H.H. Backer Associates is adding more features to its annual Backer’s Total Pet Expo, including a smartphone app, a Secret Shopper contest and other attractions. The changes to the 2014 pet products trade show, which will be held September 19 to 21 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in suburban Chicago, follow a revamped 2013 exhibition.
The app, available from iTunes and Google Play, is designed for smartphones and tablet computers. It locates exhibitors, displays schedules, speaker bios and maps, and offers a QR scanner, photo gallery and social media links. The Secret Shopper contest will reward exhibitors through the use of mystery shoppers who will visit booths to assess vendors’ knowledge and service.
Also planned are the Top Ten All-Natural Product Lounge within the All-Natural Area on Level 1, which will showcase products voted on by retailers before the show; and US$10,000 in prizes for exhibitors who pitch "an interesting and innovative pet product." In addition, a preshow seminar, "The Nuts and Bolts of Bigger Retail Profits,” will be hosted by business professional Chris Beykirch on September 18.