Global Pet Expo Re-cap and so much more!

by Nancy E. Hassel, American Pet Professionals Global Pet Expo Re-cap and so much more! Attending Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Florida is really a must do if you are a retailer or manufacturer of any type of pet product.  This year the show, held March 15 - 18, was so much bigger than last year, it is really incredible to see how the industry has grown over the years - and it was almost impossible to see everything at GPE due to the size of the show.  I did my best.   In addition to seeing all the new products and meeting the manufacturers, the amount of new people in the industry you will meet is reason enough to make the trip.  We were discussing on the last day of the show, how many amazing pet industry people we met, new to the industry, veterans and of course people from all around the world that were in attendance.  It's a chance to catch up with APP members from around the country as well as meet some of my Periscope viewers from other countries like Ron Pia of Dog Talks Podcast from Austrailia, and regular contributor to our pet events newsletter, Kim Goldsworthy of Heyrex that makes Torus Water Bowls, and the Queen of England and her Corgi.  (I kid you not, ok so it was Penny Johnson from Sturdi products - but her impression was spot on!  You can see my video coverage coming soon on our Youtube channel.) Statistics: Some of the statistics announced at Global (in the press room) were really encouraging for our industry, our mometum is not slowing down any decade soon.  At Global this year:

  • There were 3,218 booths.  Did you see that? 3,218 booths.
  • 6.2 miles of trade show floor.  Wish I had my Map your walk on - guess I could check my iPhone...but yes, 6.2 miles of walking trade show floor. Crazy!
  • 1,087 exhibitors and 5,842 attendees/buyers (this was the estimated number - may be higher)
  • In 2015, the industry came in at $60 Billion dollars, bigger than so many industries (like the movie industry) it is mind boggling.  2016 is predicted to be 62 Billion (funny, 6.2 miles, $62 billion).
  • The Pet Services area of the industry is the fastest growing area of the industry with an 11.8% growth at $5.41 billon.
  • Supplies and over the country meds had an 3.9% growth to $14.28 billion.
  • Veterinary spending only grew 2.5 % it remains the second highest source of spending in the industry.
"The pet humanization trend is alive and well and continues to drive growth at the premium end of the market," said Bob Vetere, President of the American Pet Products Assocaition. "As millennials prepare to take the reins from the baby boomer generation as the primary demographic of pet owners, the stand to further develop this trend."   Are you catering to the millennials in your pet business?  Take aways: 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 3 of them.  In speaking with a few industry friends at Global some didn't know that they even had seminars there, and a few others commented, "you did? you had time?"  I made sure I had the time.  But like I said, I only made 3 of the seminars, one was a mini, only 15 minutes long.  Follow-up: 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.  So for me, I have press kits, business cards, brochures and some product.  I write on each and every business card, GPE 2016, 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. Attending Events at the show: I personally think it is important to attend special events being held during Global.  Whether it is a networking reception, if you're invited to a VIP event, awards ceremony, special event at a booth, (hello bagpipers!), etc. This year I missed 2 events due to meetings I already had set up.  But attended at least 5 or 6 while there.  The events are not only great for networking, but often educational, you may learn something new about the industry you didn't know before and even some insider info.  If Global has been on your list, your radar on things to do, you should make that effort to get there next year and experience it for yourself first hand. Next year the show dates are March 22 - 24, 2017.  I will see you there!  To see photo's from the event, you can click here!  ]]>

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