I have been attending the Global Pet Expo as far back as the early ‘80s. Back then it was called the APPMA Trade Show, American Pet Product Manufacturers Association, and was designed to showcase manufacturer’s new products to their distributor network and retailers were not allowed to attend the show.
That was back then, nowadays, with the advent of market globalization and the consolidation trends that started in the ‘90s, the APPMA had to adjust with the changing times. In 2005, the APPMA and PIDA Pet Shows were combined and rebranded as the Global Pet Expo. Now, any enterprising retailer can attend and take advantage of the largest international pet trade show in North America allowing them to network with the principals of the vendors whose products they stock in their stores.
When attending the Global Pet Expo, you’ll find this show is where new and also established vendors spend their money to launch and promote their lines or new products.
You will also see there is a large international presence of foreign manufacturers from Europe and Asia displaying their wares.
Regional shows have gotten better and better, but company principals are often not present. At the Global Pet Expo, you will find out there is nothing quite like visiting with owners and CEOs of the various companies who design and distribute the products you buy. It’s great to see the new products and to meet people, but why not come prepared to take real advantage of a show like this one? This is the perfect opportunity to discuss your business with the owner or CEO of a company, or their national sales manager. There is no better time than the Global Pet Expo to meet this many people, all in one place, who are so important to your business.
Bring a list of questions or issues you may have with specific vendor’s products or services. This is also the perfect time to share your calendar of events and promotions that you have planned throughout the year. Why not have organized written programs with associated costs for participation, like discounts and vendor support requests for your anniversary promotion, customer appreciation promotions and emails, or mailers and TV advertising opportunities?
A complete, “ready to go program” in print to hand out at your meetings will increase your chances of success. You will find that if you have well thought out programs, most vendors you approach will treat your proposal seriously.
If they feel you have done the research and they will get a fair return on the dollars or discounts requested for their cooperative participation in your programs, most will help and support your promotions and advertising potential.
Don’t forget your distributors, as most of them will be attending this show as well. You should consider working with them before, during and after the show, since they will be a major component to all of your year-long promotional programs.
One important tip, start taking care of business on the first day as the exhibitors are ready and willing to talk. Most attendees say they only want to walk the show the first day. It is the perfect day to get quality time with the manufacturer’s principals and sales managers, because many may not be there on the last day of the show.
This is a large show, so don’t wait to get started or you will be rushed on the last day. Use the last day to follow-up and finalize any business previously discussed.