The changes are designed to increase buyer attendance, highlight innovative new exhibitors, and focus on education and networking. New attractions and a new graphic look, as well as educational program designed to keep buyers in the exhibit hall are among the features.
The spring show will include a new 280-square-meter retail pet store serving as a resource center on store layout, merchandising, staff training and POS options. Experts will also be on hand to provide advice and tips on staff training, and buyers can interact with live animals. An Idea Wall provides a forum for sharing and reading retail tips.
Another change is the Smart Zone, a new exhibit hall with education stations to keep buyers on the show floor longer. It will include tracks on technology, business management, marketing/merchandising, aquatics and animal health/wellness. Industry experts will offer free advice for small groups of attendees on topics ranging from social media marketing strategies to merchandising trends.
A full schedule of more than 50 sessions will be available online beginning in February 2014.