by Nancy E. Hassel, American Pet Professionals
Every year Global Pet Expo (GPE), gets bigger and bigger, and I have the exhaustion to prove it. The show is massive, 7.1 miles of trade show floor, and over 3,400 booths, it can be daunting to newbies attending and even to us veterans alike. The show is so well done that everyone I spoke was there for the first was really impressed and also blown away by the enormous size of the show. Which I heard will be even bigger next year! Someone please sponsor a first aid kit and give out several sets of band-aids to attendees for the APPA for next year’s show, pretty please?
Last year, GPE was recognized by the trade show industry’s Trade Show Executive Magazine and ranked was #61 on their exclusive Gold 100 list. GPE also ranked #48 in the magazines’s Fastest 50 growing trade shows. Global was also awarded by Trade Show Network Awards as Top 25 Fastest-Growing in net square footage.
It is impressive to say the least. But Global Pet Expo isn’t just about the stats, it is about the incredible connections that manufacturers make with buyers and attendees that are there. Putting a face to the voice they may have spoken to over the years, but have never met. It is about learning about new products, innovations, networking and the unity of being part of an industry is that so passionate about our four-legged, scaly, fluffy, feathery and reptilian pets that we adore so much. And the desire to bring the best pet products found at Global to their customers for their pets.
Some of the statistics announced by Bob Vetere, President of the American Pet Products Association (APPA), at the media lunch, in the press room, should be mind boggling to outsiders and not surprising to those of us in the pet industry. As the world becomes more and more pet friendly and more people are catering to their pets – our industry reflects that tremendously:
- There were 3,435 booths, 223 of which were first time exhibitors.
- 7.1 miles of trade show floor if you walked the floor end to end and up and down every isle. (Last year it was 6.2 miles).
- 1,130 exhibitors (27% which are international companies), and 6,629 attendees/buyers – a 10% increase from last year. (It definitely felt a lot more crowded to me this year).
- In 2017, the industry came in at $62+ Billion dollars, and 2017 is predicted to be $66.75 Billion, up $6 Billion from last year a 10% increase.
- Pet Food area of the industry made up $23.23 Billion a 22.5% increase in 2015 (increase due to new data).
- Supplies and over the country meds had an 3% growth.
- Veterinary spending grew 2.4 % it remains the second highest source of spending in the industry.
- 7th largest retail segment in the country.
- Largest pet owning demographic is the Millennials.
If you are attending next year, be sure to sign up ahead of time for the many seminars that they have to offer. I signed up for 6, was able to make 1 of them this year. There are many networking opportunities throughout the show, special events, breakfasts, retailer awards, new product showcase area and events held at booths also.
After attending Global, you may be overwhelmed with the amount of literature and business cards that you now have to go through. A piece of advice, go through them within a day or 2 of returning home. If you wait, you will forget or just get too busy. I have press kits, business cards, brochures and some products for review. I write on each and every business card, GPE 2017, so I know that is where I met that person. And even while at the show, I write on the card, let’s say if someone gives me a product or that I loved their product, or that I spoke to them in length about their business. This way when I get home – I remember! It will make your follow up much smoother, and show your professionalism when you follow up that you remember what you spoke to them about. Follow up within a week or two after the show.
If Global has been on your list to attend, you should make that effort to get there next year and experience it for yourself first hand. Next year the show dates are March 21 – 23, 2018. I will see you there! www.GlobalPetExpo.org.