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H.H. Backer Remakes Atlantic City Show

Posted: Dec. 5, 2013, 6:10 p.m. EST

The changes and additions that H.H. Backer Associates made to Backer’s Total Pet Expo in Chicago were so well received that the company will do the same to its spring show in Atlantic City, N.J.

The rebranded and revamped pet products exhibition debuted in September as a replacement for Backer’s annual Christmas Trade Show. One goal of moving the show from October to September was to give retailers more time to place orders for holiday stock.

The effort received numerous plaudits from attendees, leading Backer to implement many of the same changes at the 25th spring show, which is scheduled for April 9 to 11 at the Atlantic City Convention Center.

 Total Pet Expo
"We asked buyers what they wanted from a trade show and made the necessary changes to provide the best overall experience possible,” said Colette Fairchild, the show’s director.

Features at the redesigned spring show, also renamed Backer’s Total Pet Expo, include:  

• A 3,000-square-foot mock pet store offering layout, merchandising, staff training and point-of-sale ideas.  

• A 30-foot-long Idea Wall where participants may contribute and read retail tips.  

• A digital café providing Internet access, cell phone charging stations and a snack area.

• Backer Buyer Rewards, which gives qualified attendees a $75 Visa gift card for every $3,500 spent.

• The Smart Zone, where attendees may learn about technology, business management, marketing and merchandising, aquatics, and animal health and wellness.

• The Pet Innovations area, formerly the Product Showcase, where the industry’s top products will be displayed.

The changes were made primarily for retailers, Fairchild said.

"Independent retailers are the lifeblood of the pet industry, and it’s critical that we provide a top-notch event that meets their needs,” she said.

The show hours will change slightly to help attendees catch outbound flights on the last day. The doors will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday.


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