SuperZoo Reveals Safety Plan for its September Show
SuperZoo organizers are setting sights beyond the current COVID-19 pandemic and have decided to move forward with its annual trade show, which is set for Aug. 31-Sept. 3 in Las Vegas. The first day, Aug. 31, will be focused on education, while the show floor will open Sept. 1-3.
“In its 70 years of existence, World Pet Association knows of no parallel to the havoc and disruption caused by COVID-19,” World Pet Association (WPA) officials said in a letter addressed to SuperZoo exhibitors. “In an effort to move forward and survive as an industry, we must be honest with ourselves about the moment we are facing and deal with the reality of the situation.”
While the doors will open as previously scheduled, it will be a much different SuperZoo than years past, one that will include a series of safety procedures aimed at keeping attendees safe, according to WPA officials.
“We have been working very closely with our partners navigating these unchartered waters,” Courtney Harold, executive vice president of WPA, which organizes the show, told PPN. “We are confident that together with the Mandalay Bay, MGM, GES, local health officials and multitude of trade show experts, that we will be able to present a very detailed plan that will responsibly address the safety and health of all show participants.”
Part of the safety plan includes appropriate social distancing protocols, along with facial covering and strict sterilization procedures. A more detailed plan will be laid out as soon as possible, officials said. In the meantime, Mandalay Bay, SuperZoo’s hotel partner, has posted its seven-point safety plan here.
“We are having daily discussions with the entire pet community, our board members and taking everyone’s feedback very seriously,” Vic Mason, interim president of WPA, told PPN. “As of today, we are planning to open our doors on Sept. 1. With our show floor being almost sold out, we are in constant contact with retailers assessing their status. While stores might be sending less people, we are confident that the same amount of buying power will be on our show floor.”
WPA officials said that they recognize that in this “new economy,” travel can be financially prohibitive for buyers. In an effort to overcome this, officials will allocate a “significant” amount of WPA’s budget into the subsidizing of free hotel rooms for buyers. This will include offering 1,000-plus room nights for buyers. When buyers register, they will be automatically entered to win three free nights, according to officials. WPA has also secured lower rates with Mandalay Bay. SuperZoo’s hotel and travel site is the only online reservation systems that will ensure the lowest rates, officials said. Details can be found here.
“We are looking forward to seeing those of you who can make it to Las Vegas in September,” officials said. “If anything, this year’s show may be our most important, as its about providing a blueprint and roadmap to tomorrow.”