Andrew Darmohraj, executive vice president and COO of the American Pet Products Association (APPA) is proud to announce Global Pet Expo successfully wrapped its 15th Show with record-setting numbers during the three-day Premier Industry Event. Global Pet Expo, presented by APPA and the Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA), boasted a Show Floor spanning 360,400 net square feet of exhibit space. In total 17,207 attendees took part in this year’s tremendous event.

Global Pet Expo 2019, dubbed The One Show to Attend, experienced remarkable growth across the board with total buyer attendance up an impressive 8 percent from the 2018 Show at 7,029 and up an astonishing 61 percent from the inaugural 2005 Show. International buyers made up 29 percent of the buyer attendance, a 4 percent increase over last year, representing 81 countries. And nearly half or 3,565 buyers attended Global Pet Expo for the first time. The number of exhibiting companies came in at 1,174, with 295 first-time exhibitors making their debut at the Show, an 8 percent increase over 2018. Additionally, Global Pet Expo had 304 international exhibitors representing 35 countries at the Show. The Show Floor also expanded with 3,604 booths, a 2.3 percent increase over last year’s Show.

Global Pet Expo featured more than 1,000 entries in the massive 45,000 square-foot New Products Showcase, which was a notable 15,000 square feet larger than the showcase at the 2018 Show. Now in its ninth 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. Ethical Products took home the top prize in the Cat category with their new “Gone Fishin’ Cat Toys” and My Pet Pail by Pet Partners Worldwide took home top Dog category award with their new “My Pet Pail.” With more entrants and more votes cast than ever, buyers narrowed down top picks to determine the winners. Visit the press center on GlobalPetExpo.org for a full list of the New Products Showcase winners.

“The level of innovation we continue to see each and every year at Global Pet Expo is truly remarkable and is a key factor in the continued growth we have experienced,” said Darmohraj. “The record numbers we have reported across the board exceeded our expectations and we’re thrilled to announce plans to further expand the Show Floor in 2020 to accommodate our growing number of exhibiting companies and booths. We are grateful to our loyal attendees who have played an integral role in making this the Industry’s Premier Event.”

The 2019 Global Pet Expo Academy was also a huge success attracting nearly 1,700 attendees. The Academy, managed by PIDA, featured 12 speakers offering 37 hours of free retailer education on topics such as marketing, merchandising, customer service and the hottest topics on using social media and embracing social responsibility.

“We are proud to be serving an important need in the pet industry by offering free access to best-known and most-admired authorities in the pet industry at the Global Pet Expo Academy,” commented PIDA president Celeste Powers. “We look forward to the opportunity to continue assisting our members by providing valuable education for their customers that can help mean success in their future business endeavors.”

Social media engagement was also at an all-time high, as the Show employed the latest trends to reach thousands of users.  Hundreds of attendees took to Twitter retweeting, mentioning and hash-tagging about Global Pet Expo 2019. And the #GlobalPetExpo hashtag has now been used 15,000 times on Instagram. The Global Pet Expo Instagram account saw a 31 percent increase in followers since the 2018 Show, in addition to the 27,000 thousand views received on the Show’s Instagram Stories. New this year, Global Pet Expo took advantage of the growing popularity of Facebook photo frames and offered a custom frame to highlight Facebook users’ participation at the Show. And, Global Pet Expo’s custom Snapchat filter was seen by more than 5,400 people.

Global Pet Expo also garnered national media attention from outlets eager to share the latest trends and products with their pet-owning audience. From representatives covering for NBC, CBS, Fox, Univision, Florida Today/USA Today, Parade Magazine, industry trade and consumer publications and more, Global Pet Expo provided fun and exciting content on endless amounts of pet product and ownership information, and caught the attention of such notable outlets as BuzzFeed, the Huffington Post and Bustle. And, more social media influencers than ever before took part in this year’s Show, garnering thousands of impressions for Global Pet Expo amongst their large fan bases on social media.

During Global Pet Expo, APPA released its annual pet industry spending figures- announcing a record-breaking $72.56 billion in pet spending for 2018, up from $69.51 billion in 2017.  Estimated spending for this year is $75.38 billion; a 3.9 percent growth. Also released at the Show were initial findings from APPA’s 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey. The Survey revealed that 67 percent of U.S. households own at least one pet; an estimated 84.9 million homes. Millennials represent the largest segment of pet owners for all pet types owned, especially bird owners, small animal owners, and saltwater fish owners. And for the first time, the Survey assessed members of the emerging Generation Z (Gen Z). The releases can be found in their entirety in the Association’s press center at www.americanpetproducts.org.

“There has never been such an exciting time to be a part of this industry,” said APPA CEO Steve King. “The continued success and impressive growth of Global Pet Expo and the entire pet industry further solidifies the importance pets play in our lives and that we truly value them as important members of our families.” He added, “I have no doubt the 2020 Show will continue to inspire both newcomers to the industry as well as those of us who have been involved for many years. The level of ingenuity in products never ceases to amaze me.”    

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 2020 Global Pet Expo will take place Wednesday – Friday, February 26-28, 2020 in Orlando, FL, at the Orange County Convention Center. For details, visit www.globalpetexpo.org. For more information, interview opportunities or hi-res images from the Show photo gallery, please contact Liz Thomas at 775-322-4022 or liz@theimpetusagency.com.