The pet industry is huge, and growing. To a lot of people, our companion animals are becoming more like family members than pets. Sometimes, they are spoiled even more than our kids. The Global Pet Expo has every product out there for facilitating us.
I recently had the pleasure of attending the show in Orlando. Three days, and I needed every minute to get to see the over 1000 vendors. 3,000 new products were revealed at the show, the new products showcase was 45.000 sq. ft. alone. 16 football fields of floor to cover. All that to impress buyers attending from around the world, I was one of about 6,000 buyers attending.
I bought a good pair of walking shoes, and off I went. Seminars happen throughout the day, but there was not enough time to watch those if you are going to walk the entire show. So, I started at the new product showcase, and added the info of things that caught my eye to the notes I had made before the trip, items I had to see in the booths. Then, off to the far end, the Natural Pet area, to start my journey.
The Natural Pet area was mainly smaller manufacturers, making very specialized products. Vitamins, probiotics, CBD oils, foods made with no synthetic ingredients, holistic and homeopathic products, too many to list. Many were Mom and Pop companies showing off something they made for their pet. Some were more established companies, showing off new items to compliment their lines. I spent a lot of time in this area as it is something that I am very interested in. Day one elapsed with me having only covered New Products and Natural.
Second day had me running the main area of the show, the big brands with their huge booths and entertainment. While there are a few of these companies whose products are of interest to me, most are of little interest for this trip. It did give me a chance to check out some of the new offerings and maybe some things not available in Canada yet from the major guys, things I can bug my reps into bringing in.
Day three I spent a lot of time with boutique companies, as well as more of the natural booths and I revisited the top guys that I want to start doing business with. Grooming tools/shampoos, natural food components to mix into raw diets, silicone and stainless bowls and treat molds and treats like doggy ice cream and cake mixes were the day three focus. Those and a food line that really impressed me. Over the next few months I will have to make some room for these new items.
Averaging over 12,000 steps per day is a lot for me. Luckily, I got an upgrade at the hotel and had a jetted tub to relax in after each long day. Didn’t get a chance to take in all the attractions in the area, that’s for a vacation trip, not a work trip.
Was it worth the time and expense? I really think so. Its not just about the specific items that you don’t get to see up close, it is about the whole industry. Seeing what is out there, what the trends are, what products are coming soon. In more than one booth, the exchange of information went both ways, and I think there are a couple of ideas shared that will find their way into production. Kind of fun, seeing your ideas used to make something just a little better.