By Nancy Hassel, American Pet Professionals
In the past two weeks a few pet events that were held in-person, a business event and a consumer pet event, have reported that they had an excellent attendance and everyone seemed excited to be there, and back to in-person events. NAVC, according to a few peers I know who went said the show was great and that there was a really good attendance at the show, more than they expected. I have seen several pictures of friends and colleagues who attended the show.
Another show that is consumer focused that just took place was Super Pet Expo held in Edison, NJ. I was not there, but heard from friends that attended that it was very well attended, lots of pet shows, vendors and attendees there. One of our members, Sherry Cassin of Meow Mini Mart, said, "It was wonderful to be at an in-person pet event again seeing fellow cat lovers, repeat customers and meeting new ones. Visitors were excited that the show was back and were in a shopping mood."
This week, the Pet Industry Leadership Summit is underway in Phoenix, AZ, and I again have seen several peers and friends in the industry that have traveled to be at the summit.
In Allentown, PA, this weekend the Lehigh Valley Pet Expo is taking place, hosted by Family Pet Shows, and their second in-person show being held since the pandemic. Putting their feet back in the water with their Philly show held in October of 2021.
I personally am looking forward to be back speaking at Global Pet Expo in March in Orlando, and have been asking peers and friends in the pet industry, will you be there? And there has been a resounding, 'yes I will be there,' as the general census among those asked.
There are definitely some people that are waiting out Covid, potentially heading to events in the 2nd half of 2022, and I completely get that.
While I have not been to any industry events since 2020 in-person, Global being the last one, and have attended a handful of of pet events in 2021, most of which were outside, I understand not everyone is comfortable heading to events.
Trying to figure out will attendees be at events, will all the vendors show up has not been easy to gauge this past year. While some events were held, either scaled down, or less attendees and vendors like at SuperZoo last August, some were held outside like Westminster in 2021 (and will be held outside in the late spring), most events are back in-person, and some have a virtual element to them. Which is exciting to see - even if you can't make every event or are not ready yet, it's ok.
With that said, I would love it if you could answer our very short survey if you plan on, or not, attending pet industry events in 2022.
Also, if you have not yet grabbed our complimentary Pet Industry Events Calendar for 2022, click here.
Figuring out how to live in this pandemic, move forward, get back to the business of in-person events is going to be a learning curve for all of us I believe. But just remember if someone is not comfortable, doesn't feel safe or is just not ready, be kind and realize you're not living in their shoes. And to all those hosting events, attending and going as exhibitors - wishing you a lot of success!