A Free First-Class Education at Global Pet Expo

The 2016 edition of Global Pet Expo will feature more than 30 educational seminars that will provide actionable advice for pet specialty retailers.



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One of the highlights of Global Pet Expo each year is the comprehensive schedule of first-class educational sessions that show organizers put together for pet specialty retailers. Dubbed Global Pet Expo Academy, this educational track covers a wide range of topics, from keeping your retail pet business healthy to utilizing social media to promote your store to getting the most from your staff.

Well, this year Global Pet Expo Academy will be bigger and better than ever, offering attendees more than 30 separate sessions to sharpen their business skills. And that's not even the best part, because this year—for the first time—attendance at the Global Pet Expo Academy sessions will be free for all registered buyers. Of course, this is sure to make what is already a retailer-favorite feature of Global Pet Expo even more popular, so be sure to get to the sessions early, as seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Won't have time to sit for an hour-long seminar? Then attend one of the many 15-minute mini-sessions that will be offered in the morning on Day 1 and Day 2 of the expo. While they are much more abbreviated versions of what you will find at the full sessions, you'll be surprised at how much practical, actionable advice can be squeezed into these short but sweet presentations.

Here's a preview of what attendees will find at this year's Global Pet Expo Academy:


Tuesday, March 15, 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM 
How to Get & Keep Good Customers
Instructor: Dave Ratner
Room W204A
Once you have customers, how do you keep them coming back? You will learn how, where and when to advertise and market your business. Hear how to manage a great crew and help them understand how to best serve your customers. Visit the pros and cons of setting up a customer rewards program and hear the best ways to stay in contact with customers. This is an in-depth, real life workshop—a highly interactive, fun and motivating few hours you won’t want to miss!



Wednesday, March 16, 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM 
Pet Food Mythbusters
Instructor: Dr. Bret Deardorff, Hill’s Pet Nutrition
Room W203B

The program sponsor, Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s veterinarian mythbuster will uncover the truth behind common pet food marketing myths in a fun, interactive laboratory session. You’ll see pet food cooked and learn about common pet food ingredients. By the end of the session, you’ll question the pet food you feed your own pets.


Wednesday, March 16, 9:00 AM - 9:15 AM 
MINI SESSION: How to Get Your Customers to Spend More
Instructor: Dave Ratner
Room W204A

Imagine how much more business you would do if all your customers spent just one dollar more every time they came to your store! At this mini session, you will take away easy-to-implement pricing policies, merchandising tips, signing dos and don’ts and other ways to increase your average transactions.


Wednesday, March 16, 9:15 AM - 9:30 AM 
MINI SESSION: Be a Better Negotiator
Instructor: David Fellman
Room W204A

This mini session will give you valuable tips on how to be a better negotiator! It’s been said that everything is negotiable, and you probably find yourself in negotiations with customers, suppliers and employees every day. This presentation applies to all three situations—dealing with price objections from customers, securing better prices or terms from suppliers, and motivating the behavior you want from your employees.


Wednesday, March 16, 9:30 AM - 9:45 AM 
MINI SESSION: Where Better Inventory Management Begins
Instructor: Paul Erickson
Room W204A

This mini session answers the question: What is open-to-buy, and how can it work for you? Mini session instructor Paul Erickson will show you why open-to-buy is an exciting tool that, in the hands of a fully committed retailer, can profoundly affect financial improvements. You’ll also learn what it can do for you and if all retailers need it.


Wednesday, March 16, 9:45 AM - 10:00 AM 
MINI SESSION: Connecting with the Next Generation of Customers
Instructor: Lynn Switanowski
Room W204A

This mini session is packed with tips and tactics to help your pet store connect with customers from every generation. This session will help you ensure your marketing messages reach customers in the most effective way possible. Learn what motivates customers to spend and what they like, need and want from each shopping interaction with your pet store.


Wednesday, March 16, 10:30 AM - 11:45 AM 
A Picture is Worth Thousands in Sales - Using Instagram for Your Pet Business
Instructor: Lynn Switanowski
Room W204A

Today, it’s all about using pictures and video to tell your story. Instagram is a social media site that lets you easily share pictures and videos, and people use it to engage with friends and brands. On this popular social media channel, a picture can be worth thousands in sales! In this session, you will learn how Instagram works and how to use it to share information about your retail business.


Wednesday, March 16, 10:30 AM - 11:45 AM 
Psychology of Price
Instructor: Paul Erickson
Room W203B

How can you benefit from pricing psychology? This session will explore the benefits of different competitive pricing strategies that you can easily implement in your store. You’ll discover the three elements your initial markup must satisfy to achieve your profit goals, learn how to effectively use pricing psychology to increase markup, and see how cost-based pricing can limit your profit potential.


Wednesday, March 16, 12:30 PM - 1:45 PM 
If Inventory is Your Retail Heart, is it Healthy?
Instructor: Paul Erickson
Room W203B

If inventory is the heart of business, how healthy is your heart? Starting with the basics, this session will show alternative concepts to inventory management, techniques, and formulas to improve inventory turnover, cash flow, revenue growth and gross margin. As Paul Erickson speaks from experience, you will learn specific techniques to control your inventory, improve your stock sell-through and increase your margins.


