We are now just weeks away from one of the biggest pet industry events of the year: Global Pet Expo 2018. By now, you should have bought your plane ticket, reserved your hotel room, and have a decent idea of your agenda.
Note: If not, here's our guide on preparing for a pet trade show - it's time to get on it.
You may be prepared to walk the show's seemingly endless floors filled with dog toys, fashionable pet raincoats, and cat food. You might even attend a seminar or two, if you can fit it into your schedule.
But did you know there are other ways to take advantage of one of the world's largest pet trade shows? Believe it or not, there's much more to Global Pet Expo than meets the eye..
Social Media Guide
Social media engagement is crucial to standing out, making connections, and creating relationships before, during, and after any pet trade show. However, it's not enough simply to post "We're here, come find us!" if you're a pet product manufacturer, or "Can't wait for the show to start!" if you're an attendee.
Fortunately, APPA has provided a social media guide on their website for engaging with Global Pet Expo on multiple different platforms. The guide includes links to their channels, notes on properly engaging with each channel, and even the proper hashtag to be used at the show: #globalpetexpo.
It's worth noting that some accounts might use #GPE18, which is often confused with Super Zoo's abbreviation of their own show name to create their hashtag, #SZ18. Tweets and posts using this hashtag only may risk getting overseen by key show attendees and APPA themselves.
One of the best parts about attending one of the largest pet industry events in the world is the opportunity to network with thousands of other pet professionals from all over the world. It's a great place to make new friends and create new connections that can help take your business to the next level.
However, with so much going on during show times, it can be difficult to slip away, as you might miss out on the opportunity to find the perfect new vendor or learn about the next big pet product.
Fortunately, there are events outside of the regularly scheduled seminars and the show itself to strictly allow for networking. These include:
- APPA Young Professionals Meetup - March 21, 22, and 23 at varying times in the afternoon
- The Global Pet Expo Networking Reception - March 21 from 6 pm - 7:30 pm
- The Global Pet Expo Pet Industry Breakfast & Retailer Excellence Awards Ceremony - March 22 from 8 am to 8:45 am
- The Global Pet Expo New Products Showcase Awards Ceremony - March 22 from 5 pm - 6 pm
- The APPA Professional Women's Networking Breakfast - March 23 from 8 am - 8:45 am
- Special for 2018: The APPA and PIDA Anniversary Celebration - March 22 at 6 pm (reservations required and RSVP date ended Feb 22nd, 2018)
For Buyers: List of Show Specials
Another great reason for attending the pet trade show is gaining access to show specials for pet product manufacturers across the landscape. It's a great way to save some money, try a new vendor, and take advantage of a little extra margin.
If you thought you had to stop by every booth you're interested in to know their show specials, think again. The website contains a section full of pet product manufacturers and the specials they're planning on presenting at the show. This way, you can prepare ahead of time.
Of course, it's still worth stopping by any booth you're interested in. This way, you get some quality face-to-face time with the reps and the products. There's nothing like seeing, feeling, and experiencing the quality of both service and product design in front of your very eyes.
Whether you're traveling from Portland or Miami, you might be tempted to take advantage of your trip to Orlando and experience some of what it has to offer. It might not be Las Vegas, but there is still plenty you can do to make the most of your time spent. Plus, since we'll be there at the end of March, the weather won't be quite so unbearable yet.
Linked from the website is a page sponsored by Global Pet Expo which features everything from a map of Orlando and event and transportation information to things to do and discounts and tickets for many of Orlando's attractions.
Plan your trip the right way and take advantage of the your travel. Why not? You're already there.