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While many tradeshow events have been canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pet Fair Asia took place as scheduled in August in Shanghai. Despite the decrease of overseas visitors because of ongoing travel restrictions, the exhibition’s attendance grew by 6 percent, officials reported in late September. Overall, Pet Fair Asia hosted 1,683 exhibitors and 70,849 professionals.

“At the show, safety was insured for everyone thanks to coordinated efforts from the local authorities, the venue owner and the exhibition organizer,” officials said.

This included pre-show quarantine for anyone coming from regions at risk, tracking of health record through QR code and ID before and after the show, wearing a face mask at all times, and expended sanitary precautions in all exhibitor booths, food and beverage corners and washrooms.

In order to facilitate international business, show organizers offered a hybrid event. Some of the speakers unable to fly to Shanghai joined remotely to interact with the live audience. A full session dedicated to the international development opportunities took place live with the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) Canada, the American Pet Products Association (APPA), the World Pet Association (WPA), ZZF (German Pet Trade & Industry Association) at the invitation of the Asia Pet Alliance.

The hybrid event also allowed foreign brands and buyers to connect remotely with professionals on-site.

“The International Matchmaking Program brought together international pet brands and local buyers through seamless pre-arranged meetings, videoconferencing and on-site products presentation,” officials said.

There were also several live video sessions that addressed various topics, such as 2020 pet food trends and innovation trends in the Chinese pet industry, which showcased a new generation of brands launched in China.

“With three more halls than its 2019 edition, the show was a good barometer of the pet industry’s ability to resist recession, while revealing which categories performed better during the past few months,” officials said. “The pet food sector appeared to be the most competitive once again, with numerous new local brands launched at the show.

“Positioned in the medium to premium segment with fancy design clearly targeting a new generation of pet owners born post-95, these newcomers do not play the cheap-card anymore,” officials continued. “They promise high quality nutrition, some of them emphasizing their production in state-of-the-art foreign factories, New Zealand and Canada topping the ‘origin’ chart this year.”

The number of imported brands presented at the show was also on the rise, “reflecting the lasting trust of Chinese pet owners in foreign products, but also the growing the number of foreign factories approved by China’s Customs and Ministry of Agriculture for general trade import,” officials said.

Pet Fair Asia also hosted the 10th International Pet Industry Summit, which brought in more than 1,000 delegates, according to officials. The summit focused on the latest trends in the Chinese market.

In addition, a B2B e-commerce platform was launched. Asia Pet Online is currently open to businesses operating in China and will progressively roll out globally, according to officials.

Additional events and seminars included the Asia Pet Veterinary Conference (APVC), 5th Pet Fashion Show, CKU 2020 Grooming Elite Competition, Animal Welfare Seminars, “Pro Plan” CKU All-Breed National Champion Dog Show, “Pro Plan” ICE Cat Show, CKU Diving Competition, “Navarch” Dog Olympics and Veterinary Camps for kids.

“The 23rd Pet Fair Asia gave the industry inside and outside China a lot of confidence for the next coming months, with a very positive outlook for 2021,” officials said.

The 24th Pet Fair Asia is scheduled for Aug. 18-22, 2021. More than 2,000 exhibitors are expected to spread over the entire venue, according to officials.

Replays of live video sessions are available here.