The Global Pet Expo, presented by the American Pet Products Association and Pet Industry Distributors Association, is considered by industry experts to be the most important of the U.S. pet trade shows.
"This attracts the largest audience across all channels, from Petco to the mom and pop stores and the grocery channel," said Howard "The Pet Industry Guru" London.
The annual extravaganza, traditionally held in late winter in Orlando, Florida can attract over 800 exhibitors. It is not uncommon for over 2,000 booths and more than 3,000 new products to be featured.
The Global Pet Expo attracts pet product buyers from around the world. The 3-day event is open to independent retailers, distributors, mass-market buyers and other pet industry professionals.
The show also features special interest sections such as "Everything Aquatic", "The Natural Pet", "What's New" and an International Pavilion with pet products from all over the globe.
Show Dates: The Global Pet Expo takes place in early spring, typically in March. Check the website for this year's dates, events, and vendor information.
Since 1967 H.H. Backer Associates, Inc., Inc. has been a pet industry leader with trade magazines (most notably Pet Age, which the company sold to Journal Multimedia in September 2012), educational conferences and trade shows.
In April 2013, the company announced a major overhaul, with a complete re-branding. A year later, they canceled the annual spring show in Atlantic City due to low exhibitor support. Whether that show returns in the future remains to be seen.
P3 (Progressive Pet Products) in Chicago, Illinois
- Formerly called the Total Pet Expo and Christmas Trade Show.
- One of the most pivotal and well-attended pet trade shows.
- Check P3PetShow.com for current dates and information.
Among the highlights of P3 are keynote speakers who are industry leaders and the Independent Retailer Conference, a networking and educational series dedicated to indie store owners.
Show Dates: The date changes from year to year. Look for this show to take place sometime between the end of August and late fall.
Another pet trade show biggie is SuperZoo, which takes place in Las Vegas in late summer.
Presented by the World Pet Association, SuperZoo is billed as the "National Show for Pet Retailers. Its attendance continues to grow and it can attract over 15,000 pet industry pros with over 1,100 manufacturers and suppliers exhibiting.
SuperZoo has a strong focus on industry education and boasts that it has twice the informational events of other trade shows.
There are segments of the show that focus on particular pet retail segments as well. These include farm and feed, gift retailers, hardware retailers and internet retailers.
Pet groomers will also enjoy seminars and may want to get in on the grooming contests as they are often touted as the highlight of the grooming industry. Sanctioned by GroomTeam USA, there is stiff competition in each class.
Show Dates: This show takes place in late summer and the exact dates vary, though it is typically in August or September. Check the website for this year's schedule, events and vendor information.
On the global trade show stage, InterZoo is the largest such event of its kind in the world. For those interested in tapping into the international pet business market, this is the place to be.
Held every two years at the Nuremberg Exhibition Centre in Germany, this multi-channel pet products showcase features over 1,500 exhibitors and a whopping 38,000 visitors from around the world.
The show is organized by international trade show giant NürnbergMesse. It also features a half-day networking conference the day before the show opens and it is centered on a specific topic. For instance, the title of the 2016 show was "The Pet Market of Tomorrow"
Show Dates: Typically occurs in May of even-numbered years. Check the website for the most recent updates and schedules.
The largest trade show of its kind in Canada is presented by the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council of Canada, “the voice of the Canadian pet industry.”
Established in 1988, this is a not for profit, member-based organization that advocates on behalf of the Canadian pet industry, and is a source of information and education for pet-related businesses.
Show Dates: PIJAC hosts a national in Mississauga, Ontario each September and regional shows throughout the year. Check the website for the latest details.
Pet Product Trade Shows You Need to Attend
Pet trade shows are very important events for anyone in the pet industry to attend. They are filled with the latest products, useful seminars and, of course, fun animals! If you are interested in upping your game in pet retail, then you need to put these into your schedule.
A trade show experience can be invaluable to your business. It is an opportunity to network with other professionals and get a first look at pet products for your store. There are shows throughout the year, both in the United States and other countries, so it's likely that you can attend at least one.
If you're in the business of designing and selling pet products, a trade show is a fantastic venue to reach new customers. This may be one of the best marketing investments you make all year.