Pet Connections Expo Names 2019 Speakers
Pet Connections Expo will be offering free educational content for independent retailers at its third annual industry trade show, which will be held Oct. 15-16 at the New Jersey Convention & Expo Center in Edison, N.J. This year’s speakers will focus on how retailers can strengthen their businesses and compete against online giants and traditional brick-and-mortar chains, said officials from the International Conference Development (ICDevents), the organizer of the event.
“We are excited about our lineup of speakers and the vast experiences that these industry visionaries will contribute to the program,” said Bill Doherty, ICDevents president and show director. “In addition to the mainstage speakers, we have a number of great Campfire Sessions throughout the two days that will certainly help retailers to succeed and grow their businesses.”
The program will include mainstage speakers such as Paul Allen, founder of Woof Gang Bakery in Orlando, Fla., and Joe Zuccarello, vice president of sales, marketing and business development at Paragon School of Pet Grooming in Jenison, Mich. Allen and Zuccarello will be speaking about business opportunities independent retailers have by adding services, such as grooming, into their establishments.
An interactive panel, “Half the Bark, Twice The Bite!,” will be moderated by Antoine Seailles, market strategist for the independent pet distributor Pet Food Experts in Pawtucket, R.I. An open discussion on “Ways to Successfully Compete with Big Retail & Online, Despite Limited Budgets & Resources” will take place immediately before the show floor opens.
Bill Bookout, founder and CEO of the National Animal Supplement Council, will moderate a panel discussion titled “Essential Considerations Before You Add CBD Products.”
“This timely topic will include a panel of retailers who will share their experiences, discuss what questions they received from customers and talk about the obstacles they had to overcome when they started offering CBD [cannabidiol] products,” Bookout said. “Most importantly, they will discuss how one of the biggest trends in years is changing their businesses and allowed them to compete more strongly with the big stores and online giants.”
Dave Ratner, who sits on the board of directors of the National Retail Federation, will present “Creating Customer Love, How to Get and Keep Loyal Customers.”
“I have built a pretty successful business concentrating on making sure my existing customers not only come back but tell their friends to shop in my stores,” Ratner said. “You will learn how I do it and how you can adapt my practices to your business. As a passionate crusader for indie retailers, I am thrilled to be speaking at Pet Connections Expo with some of the other truly great retail representatives throughout the country. It is an honor to share my experiences, successes, and failures with the attendees at this conference.”
Marketing coach Jim Ackerman will speak on ways to grow a business.
“There are just a handful of foundational or cornerstone marketing principles that invariably govern the success of your marketing and advertising efforts,” Ackerman said. “Unfortunately, very few independent pet business owners come to the table with a working understanding of those principles, and it handcuffs their ability to grow and thrive. I’ll be revealing and explaining these key principles at Pet Connections Expo, as will a formidable cadre of colleagues in an intriguing panel discussion. For growth-seeking pet business owners, none of these sessions should be missed.”
Using Traditional Chinese Medicine food therapy principles, Judy Morgan, DVM, will guide retailers on how to recommend the best foods to help individual pet needs.
“Independent pet retailers need to be armed with ammunition that will help them stay ahead of online retailers,” Morgan said. “Pet Connections Expo will provide invaluable resources, including a panel of pet industry professionals with decades of experience. Understanding client needs and concerns from a veterinary perspective can give a competitive edge,”
Pet Connections Expo will also be introducing a new Boot Camp for independent pet retailers, “Tactical Lessons to Drive More Sales this Holiday Season,” facilitated by Lynn Switanowski, founder and president of Creative Business Consulting Group in Boston.
The expo is free to qualified retailers and pet professionals, which includes groomers, boarding professionals, trainers, pet sitters and veterinarians. To register, click here.