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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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JIM ACKERMAN

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Pet Partners Launches New Chapter in Southern California

To manage the Southern California Chapter, it has added two new members to its staff.

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Tedd Rosenfeld and Kevin Lian

(PRESS RELEASE) BELLEVUE, WA – Pet Partners, the nation’s leading organization in registering therapy animals for animal-assisted interventions, announced the launch of its new chapter, Pet Partners of Southern California, designed to meet the growing demand for therapy animal teams throughout the area. Southern California will be home to the first of four newly established Pet Partners chapters and will combine the opportunities available in the local community with the best practices put in place by Pet Partners International Headquarters, while also serving as an extension of existing Pet Partners community-based groups.

“As Pet Partners, and the demand for therapy animal visits, continues to grow, we are committed to dedicating more localized resources across the country to organize and guide our volunteers,” said Annie Peters, president and CEO of Pet Partners. “With the formation of the Southern California Chapter, our dedicated volunteers will be empowered to more directly focus their efforts on sharing the love of their pets with those in need.”

To manage the Southern California Chapter, Pet Partners has added two new members to its staff.

Kevin Lian will hold the title of executive director of Pet Partners of Southern California. He comes to Pet Partners with extensive knowledge in staff leadership and development, finance management, and donor relations, having most recently worked at the Boys & Girls Clubs of West San Gabriel Valley. Lian is a graduate of UC Irvine, where he received his BA in sociology. If you are part of a business or organization in the Southern California area and would like more information about the healing power of therapy animals, Lian can be reached at kevinl@petpartners.org.

Tedd Rosenfeld will serve as the Pet Partners program manager for Pet Partners of Southern California. He brings more than 35 years of experience in the broadcast television industry. For the past 18 years, Rosenfeld has volunteered with Pet Partners as an evaluator and handler. He played a major role in establishing therapy animal programs in several Los Angeles hospitals. If you live in the Southern California area and are interested in the Pet Partners Therapy Animal Program, you can reach Rosenfeld at teddr@petpartners.org.

“With their previous experience and passion for animal-assisted therapy, Kevin and Tedd are the ideal candidates to kick off our chapter program,” said Peters. “We are thrilled to have them on our team and look forward to everything they will accomplish in their new roles.”

Therapy animals, such as those who participate in the Pet Partners Therapy Animal Program, provide affection and comfort to members of the public, typically in facility settings such as hospitals, assisted living, and schools. These pets have a special aptitude for interacting with members of the public and enjoy doing so. Therapy animal handlers volunteer their time to visit with their animals in the community.

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Portland Pet Food Company to Distribute in East Through Generation Pet

Generation Pet will immediately begin rolling out Portland Pet Food Company products.

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(PRESS RELEASE) Portland Pet Food Company, manufacturer of all-natural, human-grade food and treats for dogs announced it has begun distribution with Generation Pet in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.

“From coast to coast, Generation Pet strives to bring the best for your pet. That’s why we chose the Portland Pet Food Company,” said Doug John, owner of Generation Pet.

Generation Pet will immediately begin rolling out Portland Pet Food Company products to the over 700 stores it services throughout its territories, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Washington, DC, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and New York.

“Speaking for all of us at Portland Pet Food Company, we are thrilled to expand distribution to meet the growing demand for our products,” said Kathleen McCarron, Portland Pet Food Company founder and Top Dog. “We are pleased to have partnered with the Generation Pet team and know their management team is committed to our brand’s success.”

Portland Pet Food Company creates “Human Food for Dogs.” Founded in 2014 by Portlander McCarron and son Matt, the business has grown into a family affair with husband David and daughter Mairead lending their expertise as the company and staff have grown. Portland Pet Food Company currently cooks its own dog food, meal toppers and treats with future plans to expand its offerings. Five percent of sales are donated to local animal-related nonprofits. Portland Pet Food Company is a licensed pet food manufacturer that follows the recommendations of the American Association of Feed Control Officials. Company products are certified for export to Canada and other countries. Portland Pet Food Company is certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise and Small Emerging Business. For more information, visit portlandpetfoodcompany.com.

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BAYDOG Expands Team with 2 New Members

The company has hired a new chief marketing officer and a social media & brand manager.

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Mikey Centrella and Morgan Foery

(PRESS RELEASE) The Chesapeake Bay Dog Company, BAYDOG brand of performance-oriented dog products, has welcomed two new employees to its team.

Mikey Centrella has joined The Chesapeake Bay Dog Company as the chief marketing officer. Centrella is digital marketing and communications expert who has helped global brands, nonprofits, universities, and arts institutions achieve success with digital branding, marketing and advertising. Over the past 18 plus years he has held VP roles with PR and advertising agencies such as Ogilvy, Publicis and AKQA, and has run digital campaigns for P&G, Citibank, General Mills and Discovery Channel. With his knowledge in social media marketing and branding, Centrella will be responsible for maximizing growth and establishing a strong digital presence for BAYDOG.

The Chesapeake Bay Dog Company has also hired Morgan Foery as its social media & brand manager. Foery is a social media strategist and designer with success in developing and building brand identity. Over the past five years, she has worked with startups such as Amy Believes in Pink Boutique, Kaeli Smith, Sea Dipped, and several independent influencers. Her work has been featured in J.Crew and Coastal Living, and on TLC. With her background in design and social media, Foery will be guiding BAYDOG’s content creation and brand identity.

“We are very excited to add Mikey and Morgan to our team,” said Barton O’Brien, founder of The Chesapeake Bay Dog Company. “They both bring a wealth of branding and social media knowledge to BAYDOG as we continue support our brick and mortar retail partners by building our overall brand awareness.”

Centrella concurred: “I’m thrilled to join the team and improve upon BAYDOG’s online experience to date. This brand, at its core, has a story that resonates with customers both online and in retail stores. Having been a Beagle owner for years, and recently getting a new Labrador retriever puppy, I know that when dogs are a central part of your family, you want the best for them. Everything in the BAYDOG line is designed to last and is reasonably priced, which is a refreshing change from what I’ve encountered in a lot of big-box pet stores.”

Foery mentioned: “I’m so excited to be joining BAYDOG and sharing stories of people adventuring with dogs. And I’m looking forward to working with the BAYDOG team and their customers — people who love their dogs as much as I do! It’s a great brand and I can’t wait to expand our social media presence.”

The Chesapeake Bay Dog Company launched in 2018 and is headquartered in Annapolis, MD. It is 100 percent veteran-owned and offers a full line of performance-oriented dog accessories. All products are 100 percent guaranteed and can be found in over 500 stores nationally and in Canada.

baydog.com

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