Wednesday, March 16 ,  12:30 PM - 1:45 PM 
What I’ve Learned from Retail Titans to Help Your Business Grow
Instructor: Dave Ratner
Room W204A
As a board member of the National Retail Federation, Dave Ratner has become friendly with many icons of the retail world. In this session, he will relate stories and share examples of their business wisdom. You will learn how to deal with adversity, the role of passion in your business, how to create a fabulous culture, how to treat employees (and folks in general), and other tips to improve your business and life.



Wednesday, March 16,  2:00 PM - 3:15 PM 
Creating Retail Sales in a Mobile World - How Your Pet Store Can Compete
Instructor: Lynn Switanowski
Room W204A

Today’s retail world is about creating and delivering exceptional experiences to your customers with products and services they love. Your success depends on how you deliver those products and services on a daily basis. You can help your business grow with mobile marketing programs and messages. You will learn how mobile marketing can impact your revenue, customer loyalty and long-term brand equity.


Wednesday, March 16, 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM 
The 10 Commandments of Management
Instructor: David Fellman
Room W203B
A manager has to be a combination of many things, including a teacher, coach, parent, subject-matter expert, hero, villain and mind reader. More than anything else, management is not about being a boss; it’s about being a leader and enabler. This session will help you and your managers to do that more effectively through the “10 Commandments of Management.”



Wednesday, March 16, 3:30 PM - 4:45 PM 
10 Ways to Make Your Small Business More Successful
Instructor: David Fellman
Room W203B
In his book, The Small Business Book: 10 Ways to Make Your Small Business More Successful, David Fellman covers strategies such as: being more visible in the marketplace, building a strong team, getting more value from your customers, taking advantage of technology, plugging profit and time management leaks, and networking. This information-packed session will provide attendees with useful and practical tools for success.



Wednesday, March 16, 3:30 PM - 4:45 PM 
How to Hire & Keep a Great Store Crew
Instructor: Dave Ratner
Room W204A
For many, the hardest part of running a small business is getting and keeping great employees. Dave Ratner has made just about every mistake in the book, but he has also learned what it takes to build a fabulous crew. Learn how to build and keep your own fabulous crew as this session covers where to find employees, hiring techniques, firing techniques, how to build the right culture and how to keep that great crew.



Thursday, March 17, 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM 
Pet Food Mythbusters
Instructor: Dr. Bret Deardorff, Hill’s Pet Nutrition
Room W203B

The program sponsor, Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s veterinarian mythbuster will uncover the truth behind common pet food marketing myths in a fun, interactive laboratory session. You’ll see pet food cooked and learn about common pet food ingredients. By the end of the session, you’ll question the pet food you feed your own pets.

Thursday, March 17, 9:00 AM - 9:15 AM 
MINI SESSION: Gen Who?
Instructor: Anne Obarski
Room W204A

Call them what you want—Digitals, Millennials, Generation Y, Generation X or Boomers—it doesn’t change the reality that we may be dealing with up to five generations in the workplace. Strong communication skills and the ability to recognize the differences and similarities of each group will set you apart from your competition.


Thursday, March 17, 9:15 AM - 9:30 AM 
MINI SESSION: Feng Shui Made Easy for Your Pet Business
Instructor: Linda Cahan
Room W204A

This mini session focuses on how the 7,000-year-old practice of Feng Shui can be applied to create a prosperous, successful, appealing and healthy environment in your store. Based on the book Feng Shui for Retailers, the mini session will help you easily apply its approach to working with space and materials to achieve the best flow of energy in your space.


Thursday, March 17, 9:30 AM - 9:45 AM 
MINI SESSION: Experiences From Training Animal Actors
Instructor: Joel Silverman
Room W204A

With over 35 years experience, Joel Silverman has been fortunate to train and coordinate the animal action for television commercials and print ads. He will share behind-the-scenes stories on the selection and training process, and explain how many of the same techniques can be applied to training dogs at home.


Thursday, March 17, 9:45 AM - 10:00 AM 
MINI SESSION: Rethinking Social Media to Achieve More Meaningful Results
Instructor: Ben Smith
Room W204A
Social media can be frustrating. Often, expectations don’t match outcomes, we struggle to see results or feel like we’re speaking into a void. In this short introductory session, we’ll take a step back and look at why adopting the right mindset is critical to success. Ben Smith will share key tenets to building and managing successful social media campaigns and communities.



Thursday, March 17, 10:30 AM - 11:45 AM 
Facebook Advertising: Spend Less, Reach Better Prospects
Instructor: Ben Smith
Room W204A

Using Facebook, businesses of all sizes have a powerful opportunity to deliver highly targeted messages to customers and new prospects. Messages can be targeted with great precision and designed to drive specific, measurable outcomes to help grow your business and outsmart competitors. In this session, Ben Smith will provide a step-by-step how-to guide and share valuable tips for success.


