4 | 2018 Global Pet Expo Show Preview
PPN: What makes Global Pet Expo unique on the pet trade show circuit in
terms of its value to both attendees and exhibitors?
DARMOHRAJ: One aspect that truly sets Global Pet Expo apart is our
qualification process for attending the show. By fully vetting our
attendees, we’re ensuring that time spent on the show floor is
with those with the most potential to truly impact one’s business,
whether it be their pet store or their product company. Global Pet
Expo 2018 will feature more new products and qualified buyers
than any other trade show of its kind. A qualified buyer attending
Global Pet Expo works for an established business with a proven
record of purchasing pet products from a manufacturer or distributor in quantity for resale to the consumer. Global Pet Expo
has an unmatched qualification process that ensures buyers are
attending this show to make purchasing decisions and place orders with our exhibitors.
Our exhibitor base is unique as well. All the major pet industry
companies based in the U.S. are represented. Because of the diversity of buyers attending Global Pet Expo—independent retailers,
distributors, mass market and international retailers—these manufacturers show their full product lines. Additionally, our large
representation of small manufacturers gives all buyers access to
products that they won’t find anywhere else. Finally, 27 percent of
our exhibitors are from outside the U.S., and they exhibit product
that can’t be found outside the show.
Furthermore, Global Pet Expo is the largest annual trade
show in the pet industry and the first one of the year, providing
attendees a prime opportunity to see what’s new and trending
in innovative products before they are seen anywhere else. Additionally, Global Pet Expo offers free educational seminars on
the latest trends and best practices for building and growing a pet
business. Over the past 13 years, Global Pet Expo has continued to
expand and evolve to best meet the needs of our attendees, including informative speakers, a wide variety of brands and products,
relevant networking opportunities and the chance to connect with
buyers from 79 countries. Global Pet Expo has come to be known
as the premier industry event, and we are tremendously proud to
present this quality experience in Orlando, Fla., which offers easy
access with an international airport and a vast array of lodging
and entertainment options.
PPN: What pet product trends should attendees be on the lookout for while
shopping the show floor this year?
DARMOHRAJ: One of the easiest ways to check out the latest in pet
products and emerging trends is to visit our 30,000-square-foot
New Products Showcase. In 2018, we will have more entries than
ever before—more than 1,000 entries are expected. It’s always tough
to know in advance what exactly the new trends will be, as many
companies work on their new product launches right up until show
time, but I can tell you our Natural Pet Section has been one of the
fastest-growing sections on the show floor, so we continue to expect
new innovations that fall under the “natural” category. This may
include food and treats made with new natural ingredients or even
supplies and accessories made from trendy natural material.
PPN: The New Products Showcase is definitely a major highlight of the event
each year. What makes it so important to industry participants?
DARMOHRAJ: Because there is over 343,000 net square feet of exhibit
space, the New Products Showcase is a very popular destination on
the show floor for attendees to go to directly to see what is brand
new in the industry, all in one location. This section provides ex-
hibitors an extra opportunity to get their product in front of at-
tendees and is a must for any company launching a new product.
In 2017, the New Products Showcase featured more new product launches than any other show in the industry, with nearly 1,000
entries in a redesigned 30,000-square-foot space. This special section recognizes the year’s best creative efforts in new products and
point-of-purchase displays. The New Products Showcase Best in
Show awards are among the most-coveted awards given in the
industry. Winners will be announced at the Eighth Annual New
Products Showcase Awards presentation set to take place Thursday, March 22. In order to be eligible to win, products must be
entered in the New Products Showcase.
PPN: What is on tap for the Global Pet Expo Academy this year? What should
attendees know about the seminar lineup for 2018?
DARMOHRAJ: We have an outstanding lineup planned for 2018! This
year’s Global Pet Expo Academy brings a first-class educational
program that is free for attendees. Each session is designed to
deepen one’s knowledge and put their business on the road to success. The broad range of topics include social media, marketing,
merchandising, customer service, human resources, management
and more. Attendees can also take advantage of two pre-show
training opportunities designed to grow their business and help
them make better HR decisions. Every Global Pet Expo Academy
session is jam-packed with useful tips and expert advice from the
experiences of today’s most successful retail educators. Show goers can learn what works—and what doesn’t—from real-world
examples and in-depth case studies. They’ll pick up hundreds
of best practices to put into action immediately and for years to
come. And they’ll find out about dozens of no- and low-cost apps
and online tools to use to boost their bottom line. And the mini
sessions offer a great learning opportunity right on the show floor.
PPN: What should attendees be doing right now to prepare for the show and
ensure that they maximize their time there?
DARMOHRAJ: It is really important to plan your travel as soon as
you can. Get the dates on your calendar and book your airfare. Be
sure to book directly through globalpetexpo.org/housing to get
the best rates.
Buyers should make sure to check out our Global Pet Expo
Academy and sign up for the seminars most important to them.
Schedules fill up fast, and it’s important to set aside time to take
advantage of these one-of-a-kind seminars offered at no cost. I
would also advise buyers to take a look at the show floor layout and to begin mapping out sections or even companies with
whom they wish to meet. The more you can have planned out in
advance, the more efficient the experience will be.
For exhibitors, navigating through the checklist of needs is always helpful. We offer exhibitor tips and a timeline on the Global
Pet Expo website, which can be very handy and includes links for
easy access. It reminds exhibitors to make their hotel accommodations, register for badges, and make sure all their booth material is
in order, amongst other important pre-show tasks. On the marketing front, it’s important to make sure all sales material/collateral
are in order. This may include: business cards, sales sheets, takeaways and anything else that might help you stand out to buyers.
The exhibitor tips and timeline also include marketing tips and
important deadlines for such things as sponsorships, advertising
For more information, go to globalpetexpo.org.