The premiere of Interzoo.digital, organized by Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft Zoologischer Fachbetriebe GmbH (WZF), was eagerly awaited: The online format of the world’s leading trade fair for pet supplies attracted 14,537 participants from over 100 countries to the platform from 1 to 4 June. Among them were 9,513 visitors (around 30 percent from Germany) who gathered information on the latest food and care products, accessories, trends and services for pets at the 336 exhibitor profiles from 48 countries, including 78 from Germany. The portal will further be available until the end of June. At the opening of Interzoo.digital, Julia Klöckner, Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, praised Interzoo as a “driving innovation force in the pet industry.”
“We are very happy about the large number of interactions and the versatile professional discussions during Interzoo.digital. In addition to numerous lectures and discussions within our supporting programme, the participants exchanged a total of around 130,000 chat messages and 2,300 person-to-person video calls. In particular, the company profiles received a lot of attention. More than 210,000 out of around 445,000 visits were on exhibitor profiles”, says Dr. Rowena Arzt, Director Exhibitions at WZF. “Implemented with a lot of pioneering spirit from all sides, Interzoo.digital was innovative, interactive and informative. The global pet industry finally came together again centrally to present new products and trends and to exchange ideas on fundamental topics”, concluded Gordon Bonnet, Managing Director of WZF and ZZF, at the end of the last day of the fair.
Even after the official trade fair phase, which has now been completed, the digital platform will still be available. Until 30 June, it is possible to visit the profiles, view congress contributions and retrieve information. Networking tools and even video calls are still open for registered participants. With these options, the organizer WZF wants to ensure the greatest possible benefit of the digital platform for all exhibitors, visitors and media representatives. In addition to the company profiles and the product presentations of the exhibitors, the supporting program encountered great interest from the start: The broadcast of the opening was watched almost 3,000 times by participants from all over the world on the first day of the fair. Thirty percent of these came from Germany. The other top five visiting countries are Great Britain, the Netherlands and Italy, followed by Spain and France.
At the opening, the speakers focused on the increased interest in the handling of pets since the pandemic and the responsibility of the pet industry to provide animal-friendly care for fellow residents. According to the German Pet Trade and Industry Association ZZF (Zentralverband Zoologischer Fachbetriebe Deutschlands e.V.), the number of pets in Germany has increased by nearly one million to almost 35 million dogs, cats, small mammals and ornamental birds, and the market research institute Euromonitor International predicts a worldwide increase in sales with pet supplies of more than 7.5 percent this year.
ZZF President Norbert Holthenrich: “If the social importance of pets continues to grow, the expertise of the pet industry is in demand. We should therefore clearly support a fair and sustainable trade of animals and raise our voice against dubious traders or mass breeders who do not put the welfare of animals first.” Katharina Engling, Chairwoman of the Interzoo Trade Fair Advisory Board, has been working with office dogs and thus for a positive coexistence between humans and pets for years: “Of course, it’s not possible without rules, because we have to focus on our work. But it’s wonderful when the dogs are there.”
Julia Klöckner, Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, called on the industry to join forces in the fight for more animal welfare in the pet trade in view of the increasing number of illegal traders. Good advice to potential buyers is an important objective. Dr. Andrea Beetz, psychologist and president of the International Society for Animal Assisted Therapy (ISAAT), also stressed in her speech that the pandemic has made the importance of pets more obvious than ever. “Playing with your pet means focusing on the here and now. That can be very healthy. You don’t have to worry about tomorrow or yesterday. Even if it’s only a few minutes a day.”
In addition to these important ethical and political issues, Interzoo.digital featured numerous lectures and discussions on industry trends, market developments, marketing opportunities, best practices, sustainability aspects, digitization and much more.
The next edition of Interzoo will take place from 24 to 27 May 2022 on the grounds of NürnbergMesse. A large number of international exhibitors have already registered for this event.
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