedition: Asia

Status: Endangered

Fun Fact: Asian arowanas are mouthbrooders. The male carries the eggs in his mouth until they hatch.

Yellow-headed Parrot

Aquarium Location: School Outreach Program

Status: Endangered

Fun Fact: Most of a parrot’s taste buds are located on the roof of their mouth. They don’t have as many taste buds as humans, but they do develop preferences for certain foods.

Banggai Cardinalfish

Aquarium Location: Expedition: Asia

Status: Endangered

Fun Fact: Banggai cardinal fish protect themselves from predators by hiding among the spines of sea urchins.

Green Sea Turtle

Aquarium Location: Shark Habitat

Status: Endangered

Fun Fact: Adult Green sea turtles are herbivores. They mostly eat aquatic plants, such as algae and sea grass.

Golden Poison Dart Frog

Aquarium Location: Journey to South America

Status: Endangered

Fun Fact: The venom of Golden poison dart frogs has been used for centuries to coat the tips of blowgun darts.

Razorback Sucker

Aquarium Location: Discover Utah

Status: Critically Endangered

Fun Fact: Razorback suckers can live for more than 40 years and can weigh up to 14 pounds! They are native to the Colorado River, dating back more than three million years.

Golfodulcean Poison Dart Frog

Aquarium Location: Journey to South America

Status: Endangered

Fun Fact: Golfodulcean poison dart frogs have an intricate mating ritual. It can last between one to seven days and includes calling, shaking of limbs, and sitting on its mate.

Loggerhead Sea Turtle

Aquarium Location: Shark Habitat

Status: Endangered

Fun Fact: Loggerhead sea turtles live in warm oceans throughout the world. These endangered turtles can be found in the coastal waters off the USA.

Phantasmal Poison Dart Frog

Aquarium Location: Journey to South America

Status: Endangered

Fun Fact: Phantasmal poison dart frogs are only .5 to 1.5 inches in length. These tiny amphibians snack on ants, beetles, mites, and caterpillars.

Desert Tortoise

Aquarium Location: Discover Utah

Status: Endangered

Fun Fact: Desert tortoises are herbivores. Their diet consists of shrubs, grass, fruit, and flowers.

Join us at the Aquarium by meeting several endangered species, learn what actions you can take to protect and preserve endangered species and their habitats, and enter for a chance to win an awesome gift basket. The Aquarium will be taking donations for World Wildlife Fund, an association dedicated to protecting species and their habitats along with many other global conservation projects. Donations will be collected as an optional round up at ticketing, as well as via the three wishing wells.

Planning The Perfect Event

PLANNING THE PERFECT EVENT 

Five Questions to Ask Yourself to Streamline the Planning Process

Tuesday, May 14, 2018 written by Stacee Pratt and photographed by Mika Miller
You’ve just been put in charge of the big company celebration. Where do you start? Here are five simple questions to ask.

 

What’s the purpose?

Before you decide linen colors, you need to determine the reason for this event. A formal dinner to hand out service awards will look completely different than an employee family picnic. Is your purpose to relax and mingle, or to sit back and be entertained? Think about what you’re celebrating and build your event from there.

Who’s on the invite list?

Are you inviting employees, clients, plus ones, or entire families? Do you have out of state guests and executives coming? Do you need to limit the size with strict RSVPs or can you include everyone interested in coming? Where you hold your event and how large you need your venue will depend upon your guest count so it’s important to know who you’re inviting.

When should the event be?

Timing is everything, and corporate events are no exception. If you plan to invite just employees, think about hosting your event in the middle of the day when you already have their attention. If you plan to invite families, an evening or weekend event will make it more convenient for your guests. Do you need to wait until after the holiday season or after your busy season? If you’d like to celebrate in December, you’ll want to start looking at locations in February. Remember to plan ahead as venues fill up fast.

What’s your budget?

A budget is more than just the money you can spend, it’s also about how you want to spend it. What will be meaningful to your group? A fancy dinner, exclusive experience, both? Think about what will make your event special and make sure you plan for it.

Where should you hold your event?

Once you figure out the what, who, when, and how much, it’s time to move onto where. If you need to keep it low key, consider what you can do at your office. If you want to go all-out, consider a place like the Aquarium. Our team does the hard work for you, like providing food, entertainment, beautiful backdrops, and a night to remember. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy the event.

 

Start planning with a site tour at the Aquarium by clicking the button below! Come alone or bring your event planning team and enjoy complementary admission on the day of your tour.

Butterflies are Back!

THE BUTTERFLIES ARE BACK

10 Fun Facts About These Colorful Insects

Thursday, June 14, 2018 written by Jennie Kwok and photographed by Mika Miller
The Butterflies are back at The Butterfly Experience at the Aquarium! Our habitat features the species Vanessa cardui—otherwise known as Painted ladies. Here are 10 facts to properly introduce you to them:

1. This species can go through their entire life cycle (egg, larvae/caterpillar, pupa/chrysalis, and adult) in less than a month.

