Global Pet Expo 2016 experienced record-setting attendance and new product launches during the three-day show.

Global Pet Expo, presented by the American Pet Products Association (APPA) and the Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA), featured more than 320,000 net square feet of exhibit space (nearly 10,000 feet larger than 2015), to accommodate the growing numbers in booths and attendees.

In 2016, Global Pet Expo experienced a spike in domestic buyers at 4,679, an 8.4% increase over last year, with a total of 6,170 buyers in attendance. The show also boasted more than 3,000 new pet product launches, 1,087 exhibitors and 3,218 booths sold – the highest post-show numbers to date. Total show attendance came to 15,478 people.

“For the exhibitors, this is their opportunity to debut the hottest, newest products at the industry’s first show of the year, which is why we consistently enjoy increased buyer attendance each year,” said Andrew Darmohraj, executive vice president and chief operating officer of APPA. “It is incredibly rewarding to experience continued growth and recognition for the show that has become the must-attend industry event of the year.”

On a truly global front, 21% of exhibitors were international, making up 233 of the 1,087 exhibitors. An impressive 24% of buyers were from outside of the U.S., coming from 76 countries – another clear indication that Global Pet Expo has once again proved itself as a key trading opportunity for companies from around the world.

The 2016 show featured more new product launches than any other show in the industry, and had 950 entries in the 30,000 square-foot New Products Showcase alone. Now in its sixth year, the New Products Showcase Awards Presentation also proved successful. The “Best in Show” ceremony took place on the show floor where awards were handed out to Best in Show, Second and Third place winners across nine categories. Ware Manufacturing took home the top prize in the Cat category with their new “Bark-N-Cats Now Cats Are Really Barking Up the Right Tree” toy and Moody Pet Inc. took home top Dog category award with their new “Humunga Bling” toy. With more entrants than ever, buyers narrowed down top picks to determine the winners.

“The level of diversity and innovation in new products launched at Global Pet Expo never ceases to amaze me,” said Darmohraj. “This was another fantastic year filled with everything from high-tech and high-end products to those that leave people thinking, ‘why didn’t I think of that?’”