Global Pet Expo is one of my favorite trade shows. Trust me – I’ve been to plenty in 43 years of agency life – yes, you heard that right. In the late 80s, my agency life took me to Las Vegas for automotive market shows at the Las Vegas convention center.
Later I launched products and held press conferences with sports celebrities at numerous sporting goods shows, including the former NSGA show in Chicago and the show of all shows, the former Super Show in Atlanta. Heck, I even won an award as the fastest packer at the Columbia trade booth at the Outdoor Retailer show. Ahh, trade show stories… there are plenty of them.
But, back to the pet trade. The first pet trade show which showed me this fabulous industry was one I actually attended before my professional career. That was the former Backer show in Chicago. I was in college, and my late step-father Dino Barbarisi was attending for his businesses in the aquatic trade industry, which was quite substantial at that time. I was smitten.
Several years later, Germinder + Associates had the opportunity to handle the newsroom at Western Veterinary Conference and launched Goodnewsforpets.com simultaneously. As we have been reflecting on our 25th anniversary (with Goodnewsforpets covering 23 years of conferences), we have plenty more stories to share, but this is only one post. Suffice it to say, after attending several veterinary conferences, Westminster, Cat Writers, and Dog Writers conferences, I attended Global Pet the first chance I got. I was smitten.
Due to a last-minute emergency, I wasn’t able to attend in person this year, but thankfully with remote access, we were able to cover a pretty good portion of the conference. The sheer depth and breadth of the show continue to amaze me. Companies like Purina innovate with new products like Purina Pro Plan Vital Systems Wet Formulas and continue to support the industry with programs like the Pet Care Innovation Competition. Artie won the Grand Prize, but congratulations to all the winners this year. Other new products range from the handy inflatable Digg Enventur Kennel to the West Paw/Earth Animal Funnl enrichment toy.
Frankly, there are new products in every category. We’ll be featuring more in the months ahead. Be sure to take a look at who won the Global Pet Expo Best in Show New Products Showcase categories this year. Finally, the American Pet Products Association (APPA), which partners with the Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA) to produce Global Pet Expo, announced a new board chair and several new members. It will be exciting to see what new initiatives are in store. And as according to APPA’s recent survey, the industry is nearing $137 Billion in sales, we have no reason to believe the industry won’t continue to grow.
Hat’s off to you, Global Pet Expo, for a great conference for a great industry. See you next year – in person.
Lea-Ann Germinder, APR Fellow PRSA
Editor + Publisher
P.S. We’ll have more to say in a separate post on the Frenchie taking over the Labrador as America’s favorite breed. Stay tuned!