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Get Smart at Backer’s Total Pet Expo Fall Trade Show

Pet Age Staff//July 10, 2013//

Get Smart at Backer’s Total Pet Expo Fall Trade Show

Pet Age Staff //July 10, 2013//

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As part of the many changes at Backer’s Total Pet Expo Fall Trade Show, formerly the H.H. Backer Pet Industry Christmas Trade Show, H.H. Backer will hold new, personalized “smart zone” education stations.

These small-group settings are ideal for interacting with experts and other retailers, helping to build and strengthen pet retail and pet-care businesses. Featured tracks include technology, animal health and wellness, marketing/merchandising, finance and aquatics.


The digital world is constantly changing—are business owners need to be up to speed to remain successful.

Five different topics will be presented throughout the weekend, including “How To Build a Better Website,” “Apps and More for Your Smartphone/Tablet,” “Marketing Your Business Through Social Media,” “How Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Can Bring You More Business” and “From Thick to Thin: Going Paperless.”

Speakers are Gene Sower of Samson Media and Dahlia El Gazzar and Keith Johnson of the Meeting Pool.


 Successful companies are always looking for fresh ideas on how to bring in more business, especially in a challenging economy. Expert speakers Vicki Lynne Morgan of Animal Brands, Linda Cahan of Cahan & Co. and Bill Tharp of Playful Parrot will share their expertise in marketing/merchandise on nine different topics.

 Morgan will present “Target Marketing,” “Foundations for Launching a New Business,” “Shopper Marketing,” “Bring in More Customers with Inbound Marketing” and “Guerilla Marketing.” Cahan will present “Putting More Sizzle on Your Sales Floor” and “Top Visual Merchandising Tips.” Tharp will present “Selling More Birds/Bird Products.”

 An additional session entitled “Hot Sellers: Tips for Selling Reptile Products” will also be presented.

Animal Health and Wellness

 With consumers’ increased focus on their pets’ health and well-being, it’s more important than ever for retailers to help their customers make informed choices.

 Session topics include “Top Dog and Cat Nutrition Facts” by Dr. Tim Hunt of Dr. Tim’s Pet Foods; “Tips for Selling All-Natural Products” by Stacy Pyrek of Four Legs Pets; “Healthy Pets/Health Profits” by Krista Wickens of PetZen Products/DogTread; and “Keeping Birds Healthy” by Bill Tharp of Playful Parrot.


 Sales, training, nutrition and biology are the focus of this year’s aquatic track.  Topics include “How to Sell More Complete Aquarium Setups” by Jeff Turner of Boyd Enterprises; “Dealing with Your Aquariums Biology” by Dr. Tim Hovanec of DrTim’s Aquatics LLC; “Boost Aquatic Sales with a Structured Employee Training Program” by Laurren Schmoyer of; “Selling Ponds and Pond Supplies” by Derek Dunphy of Aquascape Inc.; and “Fish Nutrition” by Les Wilson of Cobalt International.

 Turner also will present “Improving Your Aquarium Maintenance Business,” while Schmoyer also will cover “Powerful Marketing Strategies that Drive Customers to Your Aquatic Store.”


 Whether a new business owner or a seasoned industry veteran (or somewhere in between), Backer’s finance track has something worthwhile to offer everyone. All sessions will be presented by longtime Backer show speaker Tom Shay of Profits Plus.

 Session titles are “Basic Financials 101,” “Three Steps to Increasing Your Profit Margin,” “Managing Your Finances in a Challenging Economy” and “How to Get the Most from Your Accountant.”

 More Valuable Advice

 The Pet Store on the Floor area features on-call experts answering attendees’ questions on merchandising tips, POS systems and more. Backer will give away two iPads daily in this area.

Also, PetStorePro will be on hand, presenting information on more than 20 online training courses to help business owners’ employees get up to speed on a wide variety of topics. Presentations will be held twice daily right in the store.

Altogether, more than 60 different time slots are available to accommodate varying attendee schedules as part of the new “smart zone.”

Visit for a complete schedule, detailed seminar descriptions and speaker biographies. Attendees can also use this webpage to pre-register for specific sessions. Each session is limited to four stores.