by Nancy E. Hassel, American Pet Professionals On Tuesday, February 6, 2018, Pet Age Magazine and PetAge 2.0 held their first ever Pet Food and Treat Festival the F.A.T. fest, a play on words for the upcoming mardi gras celebration. This event was different than most industry events because it catered to both pet professionals, and pet parents to attend. The morning was filled with networking, speakers within the industry educating the pet professional audience that was there (retailers, manufacturers, dog trainers and groomers from who I met). At lunchtime, the doors opened for pet parents to come in with their pets and meet the vendors that were there, and mingle and meet each other. There were a LOT of happy dogs there getting treats and pictures taken! Even Instagram star Tinkerbelle the dog was there. We were proud to part of the event as a vendor and met a lot of new pet professionals, some brand new to the industry, some seasoned and a nice amount of animal rescue organizations and volunteers that were there to check out the event. The event was well organized, professional and a lot of fun all at the same time! Being in-person at events like these are very important to me for a few reasons: one, to be supportive of everyone involved; two, you just never know who you may meet; and three, the camaraderie and community that happens at these events make our industry even better. I also loved meeting the pet parents that were there (and their human kids too) and asking them, do you have any interest in being in the pet industry one day? And the majority of the answers were yes or I am just starting a side business. You have to love that. And not to mention the adorable dogs that were there and one cat! [caption id="attachment_4284" align="aligncenter" width="281"] Mango! Mango did not care about the dogs there.[/caption] Looking forward to the next Pet Food and Treat Festival - and congratulations to the Pet Age team for doing a great job. [caption id="attachment_4283" align="aligncenter" width="447"] Nancy Hassel (hey that's me!) of American Pet Professionals with Allen Basis, Executive Publisher of Pet Age Magazine.[/caption] ]]>
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