Experience what you love about PETS+ — in person! — at the Kansas City Convention Center This year’s event has been postponed until May 2022, with exact dates TBD. Your event ticket includes: Two full days of education (see below for full agenda): Opening keynote: OmniExperiential — The Future of Pet Retail and Services Has Arrived, by Bob Negen of Whizbang! Retail Training Closing keynote: ShEd Talks, a series of short, educational talks by inspiring indies, hosted by leadership coach Shawna Schuh Interactive sessions led by industry experts and leading retailers on finding and hiring employees (including those elusive groomers), starting your own bakery department, creating new customers through events and trade shows, plus many more topics to help you better your business Breakfast and lunch each day, plus a happy hour An intimate trade show with top brands that cater to indies Event-long scavenger hunt with cool prizes And what you love most about PETS+ — networking with pet retailers and service providers from across the country THRIVE! AGENDA DAY 1 7-8 a.m. Badge Pickup The PETS+ team will welcome you with a cool badge to wear, plus educational supplies and your PETS+ Product Sample Bag. Walk-up registration will be available to those who don’t like saving money by signing up in advance. 8-9 a.m. Breakfast with Morning Announcements by PETS+ Editor-in-Chief Pamela Mitchell Fuel up for the day on us and get to know — or reconnect with — your fellow attendees and Thrive! sponsors. 9-10 a.m. Opening Keynote: OmniExperiential: The Future of Pet Retail and Services Has Arrived Pre-pandemic marketing focused on driving in-store traffic, but the pandemic changed all of that. Your customer now has different, higher expectations. Whizbang! Retail Training’s Bob Negen will help you understand “OmniExperiential,” a way of giving your customers many ways to experience your business, and provide you with tools you need to thrive in this new normal. This session will include a Q&A&S: questions and answers and shares. As a Thrive! attendee, you will lead and learn by example throughout the event. Come ready to talk about your successes as well as those efforts that haven’t worked out — lessons can be learned from both! Speaker: Bob Negen, Whizbang! Retail Training 10-10:30 a.m. Sponsor Show & Tell Walk our intimate trade show to see and hear about bestsellers and new products from our indie-loving sponsors. A scavenger hunt for big prizes and bragging rights will be part of the shopping fun. NOTE: You will be able to visit with sponsors throughout Thrive!, but we wanted to give you dedicated breaks so you don’t feel rushed. 10:30-11:10 a.m. Events Are Back! Make Them Work for You Cathy Erickson has spent more than two decades producing consumer pet expos and events that draw thousands of attendees each year — with the exception of 2020, of course, because Covid. She will teach you how to pick the right events to host or attend with your business, as well as how to plan, prep and present, and follow up after to turn the pet parents you meet into repeat customers. Includes Q&A&S. Speaker: Cathy Erickson, Great Midwest Pet Expos 11:20-noon Extra! Extra! Add On to Boost Revenue At the award-winning Wag Central in Stratford, CT, Angela Pantalone has mastered the art of “Would you like to add on a…?” She will share her most profitable options and best practices for selling and executing them, from back-to-school photo shoots in doggie day care to paw-balm massages in grooming to birthday parties in the boutique. Includes Q&A&S. Speaker: Angela Pantalone, Wag Central Noon-1 p.m. Lunch Feed your brain for the afternoon of learning to come. We’re picking up the tab again, of course. 1-2 p.m. Finding Your Next Superstar Employee The labor market is tight, really tight. Knowing how to recruit and hire skillfully — including finding candidates who will actually show up for an interview and the first day — is an incredibly important skill. Bob and Susan Negen of Whizbang! Retail Training will teach you how to make your pet business stand out to quality candidates. With insights, tools and best practices, you’ll learn how to build out your best possible team! Includes Q&A&S. Speakers: Bob and Susan Negen, Whizbang! Retail Training 2-2:30 p.m. Sponsor Show & Tell Walk our mini-trade show to see and hear about bestsellers and new products from our indie-loving sponsors. A scavenger hunt for big prizes and bragging rights will be part of the shopping fun. NOTE: You will be able to visit with sponsors throughout Thrive!, but we wanted to give you dedicated breaks so you don’t feel rushed. 