 

2. New caterpillars will eat its own egg.

 

3. These caterpillars spin silk tents to help support and protect themselves.

 

4. Shedding may occur about four times as they grow.

 

5. The chrysalis can shake violently to ward off predators.

 

6. While a chrysalis, much of the caterpillar’s body liquefies and reassembles as a butterfly.

 

7. A few hours before the butterfly emerges, the chrysalis turns a dark (almost black) color.

 

8. Butterfly blood is clear.

 

9. They cannot survive in colder regions; therefore, migration patterns are highly erratic.

 

10. The adult Painted lady butterfly only lives for about two weeks.

 

Prepare to be mesmerized by these flying insects in our Journey to South America habitat at The Butterfly Experience! This experience is included with general admission and Aquarium memberships.
Download the Painted lady butterfly wallpaper HERE.

Nudibranchs

NUDIBRANCHS

10 Colorful Facts About These Sea Slugs

Thursday, March 28, 2019 written and photographed by Mika Miller
Nudibranchs (pronounced noo-duh-branks) are colorful sea slugs that can be found in oceans all over the world! Read on to learn 10 cool facts about these amazing sea creatures.

1. The name nudibranch comes from the Latin word nudus, meaning naked, and the Greek word brankhia, meaning gills. This refers to the gills and gill-like appendages that stick out of the backs of many nudibranchs.

 

2. There are over 3,000 species of nudibranch, with new species still being discovered! We have four species at the Aquarium: Yellow-edged cadlina, Sea clown nudibranch, Lemon nudibranch, and Ring-spotted doris.

 

3. Nudibranchs get their coloration from the food they eat. They feast mostly on sponges, coral, anemones, and barnacles.

 

4. The two “horns” on the top of a nudibranch’s head are called rhinophores. These are chemical receptors that allow them to find food and mates.

 

5. Nudibranchs have a foot! They move around using a flat, broad muscle on their underside called a foot.

 

6. Nudibranchs are hermaphroditic, meaning that they have both male and female reproductive organs.

 

7. Some nudibranchs are poisonous. They extract poisonous chemicals from their prey, like toxic sponges.

 

8. There are two main species types of nudibranchs, dorid and eolid. Dorid species have gills at their back end, whereas eolid species have finger-like tentacles covering their back.

 

9. Nudibranchs can only see in shades of light and dark and cannot see color.

 

10. These colorful sea slugs can range in size from a few millimeters in length to 12 inches long and can weigh up to three pounds!

Visit some of these amazing nudibranchs in our Ocean Explorer habitat!

Aquarium Valentines

AQUARIUM VALENTINES 

PRINTABLE VALENTINES FOR YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTTER

Monday, February 04, 2018 written and photographed by Mika Miller

Happy Valentine’s Day from Loveland Living Planet Aquarium! Send your best “fishes” to all your loved ones with these Valentine’s Day cards. Download and print them out, or share them digitally.

Year in Review

YEAR IN REVIEW

A Look Back at the Wonderful Moments of 2018

Monday, December 31, 2018 written and photographed by Mika Miller
With 2019 just around the corner, we wanted to take a moment to celebrate all the amazing things that happened at the Aquarium in 2018! Drag the slider across the image to reveal our 2018 highlights.
We are so excited for all the new adventures that 2019 will bring.

2018 Advent Calendar

ADVENT CALENDAR 2018 

COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS WITH THE AQUARIUM

December 2018

It’s December and Christmas is almost here! Count down with our Advent Calendar. Every day, find the date below and click on it for a variety of new downloads or puzzles for you to enjoy!

Fact or Fiction?

FACT OR FICTION?

Can you tell the difference?

Thursday, November 29, 2018 written and photographed by Mika Miller
Can you tell fact from fiction? Put your animal knowledge to the test below. Swipe left on the photos to reveal whether the statement is true or false.
Learn more amazing animal facts at the Aquarium by talking to our knowledgeable educators!

10 Things You Don’t Know About Clownfish

CLOWNFISH FUN FACTS

10 Things You Don’t Know About Clownfish

Wednesday, November 07, 2018 written and photographed by Mika Miller
We’re not clowning around when we say we love clownfish! Here’s 10 lesser known facts about these amazing anemonefish.

1. There are around 30 known species of clownfish.

 

2. Clownfish live in the warm waters of sheltered reefs and shallow seas in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. During the winter, they will migrate to deeper water to stay warm.

 

3. Schools of clownfish have a strict hierarchy, with the most aggressive female at the top.

 

4. All clownfish are born male. When the dominant female dies, the dominant male will turn itself into a female.

 

5. Not all anemones are Clownfish friendly. There are over 1,000 anemone species and only ten of those can coexist with clownfish. Even then only certain pairs of clownfish and anemones are compatible.

 

6. Clownfish are omnivores. They eat dead anemone tentacles, leftovers from the anemone, plankton, mollusk, zooplankton, phytoplankton, small crustaceans and various algae.

 

7. Clownfish are not great swimmers. They mostly hide in anemones, and when they do venture out, their swimming patterns are very erratic.

 

8. Male clownfish are dedicated fathers. They will prepare the nest for the female, guard the eggs, and clean the nest.

 

9. Clownfish communicate by making popping and clicking noises.

 

10. Clownfish catch prey by swimming onto the reef, attracting larger fish, and luring them back to the anemone. The anemone will sting and eat the larger fish, leaving the remains for the clownfish.

 

Visit our clownfish in our Ocean Explorer habitat!