During this year’s SuperZoo, I was honored to present as a panelist on the Women in the Pet Industry (WIPIN) Expert Pet Industry Panel with other pet industry colleagues. But First, I toured the show.
Our newly launched GNFP Digital and Goodnewsforpets.com sponsored an industry panel event. I could already tell from the audience questions how GNFP Digital will provide the kinds of digital services the pet industry is looking for and play a strong role in our future. But first, I got to spend two days touring the show as an editor seeking out stories. Below are my additional thoughts as an editor (and sometime exhibitor) to consider when attending SuperZoo or any other pet trade show for that matter!
What do you as an editor wish every exhibitor knew or had or prepared?
When we are seeking shareable content, we want to know what is unique about you, your product and your company. We want to tell your story. And having a celebrity tell your story doesn’t hurt, just note the picture above! Digital and social media is where we can do our best to reach as many people as possible – and when there is a celebrity angle – it gets shared!
When it’s about you, make sure you are ready to work with us. Be ready to talk about how you got started, have high resolution photos ready, and have your booth ready to be captured by cameras. Be willing to provide samples for contests. When you are covering so many products it really helps to have companies ready to dive in. And, once we’ve published your story, be ready to share on your social channels too! Stay tuned for the Jackson Galaxy story….
What is something you’ve learned as an editor and publisher that you wish you would have known sooner?
I didn’t predict how fast social media would grow to what it is today. The great news is the pet industry has grown exponentially right along with it! We started the website in 2000, but it’s the social media that has taken off. For example, one of our most popular columns on Goodnewsforpets.com is the guest interview. It’s story telling at it’s best. But with social media we can take that column and blast it out and reach so many more people with that story. For products, we can do the same. It’s just so much more fun and engaging. You’ll see our social sharing of Joe Watson and Daisy below for example, which is a great story to tell!
What is something as an attendee you wish exhibitors would have told you sooner?
How expansive the show is and that means how many steps I take! The sooner I get just a tiny bit of preview information, the sooner I can plan an appointment to see the right person to be at YOUR booth. That saves me both steps and time.
What is a reasonable expectation for a return of an expo investment? As an exhibitor – as an attendee? How are you determining this?
I always get something out of a trade show – a story, a new relationship, a renewed relationship, a prospect as publisher. I usually know the outcome in 90 days, and then I’m on to the next show because we work in both the vet and pet industry. In fact, this year we had the AVMA conference and the SuperZoo convention back to back!
What do you think attendees are asking for the most?
Fresh ideas. That includes new products, how to best merchandise, how to educate, how to sell, you name it.
What has brought the most return for your investment?
When I’m searching for stories, it’s the connecting with fellow entrepreneurs and company CEOs that has brought me the most satisfaction. I love networking and the new ideas that lead to coverage of the company, the show and future collaborations. When I’ve exhibited, it’s been leads for all kinds of business first and foremost, then the orders for sponsorships for our site and for our digital services for GNFP Digital.
Why are you drawn to one booth instead of another?
The look of the booth is key. One of my panelists suggested every booth should have a pet, now that would be interesting! Below is a booth that draws you in because it’s warm and inviting, and it also happens to be a hometown favorite. Three Dog Bakery, founded in Kansas City is headquartered where our company was founded and has an office in addition to New York City. The way the products are displayed draws me in but it’s also the friendliness of the people that are working in the booth that determinew that I think I will be able to do a larger story. If its booth staff I’m talking to instead of the president or the founder, I’ll ask do they know who I can talk to if that person isn’t there? If you are not showing interest in talking to me or helping me find the righ person, then it’s a big show and I’m going to move on. And, please, please be ready to provide your social media information!
Top three things you wish every attendee knew? (You wish every single one was equipped with this)
- Develop a strategy for what you want to see at the show and determine the companies you need to visit.
- Determine who you want to see in each of those booths and book as many appointments prior to the show as possible.
- Make a schedule, but leave time open for the unexpected (especially after making a beeline for the new product showcase).
What attitude should you have going into a show like SuperZoo?
This is an opportunity – in fact, every show is an opportunity to grow your business. When it comes to trade shows, what happens in Vegas, should never stay in Vegas!
Next up for me is Kansas City’s Global Animal Health Week, August 28 to September 3, which includes the KC Animal Health Corridor annual events such as the Homecoming Dinner, Investment Forum and more.
Hope to see you there!
Follow me @lgerminder
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