32 Pet Product News International July 2016 SUPERZOO 2016 PREVIEW July 2016
There’s magic in the air at this summer’s SuperZoo— and not just because LA Lakers basketball great Magic Johnson is giving the keynote speech! The show
expanded and will cover more than 300,000 square feet of
floor space at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las
Vegas. And that means even more exhibitors, a bigger New
Product Showcase, top-quality seminars and workshops,
special networking events and even a concert with classic
rock band Styx! The main attraction, as always, is the
products on display. Check out some of the highlights in this
special Pet Product News SuperZoo 2016 preview section.
Pet Product News: SuperZoo grows
each year, to what do you attribute the show’s success?
Doug Poindexter: Our decision to move
SuperZoo to Las Vegas in 2004 marked
a major shift for the event. The relocation helped put SuperZoo on the map at
an international level and transformed
it from a more regional tradeshow—it
really has taken off and grown significantly each year since then. Our buyer
quality also improved when SuperZoo
moved locations, because people
tended to bring family and friends to
the show when it was in their backyard,
whereas owners and managers were
primarily the only people willing to
make the trip to Las Vegas. We were
thrilled to bring more buying power
to the show floor, which is something
that also excited our exhibitors and
keeps them coming back each year.
I also think SuperZoo has succeeded
year after year because we pay atten-
tion to the independent retailer and fo-
cus on attracting high-quality attend-
ees. While we certainly attract larger
distributors and retailers, we also
know and appreciate the independent
retailers and work to ensure they have
a great show experience, meeting up
with fellow professionals to network
and hunt for the best new products.
PPN: What makes SuperZoo different from other trade shows?
DP: We have a more fun and casual
atmosphere—and it’s been ingrained
in the culture of SuperZoo. That’s
partially because we continue to
focus on the independent retailer,
even with the expansion we’ve seen
in recent years. Plus, the keynote,
concert and networking opportunities make things more exciting and engaging for everyone.
PPN: What changed about this year’s show
based on previous years’ feedback?
DP: We constantly evaluate speakers
and educational programming, based
on feedback, to add new things to the
mix each year. This year, we made
a huge change to the shape of the
exhibit hall, adding two new halls
and swapping out an L-shaped layout
for a more streamlined option. There
is so much to see on the SuperZoo
show floor, and we’re making this
change to make things easier for
our busy exhibitors and attendees.
We also always want to bring in
keynote speakers who will
resonate with our audience.
This year, Earvin “Magic”
Johnson brings a solid business
background and expertise as well
as incredible name recognition. We
addressed attendees’ need for more
networking opportunities by adding a
Networking Reception last year, which
we’ll have again this year. It’s another
chance for attendees to spend time
with fellow retailers, and it’s where
we’ll present our 2016 Retailer of the
Year Award. It takes place Tuesday from
5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the North Convention Center, South Pacific Ballroom.
PPN: What do you rank as the must-see
aspects of SuperZoo 2016, and what can attendees do to make the most of their time?
DP: The New Product Showcase
definitely is a must-see for everyone
at the show this year. In terms of the
rest of the event, each business has
its own priorities for what they must
focus on at SuperZoo. Retailers need
a solid plan in advance of the show
to determine which current vendors
they need to see and new exhibitors
to network with, while leaving themselves time to wander the show floor
to make sure they don’t miss anything.
You have to go into it knowing
you can’t visit every booth, and
you need to prioritize; it’s helpful
to bring enough staff with you to
cover every segment of the show
floor that you need to see and sit
in on different education sessions.
We have tools, like our mobile app,
that make preshow planning much
easier and help retailers get as
much as they can out of the show.
At the same time, and as a former
trade show attendee myself, I encourage people to leave themselves
enough time for an impromptu discovery and to explore areas of the trade
show they might not look at otherwise.
You never know what you’ll discover!
PPN: What kinds of trends will be
showcased in a big way this year?
DP: Natural products are a major
trend in the industry. The Nature’s
Pathway area grows every year and
sells out every year, which speaks to
that big consumer desire for wellness and organic, natural products.
Pet Product News caught up with Doug Poindexter, president of World Pet Association,
AUGUST 2-4 | MANDALAY BAY CONVENTION CENTER | LAS VEGAS
the producer of SuperZoo, to talk about the secrets to the show’s success and what
changes the pet industry will see in 2016.
succeeded year after
use we pay
attention to th nt