The intrinsic value of World Pet Association events is that they enable pet industry professionals to join their tribe and reignite their passions.
Traditionally, trade shows and conferences have been known to be a meeting point to conduct business. While that is true for many industries, the events and conferences produced by World Pet Association (WPA) are about so much more. The Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference, SuperZoo and Aquatic Experience are about bringing the tribe together, providing a platform for the pet products community to collaborate, learn, grow, renew their passion and refresh their point of view. I would describe these events as a family reunion of sorts.
The intrinsic value of trade shows goes beyond the orders written, the marketing partnerships and the exhibitor branding. It’s about the knowledge sharing—the opportunity to collaborate and glean ideas from industry peers. Traditional trade shows vary greatly in format. From huge exhibition venues to small, intimate gatherings, trade shows remain key to facilitating the need for human interaction and the desire to partner via face-to-face exchange.
As a result of my tenure in the industry and my service on the WPA Board of Directors, I have attended many industry shows—more than I can count. I always know I’m at a WPA event when I see high fives, handshakes and even hugs. It’s like being home. The show floor provides an inspirational glimpse into the passion this industry shares.
Networking is a cornerstone of all WPA shows, giving the industry a formal opportunity to connect with old friends, develop new relationships and celebrate the industry as a whole. After each show, we conduct post show surveys. Consistently, networking is a highly requested show element, and hosted gatherings are also rated very high as an important aspect of the show. At WPA trade shows, these networking opportunities provide fun and productive platforms to schmooze and interact.
At Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference (March 8-11 in Atlanta), attendees gather at the Networking Reception, among other opportunities to connect. Groomers from all over the world convene to share drinks, hors d’oeuvres and great conversation with fellow pet-service professionals. From runway walk to shop talk, the fun filled evening features a Runway Abstract Design Challenge and a robust exchange of insider insights, trend reviews and technique discussions.
During SuperZoo (June 26-28 in Las Vegas) the community is eager to build relationships and share insights with like-minded professionals. The popular Networking Reception on the opening day of the trade show includes abundant hors d’oeuvres and casino-themed games and prizes. A concert on Wednesday, June 27, offers more opportunities for networking in a more relaxed setting.
Attendees at Aquatic Experience (October 19-21 in Secaucus, N.J.) will enjoy a Speaker Meet & Greet/Networking Reception. Here, they will not only have the unique opportunity to come together to exchange ideas with their colleagues, they will also be able to have an audience with the industry experts who have been on hand during the event leading the education sessions. It is a rare and valuable opportunity to have questions answered by those most knowledgeable about the topic.
I invite you to join us at any of these events to reignite your passion and recharge with your tribe, your community—your family. I will be at each of these events to celebrate the industry with everyone. I look forward to reconnecting with industry colleagues and encourage you to introduce yourself and make me one of your new connections. PB
Jacinthe Moreau is president of the World Pet Association.