Thirteenth Annual Global Pet Expo, held March 22-24, in Orlando, FL, featured more booths, buyers and exhibiting companies than ever before
Andrew Darmohraj, executive vice president and COO of the American Pet Products Association (APPA)is proud to announce Global Pet Expo 2017 successfully wrapped its thirteenth show with record-setting size across the board during the three-day Premier Industry Event. Global Pet Expo, presented by APPA and the Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA), expanded the Show Floor to 343,700 net square feet of exhibit space (nearly 24,000 feet larger than 2016), to accommodate the growing numbers of exhibiting companies, buyers and booths.
The recent Global Pet Expo, dubbed this year as The Show That Means Business, experienced significant growth in total buyer attendance with 6,761 buyers, up more than 9.5 percent from 2016. There was a 22 percent increase in international buyer attendance from 2016. While 72 percent of buyers were domestic companies, more than a quarter of total buyers were from outside of the U.S., coming from 79 countries – confirming Global Pet Expo as a key trading opportunity for companies from around the world.
Giving the buyers thousands of new products and trends to choose from throughout the three-day show, was an impressive 1,130 exhibiting companies- including 270 first-time exhibitors- boasting more than 3,437 booths. Twenty seven percent of the exhibitors were international, making up 305 of the 1,130 exhibitors- up 30 percent from 2016.
New this year was the debut of country-specific pavilions. Previously, multiple countries exhibited together in one space on the Show Floor, but this new international model allowed participating country delegations dedicated space throughout the exhibit floor. Separate pavilions for Great Britain, Canada, China and Taiwan allowed these delegations to highlight their country branding and showcase their companies and products more uniquely.
“We take pride in our hard work to make Global Pet Expo a unique and rewarding opportunity for attendees each and every year,” said Darmohraj. “With new exhibiting companies, new innovative products from repeat exhibitors, and even changes to the floor layout, we strive to provide the most beneficial experience to all each year.”
Described by attendees as, engaging, insightful and informational, this year’s Global Pet Expo Academy was also a huge success with more than 1,600 attendees, a 23% increase over 2016. Managed by PIDA, the 2017 seminar lineup featured 29 different seminars from 16 expert instructors in the fields of marketing, social media and technology, merchandising, management, personnel and retail operations.
Additionally, PIDA unveiled an updated marketing program at the Show built around the theme of The Power of D, Growth through Distribution. Along with their seminars, PIDA worked to educate those new to the industry or any who’ve yet to work through a distributor, to better understand the value proposition of the manufacturer-distributor relationship.
“We had hundreds of new companies at this year’s show and many of them are lost when it comes to working with distributors or setting up a distribution network,” PIDA President Steve King said. “It is our responsibility and the responsibility of our show to ensure we’re setting our attendees up for the best possible chance for success in this industry.”
The 2017 Show featured more new product launches than any other show in the industry, and had nearly 1,000 entries in the newly designed 30,000 square-foot New Products Showcase alone. Now in its seventh year, the New Products Showcase awards presentation was a highlight for many. The “Best in Show” ceremony took place on the show floor where awards were handed out to Best in Show, Second and Third place winners across nine categories. Primetime Petz LLC took home the top prize in the Cat category with their new “Catysmile Backpack Cat Carrier” and West Paw Design took home top Dog category award with their new “Qwizl” treating toy. With more entrants than ever, buyers narrowed down top picks to determine the winners. Visit the press center on GlobalPetExpo.org for a full list of the New Products Showcase winners.
Global Pet Expo also garnered national media attention from those within the industry and outside the industry as outlets were eager to share the latest trends and products with their pet-owning audience. To representatives covering for The TODAY Show, TLC network, Reader’s Digest, NPR Radio and more, Global Pet Expo provided fun and exciting content on endless amounts of pet product and ownership information.
Keeping up with the new and emerging social trends, the premier industry event focused on new tactics to reach both those at the Show and those who couldn’t make it this year. Facebook Live was used to give a tour of the Show Floor and interview featured speakers and Show attendees, which collectively garnered over 15 thousand views. In addition to live videos, Global Pet Expo also featured a new Snapchat filter, which was seen by almost 7,500 people, giving the show additional branding to a new social audience.
“As the social landscape is ever-changing, it’s important that we find new and engaging ways to connect with our audience and encourage the sharing of information,” added Darmohraj. “We’re continuing to see more views of our Facebook Live videos, allowing us the opportunity to broaden our reach and impact.”
Also released at the Show, were APPA’s pet industry spending figures– announcing a record-breaking $66.75 billion in pet spending for 2016, up $6 billion from 2015. Estimated spending for this year is $69.3 billion; another 3.9 percent growth. The release can be found in its entirety in the Association’s press center at http://www.americanpetproducts.org.
Global Pet Expo is open to independent retailers, distributors, mass-market buyers, and other qualified professionals. It is not open to the general public. The 2018 Global Pet Expo will take place Wednesday – Friday, March 21-23, 2018 in Orlando, FL, at the Orange County Convention Center. For details, visit http://www.globalpetexpo.org.
“As always, we cannot do this without the support of the industry and would like to thank everyone that participated in this year’s Show, making it the biggest Global Pet Expo ever,” added Darmohraj.