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Backer Cancels Atlantic City Trade Show

Posted: Feb. 5, 2014, 5:05 p.m. EST


Citing a lack of exhibitor interest, H.H. Backer Associates Inc. today canceled its spring pet products trade show, Backer’s Total Pet Expo, which had been scheduled for April 9 to 11 in Atlantic City, N.J.

The cancellation just two months before the show’s planned opening followed the postponement of the 2013 event and the move to a biennial format.

"We simply could not get enough exhibitor support this year to allow us to produce a quality spring trade show that people have come to expect,” said Colette Fairchild, the show’s director.

 Pet Store on the Floor
Added to the fall show in Rosemont, Ill., the Pet Store on the Floor was expected to be a new attraction at the Backer’s Total Pet Expo spring show in Atlantic City, N.J.
A stagnant national economy and flagging exhibitor interest were cited as reasons for the original postponement.

The larger Backer’s Total Pet Expo fall show is still scheduled for Sept. 19 to 21 in Rosemont, Ill., and will continue annually, H.H. Backer reported.

The Chicago-based company will offer refunds to Atlantic City exhibitors or allow them to apply the deposits to the fall show, the organizers stated.

The cancellation came less than five months after what many attendees considered a successful revamping of the Backer’s Total Pet Expo fall show at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont. H.H. Backer had planned to incorporate many of the upgrades, including a mock pet store and a 30-foot Idea Wall, into the Atlantic City show.

The East Coast event, then known as the Pet Industry Spring Trade Show, moved from Baltimore to the Atlantic City Convention Center in 2011 to accommodate buyers who "wanted a venue that’s easy to get to and more affordable overall,” Fairchild stated at the time.

Attendance at the two Atlantic City shows was not released, but the last two Baltimore shows each drew about 8,800 registered buyers and about 730 exhibitors.

Backer’s Total Pet Expo faces heavyweight competition in the pet products industry. The largest U.S. shows, each attracting nearly 1,000 exhibitors in 2013, are Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Fla., and SuperZoo in Las Vegas.

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