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SuperZoo Pet Industry Show 2016 Is on the Marquee in Las Vegas

Pet Product News caught up with Doug Poindexter, president of World Pet Association, the producer of SuperZoo, to talk about the secrets to the show’s success and what changes the pet industry will see in 2016.


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There’s magic in the air at this summer’s SuperZoo—and not just because LA Lakers basketball great Magic Johnson is giving the keynote speech. This year’s expanded show will cover more than 300,000 square feet of floor space at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. That means even more exhibitors, a bigger New Product Showcase, top-quality seminars and workshops, special networking events and even a concert with classic rock band Styx.

Pet Product News caught up with Doug Poindexter, president of World Pet Association, the producer of SuperZoo, to talk about the secrets to the show’s success and what changes the pet industry will see in 2016.

 

Pet Product News: SuperZoo grows each year, to what do you attribute the show’s success?

Doug Poindexter: Our decision to move SuperZoo to Las Vegas in 2004 marked a major shift for the event. The relocation helped put SuperZoo on the map at an international level and transformed it from a more regional tradeshow—it really has taken off and grown significantly each year since then. Our buyer quality also improved when SuperZoo moved locations, because people tended to bring family and friends to the show when it was in their backyard, whereas owners and managers were primarily the only people willing to make the trip to Las Vegas. We were thrilled to bring more buying power to the show floor, which is something that also excited our exhibitors and keeps them coming back each year.

I also think SuperZoo has succeeded year after year because we pay attention to the independent retailer and focus on attracting high-quality attendees. While we certainly attract larger distributors and retailers, we also know and appreciate the independent retailers and work to ensure they have a great show experience, meeting up with fellow professionals to network and hunt for the best new products.

 

PPN: What makes SuperZoo different from other trade shows?

DP: We have a more fun and casual atmosphere—and it’s been ingrained in the culture of SuperZoo. That’s partially because we continue to focus on the independent retailer, even with the expansion we’ve seen in recent years. Plus, the keynote, concert and networking opportunities make things more exciting and engaging for everyone.

 

PPN: What changed about this year’s show based on previous years’ feedback?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay (and convention center), home of the pet industry's SuperZoo trade show

DP: We constantly evaluate speakers and educational programming, based on feedback, to add new things to the mix each year. This year, we made a huge change to the shape of the exhibit hall, adding two new halls and swapping out an L-shaped layout for a more streamlined option. There is so much to see on the SuperZoo show floor, and we’re making this change to make things easier for our busy exhibitors and attendees.

We also always want to bring in keynote speakers who will resonate with our audience. This year, Earvin “Magic” Johnson brings a solid business background and expertise as well as incredible name recognition. We addressed attendees’ need for more networking opportunities by adding a Networking Reception last year, which we’ll have again this year. It’s another chance for attendees to spend time with fellow retailers, and it’s where we’ll present our 2016 Retailer of the Year Award. It takes place Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the North Convention Center, South Pacific Ballroom.

 

PPN: What do you rank as the must-see aspects of SuperZoo 2016, and what can attendees do to make the most of their time?

DP: The New Product Showcase definitely is a must-see for everyone at the show this year. In terms of the rest of the event, each business has its own priorities for what they must focus on at SuperZoo. Retailers need a solid plan in advance of the show to determine which current vendors they need to see and new exhibitors to network with, while leaving themselves time to wander the show floor to make sure they don’t miss anything.

You have to go into it knowing you can’t visit every booth, and you need to prioritize; it’s helpful to bring enough staff with you to cover every segment of the show floor that you need to see and sit in on different education sessions. We have tools, like our mobile app, that make preshow planning much easier and help retailers get as much as they can out of the show.

At the same time, and as a former trade show attendee myself, I encourage people to leave themselves enough time for an impromptu discovery and to explore areas of the trade show they might not look at otherwise. You never know what you’ll discover!

 

PPN: What kinds of trends will be showcased in a big way this year?

DP: Natural products are a major trend in the industry. The Nature’s Pathway area grows every year and sells out every year, which speaks to that big consumer desire for wellness and organic, natural products.

 

For complete information about SuperZoo, including a schedule of events, registration and more, visit superzoo.org.

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