Andrew Darmohraj, executive vice president and COO of the American Pet Products Association (APPA) announced that Global Pet Expo 2018 ended its 14th show with record-setting size during the three-day industry event. Global Pet Expo, presented by APPA and the Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA), offered a show floor spanning 352,300 net square feet of exhibit space to accommodate the attendees and booths.
Global Pet Expo 2018 experienced growth in the number of exhibiting companies with 1,164, up three percent from 2017, with 272 first-time exhibitors making their debut at the show. The show floor also expanded with 3,523 booths, a 2.5 percent increase over last year’s Show. Total buyer attendance was 6,508, representing 77 countries from around the world. More than 2,100 buyers attended Global Pet Expo for the first time, which is a 26 percent increase from 2017.
This year’s Global Pet Expo offered new educational and networking opportunities and increased social media engagement. Mini educational sessions took place in the New Products Showcase, and aquatic seminars in the Aquatic Lounge on the Show Floor welcomed members of the aquarium industry.
The 2018 expanded Academy attracted nearly 1,800 attendees, up 12.5 percent from 2017. The Academy, managed by PIDA, featured 20 speakers offering 35 hours of retailer education on topics such as social media marketing, competing with online retailers, merchandising tips, customer service solutions and topics in employment law.
Social media engagement also increased in 2018. Compared to last year, 25 percent more people were retweeting, mentioning and hash-tagging about Global Pet Expo 2018 on Twitter, while on Instagram, the #GlobalPetExpo hashtag was used nearly 10,000 times. New for this year, Global Pet Expo took advantage of the growing popularity of Instagram stories by posting our own, while more than a hundred people mentioned the show in their Instagram stories. Global Pet Expo also received over 1,000 Facebook live views, and more than 5,000 people saw the show’s Snapchat filter.
Global Pet Expo featured more than 1,000 entries in the 30,000 square-foot New Products Showcase, as more buyers turned out than ever before, casting twice as many votes for their favorite products. Now in its eighth year, the New Products Showcase “Best in Show” awards ceremony took place on the show floor where awards were handed out to best in show, second and third place winners across nine categories. Petronics, Inc. took home the top prize in the Cat category with their “Mousr,” and Aquapaw, LLC took home the top dog category award with their “Aquapaw Pet Bathing System.” With more entrants and more votes cast in 2018 than any previous year, buyers narrowed down top picks to determine the winners.
During Global Pet Expo, APPA released its annual pet industry spending figures, announcing a record-breaking US$69.51 billion in pet spending for 2017, up from US$66.75 billion in 2016. Estimated spending for 2018 is US$72.13 billion; another 3.7 percent growth.
Global Pet Expo is open to independent retailers, distributors, mass-market buyers and other qualified professionals. It is not open to the general public. The 2019 Global Pet Expo will take place Wednesday – Friday, March 20-22, 2019 in Orlando, FL, at the Orange County Convention Center.
By Lindsay Beaton
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By Lindsay Beaton