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What SuperZoo Attendees Should Do Now That the Show is Over


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SuperZoo has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean attendees’ work is done. After the show, it’s time for retailers to take what they learned and apply it back at home. 

“Post-show planning is crucial for the success of what you have learned or seen,” said B.C. Henschen, COO of Platinum Paws in Carmel, Ind.

Experienced trade show goers point out that it might be unwise for attendees to rely on only their memories to guide them through post-show follow-up work. 

Sally Adams Trufant, general manager of B&B Pet Stop in Mobile, Ala., said having good notes to reference later is key.

“Make notes on everything,” Trufant said. “Who did you talk to … what did you agree to, what specials did they promise you, what items did you like? … If you order something, think about where you will put it in your store and make a note of that.”

Both Henschen and Trufant review their notes from the show nightly after getting back to their hotel rooms. Trufant said she stars great ideas and new merchandise. 

While looking over his notes, Henschen prioritizes the steps he will take when he returns to his store. 

“For instance, if I’m going to run a promotion that I just agreed to do with a manufacturer, I’m going to mark that as high priority so that I can focus on that when I return,” he said. “The new software that’s going to help me manage my social media is going to get lower priority.”

Once they get home, the first thing a retailer should do is review their notes again, Trufant said. After that, it’s time to share knowledge with the rest of the staff. 

“We like to have a meeting of our department supervisors and discuss what we’ve learned or discovered and get them involved in how it can be implemented,” Trufant said.

Taking the time to build on connections made while at the show is another key post-show strategy. Henschen said he always reaches out to people he met at the show and hopes to continue a relationship with. 

“It’s important for everybody to understand that everyone is busy after SuperZoo, so I tend to send an email follow-up after about 30 days,” he said. “I want to make sure that I’m not lost in the rush of the after-SuperZoo madness, but I don’t want to wait long enough that we get into the holiday madness.”

Crystal Vilkaitis, owner of Crystal Media in Carlsbad, Calif., on the other hand, suggests that retailers not let too much time pass before following up. She recommends that retailers prioritize contacts and action items from the show based on how they will help achieve business goals. 

“If there was a retailer or manufacturer they met that can help them reach their business goals, I wouldn’t wait to reach out,” she said. “I’d strike while the iron is hot.”

If You Missed Something

Of course, with so many education sessions, booths and new products to discover at SuperZoo, it’s easy to miss something, but retailers can take time after the show to fill in those gaps. 

“It’s tough to fit it all in,” Vilkaitis said. “If it was a seminar [a retailer] missed, I’d reach out to the speaker and see if they have any resources they could send based on what they talked about at SuperZoo.”

Trufant noted that  many presenters make their slideshows available to attendees, and show exhibitors are often more than happy to fill retailers in on what they missed. 

“If [a retailer] feels they missed a booth, they should reach out to that manufacturer and let them know they were swamped at the show, regret missing their booth and would like more information,” Trufant said. 

Once settled back into their stores, retailers that attended the show may also want to share their new finds with customers, giving them new reasons to visit their stores—and social media is a great way to deliver the message, Trufant said. 

“Posts from the show floor can let your customers know that a cool product line is coming and why they would want to buy it,” she said. “When it arrives, make another post letting them know it is now in the store and telling them again what it does and why they’d want it.”

Trufant said retailers should invite feedback and be sure to respond to customers’ comments and questions. 

“Carry on a conversation with your customers,” she said. 

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