Thursday, March 17, 10:30 AM - 11:45 AM 
Refresh & Repeat: 10 Secrets to Keeping Your Store New & Exciting
Instructor: Linda Cahan
Room W203B

Blow the dust out of your pet store and give it fresh appeal—affordably. Learn 10 secrets and easy ways to create a new feeling in your existing space and keep customers coming back to see what’s new. Then, learn how to keep refreshing on an ongoing basis to make your store feel new all the time. It’s a “refresher course” you can’t miss.

Thursday, March 17, 12:30 PM - 1:45 PM 
Getting the Best from Co-Workers
Instructor: Joel Silverman
Room W204A

With over 35 years experience, Joel Silverman is a Hollywood animal trainer, spokesperson, TV host and author. Based on his book, Bond With Your Heart, Train With Your Brain, this session explores how the best trainers develop great relationships with others. Learn how taking the time to get to know your employees and coworkers will increase communication, understanding and learning.


Thursday, March 17, 12:30 PM - 1:45 PM 
Take Your Sales from 8 to 80 - Understanding, Appreciating & Selling to All Generations
Instructor: Linda Cahan
Room W203B

Boomers aren’t just “old people” any more than Gen Zs are just “kids.” Understanding how and why each generation thinks, shops and buys gives you the key to making decisions about how you approach each person as well as your store design: from decor, to lighting, signs and layout. Linda Cahan will show you how to appeal to customers from every generation.


Thursday, March 17, 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM 
Contagious Service Touchpoints
Instructor: Anne Obarski
Room W203B

Do your customers receive exceptional customer service at every possible point of connection? We are all part of the “switching economy”—one click away from being tempted by the competition. Your customers can leave you after one mistake, one blunt conversation or a slow website response! What is your company’s “touchpoint score?” How can you ensure exceptional customer service 24/7?


Thursday, March 17, 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM 
How Video is Changing Social Media and Ways You Can Participate
Instructor: Ben Smith
Room W204A

Video is redefining social media and presenting exciting opportunities. Apps like Periscope and Meerkat allow anyone with a smartphone to stream live video. This session will look at how different social networks use video, give tips for optimizing video for live-streaming apps, and offer ideas for easy-to-create video that makes for great content. Note: the session will not cover technicalities of shooting and editing video.


Thursday, March 17, 3:30 PM - 4:45 PM 
How Much is That Doggy in the Window?
Instructor: Tom Shay
Room W203B
Every retailer has some inventory that has been sitting on the shelf collecting dust. Unsold inventory can cost your store a lot of money, wasted shelf space and opportunity. This session will show you how much dead inventory is costing your business in sales and profit. We will also look at ways you can convert that inventory into cash.



Thursday, March 17, 3:30 PM - 4:45 PM 
Understanding Dogs & Their Personalities
Instructor: Joel Silverman
Room W204A

Joel Silverman has over 35 years experience as a Hollywood animal trainer, spokesperson, TV host and author. This seminar, based on Joel’s first book—What Color is Your Dog?—looks at dogs and their personalities. This session will help you and your employees understand how the personality traits of a family pet often dictate the purchasing decisions of your customers.


Friday, March 18, 9:00 AM - 10:15 AM 
On the Floor - A Merchandising GPS for Increased Sales
Instructor: Anne Obarski
Room W204A

Customers rate your performance every time they come in contact with you and your store—with a direct connection between your visual merchandising and brand identity. Anne Obarski will offer strategies for effective store merchandising, first impressions, store layout, productivity of space, importance of signage, effective displays and appealing to customers’ emotions through their senses.


Friday, March 18, 9:00 AM - 10:15 AM 
Take the “Rocket” Out of the Science of Selling
Instructor: Vicki Lynne Morgan
Room W203B

No one is a born salesperson, yet everyone is on the sales team, regardless of their role in business. Program concepts include: the five “knows,” the anatomy of a sale, how to avoid 10 selling mistakes, and what it takes to earn the sale and get to “yes” faster. Vicki Lynne Morgan will show how to achieve your sales goals and earning potential, and build customer trust and business opportunities for a lifetime.


Friday, March 18, 10:30 AM - 11:45 AM 
How to Launch & Sustain Your Pet Business
Instructor: Vicki Lynne Morgan
Room W203B

Are you launching or re-inventing your business? Before you spend a dime, preplanning is a must. Important topics include: personal characteristics, research, feasibility, target audiences, business and marketing plans, competitive rivalry, messaging and your 14-step full-circle business system. Vicki Lynne Morgan will show how to use extensive research and focus to ensure you’re on the right track.


Friday, March 18, 10:30 AM - 11:45 AM 
You Can Hire a Manager But You Can’t Hire an Owner
Instructor: Tom Shay
Room W204A

Ever find there is more work at the end of the day than you can handle? Are you performing tasks that your employees should be handling? If you answer “yes” to either of these questions, you will want to attend this session, which can help you put some order into your personal and business life. Tom Shay will also show how to pay more attention to the items that make money for your business.

 

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