SuperZoo, North America’s leading pet retail trade exposition and conference produced by World Pet Association (WPA), recently wrapped its largest show to date at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas with a more than four percent increase in attendees and eight percent increase in companies attending over 2015, as well as nearly 1,200 exhibitors participating. These record-breaking numbers cemented SuperZoo’s place as the largest pet retail show in North America in terms of both buyer and exhibitor participation.
The redesigned exhibit hall—with an additional 85,000 square feet of exhibit space—saw more than 820 new products make their debut as part of the popular New Product Showcase. SuperZoo attendees voted on the best new products in the showcase, awarding prizes in eight categories.
More than 90 education sessions covered a wide variety of topics, including staff training, human resources, leadership, social media, customer service and marketing, among others. Grooming and service industry education sessions were geared toward how to build your business by adding rapid growth areas including day care, boarding and dog training. Animal wellness sessions focused on small animal care in stores and best practices geared toward birds, reptiles and fish.
Earvin “Magic” Johnson, basketball legend and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises, kicked off SuperZoo’s trade show with an inspiring keynote focusing on how he parlayed his skills and tenacity on the court into success in the business world.
“The quality and depth of SuperZoo’s speakers, education sessions, attendees and exhibitors was incredible,” said Doug Poindexter, president of WPA. “SuperZoo is continually evolving and growing to meet the needs of pet retailers as well as the trends in the industry and this year demonstrated WPA’s sustained commitment to contributing to the pet industry’s continued success.”
“We launched our product, GingerLead, three years ago at SuperZoo and have grown tremendously,” said Liz Rubenstein, founder of GingerLead and a SuperZoo 2016 exhibitor. “It was our first retail trade convention and it helped vastly expand our business; the quality of the buyers, the number of buyers and exhibiting opportunities at SuperZoo are unmatched.”
SuperZoo also crowned winners in 18 grooming categories, with Ide Kyoko of Tokyo winning Rescue Rodeo, Victor Rosado of Puerto Rico winning the Best In Show award and Catherine Opson of Dana Point, California, winning the Best All Around Pet Stylist award. There were 145 registered contestants and 226 dogs groomed over the three days of competition, with 15 countries represented and judges coming from five nations.
In addition, WPA announced the winner of its inaugural Show Us Your Good Works social media photo contest. HuggleHounds took home the honors for their program, Huggles for Heroes, which supports Warrior Canine Connection by donating a percentage of sales from selected products. They will have $1,000 donated in their name by WPA to the National Animal Interest Alliance.
Legendary rock band Styx headlined a sold-out concert at House of Blues, treating SuperZoo attendees to an incredible evening laced with their biggest hits, including “Lady,” “Come Sail Away” and “Renegade.”
A gallery of photos from SuperZoo 2016 is available for download here.
SuperZoo will return to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, July 25-27, 2017, with conference sessions July 24-26. For more information about SuperZoo, visit www.superzoo.org.