Posted: July 17, 2013, 4:10 p.m. EDT
By Donna Lycan
Nearly 1,000 exhibitors are expected to fill booths inside Mandalay Bay Convention Center when the three-day SuperZoo trade show kicks off July 23 in Las Vegas.
"This year we sold out and then expanded booth space in an attempt to meet exhibitor demands,” said Doug Poindexter, president of the World Pet Association, which produces SuperZoo. "We are seeing not only an increase in the number of exhibitors at this year’s show, but also larger booth spaces on the show floor.”
Overwhelming demand for booth space meant some companies were placed on a waiting list, Poindexter added.
The SuperZoo show floor will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday.
Photo courtesy of WPA
show, held last September, featured 875 exhibitors
, 1,599 booths and 4,854 companies representing 53 nations. More than 12,000 pet industry professionals were issued badges.
Why the soaring interest? The industry as a whole values trade shows, Poindexter said.
"So much networking, education and business happens at these shows, they’re of real value to both sides,” he said. "In just three days, participants can find fresh ideas, hot trends, new connections and great opportunities.
"Buying cycles for 2014 can be set in just three days at our show,” he added.
One change this year is the move to July show dates.
"Many of the buyers last year expressed that September was too late for their buying cycles, so we hope that by moving the show into a more fluid buying cycle we will have a larger turnout and even more buying,” Poindexter said.
Show hours were extended from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday. That request also came from exhibitors and attendees.
"Many attendees expressed concern that they could not get all their business done within the hours allowed and needed more time to buy and attend the seminars of interest,” Poindexter stated. "The exhibitors have also expressed concern about how they have to rush to fill orders at the end of each day and need the extra time to get everything finalized.”
SuperZoo Welcomes You to the Neighborhood
Here’s a quick look at the themed areas on the show floor:
• Nature’s Pathway offers the best in natural, holistic and organic products. The section was expanded yet again because of growth in the natural products market, Poindexter said.
• Ingredients Row showcases leading suppliers of health and nutrition ingredients and solutions.
• Rodeo Drive features the newest in fashion, accessories and gifts for the pampered pet.
• Critter Alley brings fresh product ideas for retailers—from bird perches and small animal habitats to aquariums and pond supplies.
• The Concept Store is a 2,400-square-foot "store of the future” displaying the latest in merchandising and technology.
• Groomer’s Court presents all the products a groomer needs, from scissors to dryers to hemp shampoo. Adjacent to Groomer’s Court is the grooming competition. One professional groomer will walk away with the $10,000 grand prize.
• New Exhibitor Road welcomes companies making their debut at SuperZoo.
Listen and Learn at SuperZoo
SuperZoo University has been enhanced to help pet retailers boost their bottom lines even more. Three educational tracks—Business Development, Animal Wellness and Technology/Internet—are offered.
New classes include "Mystery Shopping: Pull Out the Microscope for Your Pet Business,” "What Women Want in Your Store” and "Search Engine 101.”
The programming now begins a day early, on Monday.
"This gives retailers an added day to attend a session from 1 to 5 p.m. about ‘Marketing Your Retail Pet Store,’ presented by Bob Negen of Whizbang! Training,” Poindexter said.
An evening program, running from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, will feature Jon Schallert of The Schallert Group, who will present "Once Optional, Now Required: The New Rules of Business Success.”
"This will allow retailers to spend more time on our trade show floor while still participating in the university,” Poindexter noted.
In addition, the School of Animal Wellness, presented by Horn (Booth 3671) of La Mirada, Calif., has been expanded. Seminars taking place on the show floor will offer expert advice from animal wellness professionals along with panel discussions.
Finally, groomers can take advantage of SuperZoo University hands-on courses to learn new cuts and advanced techniques.
SuperZoo Celebrates Success
The winners of the Cardinal Crystal Grooming Achievement Awards will be announced Tuesday evening in the Islander Ballroom on the Beach Level of Mandalay Bay Convention Center.
The New Product Showcase winners will be announced at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday in the display area.
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