A pre-registration fee of $100.00 is required to attend all the events of the convention with the exception of the Seashell Expo.
Other events that will take place during the convention include eighteen interesting and Informative programs ranging from travelogues, such as "Living Shells of the Caribbean" to scientific presentations like "Bringing Back the Scallop in Tampa Bay."
There will also be 3 silent auctions; a Bon Voyage Sail Away Welcome Party where the imaginary cruise ship Silver Alatus is expected to be christened; a verbal auction of specimen shells and shell-related items; several "Shell Bargain Tables;" and a competitive show, the "Suncoast Silver Spectacular Collectible Show" where 1st and 2nd place trophies will be awarded to the winners in each of 6 categories.
A good portion of the proceeds raised at the annual COA conventions go toward funding scholarship grants in malacology for qualified Masters and PhD candidates, as well as deserving marine-related research projects. Since its inception more than $185,000 has been awarded to qualified recipients.
Not included in the pre-registration fee are various excursions to local area attractions on Saturday the 18th, prior to the opening. These include:
- An extended behind-the-scenes-tour of the Florida Aquarium in Tampa
- A trip to historic Weeki Wachee Springs in Hernando County
- A combination sightseeing/boat cruise in Tarpon Springs
- A fossil hunting trip where collectors can search for shells 3 - 5 million years old
- A SCUBA diving trip into the Gulf of Mexico.
-Additional excursions slated for Tuesday afternoon and evening include:
- A sunset dinner cruise
- A shell collecting trip.
- A craft session "Art-At-Sea," where participants will learn how to make a shell picture frame, is scheduled at an additional cost of $8.00 for the materials that will be used.
You must be registered for the convention to attend any of these excursions.