A Must-Attend Event



Next month, two of the pet industry’s most important leadership events will essentially be fused together to form the first-ever Pet Industry Leadership Conference (PILC).

Scheduled to take place Jan. 18 – 22 at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Ariz., the conference will gather top executives from every corner of the industry to discuss the short-term and long-term opportunities and challenges facing the pet world. Although this will be the inaugural edition of the event, it really represents a continuation of the Pet Industry Distributors Association’s (PIDA) Management Conference, only with a broader scope. In fact, the new conference was created through a partnership between PIDA and the American Pet Products Association (APPA)—the two groups that organize Global Pet Expo (March 16 – 18, Orlando, Fla.)—and has inherited the dates and venues originally scheduled for PIDA’s former solo event.

The PILC is also, in many ways, a reincarnation of the annual Pet Industry Top2Top Conference formerly hosted by the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC). That event was quite similar to the PIDA Management Conference in that it gathered high-level executives to address a wide range of issues facing the pet industry, albeit with a decided slant toward regulation and legislation. With that in mind, it was no surprise that APPA, PIDA and PIJAC got together and decided to avoid any potential redundancy by discontinuing the Top2Top Conference and simply adding a strong regulatory/legislative component to the new event.

Now, the industry will be able to focus on just a single executive-level industry conference on the schedule, hopefully to great effect. As someone who attended and greatly enjoyed both the PIDA Management Conference and the Pet Industry Top2Top Conference each year in the past, I have high hopes that this new event will incorporate the best elements of both. Of course, it helps that the groups organizing the conference have demonstrated a clear understanding of the current and future issues facing the industry. As the editor in chief of Pet Business—the official publishing partner of Global Pet Expo—I’ve had a chance to work closely with both APPA and PIDA, and I can say that both groups have their fingers firmly pressed on the pulse of the pet care market.

I personally can’t wait for what is sure to be one of the highlights of the pet industry schedule next year and strongly urge everyone in the industry—whether you’re a retailer, manufacturer or otherwise aligned with the pet care market—to attend. Those who do will leave Tucson with insights and newly forged relationships that are sure to propel their businesses forward through 2016 and beyond.


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