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5 Tips to Prepare for a Pet Business Trade Show

Judy Breton, director of grooming and special services at WPA, shares her best advice.

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(PRESS RELEASE) As the director of grooming and special services at World Pet Association, I have experienced the ins and outs of the pet business industry from the perspective of the small business groomer to the large chain product retailer. Whether you are a retailer, groomer or service provider, there is no shortage of resources or information online to help you keep up with the latest innovations and consumer trends, but I’ve discovered that nothing can compare to the value of learning and collaborating with industry peers in person. An estimated 99 percent of marketers have said they found unique value from trade shows that they did not get from other marketing mediums.

While attending a trade show may seem a bit overwhelming at first, there are plenty of steps you can take to ensure that you and your team have a successful event. Here are my top five tips to prepare for a pet business trade show, whether it’s your first or twentieth time:

Do your research. To get the most out of your experience, start early in preparing your business to have a presence at the show. Determine what knowledge or skills you’d like to take away when all is said and done. Are you looking to boost sales? Learn a new skill? Earn a professional certification? Drive online traffic for your business? No matter what your objective is, most trade shows offer an education track that’s right for you. Once you have determined your needs, select sessions and events that will give you the most support, ideas and tools to bring back to your business and implement.

Get your community involved. In recent years, catering to customers has become more focused on building a community and less transactional. For them to return to your business, they want to feel valued for their loyalty and involved in your success. This is a great opportunity to include them in your trade show journey. I recommend adding an “Education Fund” jar in your store at the check-out counter and share with your customers that you are planning to attend a trade show with your employees to gain hands-on education and find ways to better your business. Get them excited about what this will mean for your business and their future customer experience. Ask them what products they would like you to review and consider bringing those into your marketing mix. They will want to return to your business to see if you took their suggestions to heart.

Be social. If you are not already active on social media, what are you waiting for? It is estimated that 71 percent of consumers who have a good social media service experience with a brand are more likely to recommend that brand to others. Share your business journey with your audience as you experience and capture every exciting moment of the trade show on your social channels, whether it’s live tweeting your key takeaways from an education session or posting Instagram Stories of yourself walking through the show floor. Follow along with the trade show’s social channels to get insight into what types of businesses, exhibitors, speakers, and attendees are also planning to be onsite.

Is that all-natural shampoo supplier your customers rave about promoting a new product line? Is there a seminar led by one of your favorite mentors in the pet industry? Network with them! Reach out to schedule pre-show meetings with other businesses that you know will be in attendance. Networking at an industry event can transform your business in ways you cannot even imagine and there is no better time or place than a trade show. Don’t forget to bring plenty of business cards!

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Recap your event. When you return to your business, be sure to share with your customers what new techniques you mastered, any new products you brought back or certifications you earned. Follow-up with connections you made at the event and maintain those relationships throughout the year.

One of the best shows any newcomer or seasoned professional in the pet products or grooming industry can attend is Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference, featuring North America’s largest grooming competition. Put your trade show skills to practice at this year’s conference March 7-10, 2019, at the Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta, Georgia. To register to attend, visit atlantapetfair.org/attendee-contestant-info/registration/

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Press Releases

Emerald Pet Releases Wholly Fish! Treats

It’s free of chicken and poultry.

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(PRESS RELEASE) Wholly Fish! Chicken-Free Feline Treats and Wholly Fish! Chicken-Free + Digestive Health Treats are made using only real salmon or tuna and natural poultry-free ingredients. Crafted specifically to be free of chicken and poultry for those cats looking for a pure, premium crunchy fish option. The first ingredient is real salmon or real tuna with no fish meal. Available in limited ingredient recipes in Salmon or Tuna, and also available in our unique Feline Wholly Fish! + Digestive Health which contain natural ginger root and turmeric to help support digestion and reduce inflammation. Treats contain only one calorie each, are made in the USA and are grain-, gluten-, soy- and dairy-free.

emeraldpet.com

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Chase ‘N Chomp Amazing Squeaker Ball in Pet Life Today

It’s a ball inside of a ball!

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(PRESS RELEASE) HALETHORPE, MD – Caitec (www.caitec.com) announced its Chase ‘N Chomp Amazing Squeaker Ball was featured in Pet Life Today’s, “Best Dog Balls”. Pet Life Today is a free resource offering expert information on pets in areas of pet care, tips and pet product buying advice. The Chase ‘N Chomp Amazing Squeaker Ball product features that stood out to Pet Life Today’s reviewers are the, “Revolutionary squeaker that makes fun sounds, its float-ability and its soft, durable material that’s safe for pets.” The product also has a very unique feature – it is actually a ball inside of a ball! Since a dog can also see the inner ball it helps with continuous engagement.

“We appreciate the recognition from Pet Life Today,” said Terry Gao, Caitec’s president. “The Amazing Squeaker Ball has been an ‘amazing’ seller since its debut and it is a true innovation in the dog toy category.”

To experience the Amazing Squeaker Ball for yourself, please visit Caitec (booth #2835) at Global Pet Expo.

Please visit here to see the official Amazing Squeaker Ball listing.

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Hound & Gatos Pet Food Packaging Refreshed

It’s designed to grab pet parents’ attention.

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(PRESS RELEASE) ST. FRANCIS, WI – Gott Pet Products announces a fresh look for its recently acquired Hound & Gatos dog and cat food line. According to Patrick McGarry, general manager, the bold new logo is appropriate for a strong, dependable brand. The latest can labels, which are designed in warm colors to catch consumers’ eyes and feature pets with real pieces of grilled meat, poultry and fish, “are meant to convey the carnivorous instincts of dogs and cats, as these ancestral formulations recreate a Paleolithic diet for them to enjoy.”

Animal protein-focused nutrition is a claim Hound & Gatos is qualified to make, since all of its 24 canned recipes are formulated with 98% real meat, plus a precisely balanced vitamin-mineral mix. The result is an entirely grain-free line of premium natural foods that can be served as a complete meal or mixed with kibble to enhance flavor and nutrition.

McGarry is confident the updated Hound & Gatos packaging is on-target for a new generation of shoppers, while still catering to the brand’s current loyal customers, and that it will be impactful on retail shelves, because it was optimized with collective feedback from several professionally conducted consumer focus groups. He wanted to reassure retailers and pet owners that despite the package revamp, “no changes have been made to these premium formulas. These remain the same great-tasting recipes that have been pleasing pets for several years.”

The new packaging will be available to retailers and distributors this spring. To learn more about Hound & Gatos, please visit www.houndgatos.com or email info@houndgatos.com

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