2:30-3:10 p.m. Can’t Find Groomers to Hire? Groom Your Own! Qualified candidates for grooming positions are the “unicorn” of 2021 — highly desired, but difficult to find. To combat the shortage, Jessica Cooke created apprenticeships for her Yuppy Puppy Pet Spa’s two locations. She will walk you through the program, which brings in new hires as bathers and graduates them able to groom most breeds from start to finish. Yuppy Puppy has nine groomers on staff, plus three currently in apprenticeship. And her first apprentice still works there 15 years later! Includes Q&A&S. Speaker: Jessica Cooke, The Yuppy Puppy Pet Spa 3:20-4 p.m. The Bakery Department: Intro to Advanced Chances are you sell some sort of baked goods for pets, but have you thought about taking this category to the next level for increased profits and a greater customer experience? Our panel of retailers with successful bakery departments will share tips on how to start small, from personalizing plain treats and cakes you buy wholesale to adding an oven or even a kitchen to your store. They’ll also share how they’re moving/have moved into wholesale themselves! Includes Q&A&S. Speakers: Beth Staley of Happy Dog Barkery and Jennifer Thomas of Lucky Dog Bakery, plus additional panelists to be announced 4:10-4:50 p.m. Ask the Coach: Quick-Fire Edition Bob Negen and Susan Negen will join Shawna Schuh, top leadership coach and Wednesday’s keynote speaker, for a quick-fire Q&A. Ask them anything! Well, anything pet business or leadership related, that is. We’ll give each Q&A five minutes before moving on to the next. This session will be jam-packed with advice! Speakers: Bob Negen and Susan Negen of Whizbang! Retail Training and leadership coach Shawna Schuh 5-6:30 p.m. Happy Hour Join the PETS+ team and Thrive! sponsors for refreshments. You will have earned it! Have a drink — alcoholic or nonalcoholic — on us. DAY 2 7-8 a.m. Badge Pickup The PETS+ team will welcome you with a cool badge to wear, plus educational supplies and your PETS+ Product Sample Bag. Walk-up registration will be available to those who don’t like saving money by signing up in advance. 8-9 a.m. Breakfast with Morning Announcements by PETS+ Editor-in-Chief Pamela Mitchell Fuel up for the day on us and get to know — or reconnect with — your fellow attendees and Thrive! sponsors. 9-10 a.m. Be the Leader: Use Your Animal Instincts to Engage and Retain Employees Shawna Schuh puts forth that when you do as the animals do and hone your instincts, build your skills and sharpen your focus, life and teamwork improve. This inspiring session will provide valuable tips on keeping your team engaged. Includes Q&A&S. Speaker: Shawna Schuh, Leadership Coach and Speaker 10-10:30 p.m. Sponsor Show & Tell Walk our intimate trade show to see and hear about bestsellers and new products from our indie-loving sponsors. A scavenger hunt for big prizes and bragging rights will be part of the shopping fun. NOTE: You will be able to visit with sponsors throughout Thrive!, but we wanted to give you dedicated breaks so you don’t feel rushed. 10:30-11:10 a.m. Fun = Growth: How to Show Your Employees and Customers a Good Time Andy Wiltz of Woof’s Play and Stay knows how to have fun. He took a shag-covered dog car on road trips around the state and country, creating viral social media content and boosting traffic to woofsplaystay.com by upwards of 30 percent each time. His holiday photos and April Fool’s pranks are legendary, and bring in 50 percent higher engagement on Facebook. And each year, he celebrates his team with a Woofies award ceremony that creates a workplace employees don’t want to leave. Andy will share how having fun leads to growing your business. Speaker: Andy Wiltz, Woof’s Play and Stay 11:20-noon Finding the Right POS for Your Pet Business Choosing a POS system can be an overwhelming task, whether you’re setting up your business or considering a switch to one that will better serve its needs. Carmen Gates has nearly 30 years of experience in the payment processing industry and has spent the last 15 years at the helm of Point of Sale Consultants, which helps businesses of all types and sizes pick a POS that will set them up for success. This session will give you a checklist of questions to ask and features to consider, plus the opportunity to ask questions of an expert. Speaker: Carmen Gates, Point of Sale Consultants Noon-1 p.m. Lunch Feed your brain for the afternoon of learning to come. We’re picking up the tab again. 1-2 p.m. 5 Questions to Ask of Any Manufacturer Before Selling Their Product When you consider a product for your store, do you make sure to fully understand the manufacturer’s quality story? Do you look beyond packaging and marketing to identify suppliers committed to quality throughout the entire supply chain? Bill Bookout, president of the National Animal Supplement Council, will share five questions to ask of any manufacturer of any type of product. Armed with this advice, you can confidently choose products to truly stand behind. The results: customer trust and satisfaction that leads to repeat purchases. Speaker: Bill Bookout, National Animal Supplement Council 2:10-3:40 p.m. Closing Keynote: ShEd Talks Top leadership coach and speaker Shawna Schuh will host this series of short, educational talks by inspiring indies. If you would like to be one of the ShEd talk presenters, email Pamela Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org. We still have a few spots left! Speaker: Shawna Schuh 3:40-4 p.m. Wrap-up with Thrive! Awards QUESTIONS? Vendors, manufacturers and suppliers are eligible to participate in a sponsorship capacity only. To be a part of the PETS+ Thrive! ShEd Talks, please contact Editor-in-Chief Pamela Mitchell at email@example.com. To learn more about PETS+ Thrive! sponsorship opportunities, please contact Advertising Sales Director Desiree Lynch at firstname.lastname@example.org.