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Pet Connections Expo Announces 2019 Speakers

The event takes place Oct. 15-16 at the NJ Convention & Expo Center.

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(PRESS RELEASE) Pet Connections Expo has announced its education lineup and speakers.

The event takes place at the NJ Convention & Expo Center from Oct. 15-16. This year’s focus will continue to be on topics that are most important to independent pet retailers. The event will bring together pet industry buyers and suppliers to the Northeast, from around the entire country.

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“We are happy to be bringing our 2019 program to New Jersey and the opportunity to further our reach to retailers to participate before the busy holiday season. We are excited about our lineup of speakers and the vast experiences that these industry visionaries will contribute to the program. In addition to the main-stage speakers, we have a number of great Campfire Sessions throughout the two days that will certainly help retailers to succeed and grow their businesses,” said Bill Doherty, ICDevents president and show director.

This year’s programming includes many main-stage speakers and being kicked off on Oct. 15 with Paul Allen, Woof Gang Bakery, followed by Joe Zuccarello, Paragon School of Grooming. Both Allen and Zuccarello will be speaking about business opportunities independent retailers have by adding services, such as grooming, into their establishments. An Interactive Panel, Half the Bark… Twice The Bite!, moderated by Antoine Seailles of Pet Food Experts, will begin an open discussion on Ways to Success- fully Compete with Big Retail & Online, Despite Limited Budgets & Resources, immediately before the show floor opens. Pet retailers are encouraged to bring their questions and ideas.

The use of pet products containing cannabis and cannabis derivatives, including CBD, is one of the hottest topics in the pet industry today. Pet Connections Expo covers this topic with a lively panel discussion moderated by Bill Bookout, founder and CEO, National Animal Supplement Council, entitled Essential Considerations Before You Add CBD Products. Bookout commented, “This timely topic will include a panel of retailers who will share their experiences, discuss what questions they received from customers, and talk about the obstacles they had to overcome when they started offering CBD products. Most importantly, they will discuss how one of the biggest trends in years is changing their businesses and allowed them to compete more strongly with the big stores and online giants.”

Dave Ratner is back by popular demand with a presentation entitled Creating Customer Love, How to Get and Keep LOYAL Customers. This presentation will make sure your existing customers not only come back but also tell their friends to shop in your stores. Ratner commented, “I have built a pretty successful business concentrating on making sure my existing customers not only come back but tell their friends to shop in my stores. You will learn how I do it and how you can adapt my practices to your business. As a passionate crusader for indie retailers, I am thrilled to be speaking at Pet Connections Expo with some of the other truly great retail representatives throughout the country. It is an honor to share my experiences, successes, and failures with the attendees at this conference.”

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Jim Ackerman, marketing coach, will be offering ways to grow your business. According to Ackerman, “There are just a handful of foundational or cornerstone marketing principles that invariably govern the success of your marketing and advertising efforts. Unfortunately, very few independent pet business owners come to the table with a working understanding of those principles, and it hand- cuffs their ability to grow and thrive. I’ll be revealing and explaining these key principles at Pet Connections Expo, as will a formidable cadre of colleagues in an intriguing panel discussion. For growth- seeking pet business owners, none of these sessions should be missed.”

Using traditional Chinese medicine food therapy principles, veterinarian Judy Morgan will guide retailers on how to recommend the best foods to help individual pet needs. Having this information will make you stand out in the pet retail space. “Independent pet retailers need to be armed with ammunition that will help them stay ahead of online retailers. Pet Connections Expo will provide invaluable re- sources, including a panel of pet industry professionals with decades of experience. Understanding client needs and concerns from a veterinary perspective can give a competitive edge,” Morgan said.

Pet Connections Expo will be introducing a new 2-1⁄2-hour Boot Camp for Independent Pet Retailers, Tactical Lessons to Drive More Sales this Holiday Season, facilitated by Lynn Switanowski, Creative Business Consulting Group. This session will kick off the second day of the show on Oct. 16 and be filled with easy-to-implement strategies that all businesses should be doing to drive more sales for the holiday season … and beyond. Attendees will leave with a list of simple things that every business owner/manager must do to compete with national chains and own their local markets.

Switanowski commented, “I’m thrilled to be speaking at Pet Connections Expo — at such an important time of year and at such an important business building show. The cost is free to attend, and the marketing lessons presented during the Boot Camp are focused on helping businesses maximize fourth-quarter sales, with actionable tips and tactics to be used immediately, and for years to come.”

In its third year, Pet Connections Expo is a trade-only event for pet professionals, offering free, educational sessions that help independent retailers compete with the larger brick and mortars, as well as the online giants. Buyers and suppliers from around the country attend to buy and sell products, just in time for the holiday rush, network with partners, pitch and exchange ideas, and so much more. For more information, visit petconexpo.com, twitter.com/PetConExpo and facebook.com/Petconexpo.

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