What is the Most Important Event for Retailers at Global Pet Expo?



What could be better than going to the Sunshine State for the pet industry’s largest annual pet products exhibition? Coming home with a bunch of new ideas on how to propel your business forward—and maybe even a sweet trophy—of course.


In just a matter of weeks, practically the entire pet industry will gather at the 15th Annual Global Pet Expo, which will take place March 20-22 at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., and we at Pet Business couldn’t be more excited.


This year’s show promises to be the biggest yet, in every sense of the word. It will feature more than 1,000 pet product vendors spread across 16 football fields worth of exhibit space, more than 3,000 new product launches highlighted in a 30,000-sq.-ft. New Products Showcase and a robust educational program comprising more than 30 educational seminars that retailers can attend for free.


It’s an impressive list of features, to be sure. Yet, what is perhaps my favorite part of Global Pet Expo will take place in a relatively modest meeting space off the show floor before the doors even open on day two of the exhibition.


That’s where Pet Business and the organizers of Global Pet Expo will honor 10 outstanding independent pet specialty retailers at the 8th Annual Retailer Excellence Awards (REA). A program designed to recognize the efforts of retailers in a variety of areas, including merchandising, marketing, customer service and community outreach, the REAs have become a highlight of the show for me—and many pet store owners and operators—and this year is no exception.


In fact, there’s even more to like about this year’s program. We’ve added two new award categories that are extremely relevant in the current pet retail environment—Best Internet Marketing and Best Eco-Friendly Retailer. Both speak to the evolving preferences and habits of the modern pet-owning consumer and will cast a spotlight on some of the today’s most forward-thinking retailers. Nominations in all categories are accepted from retailers themselves, as well as their vendor partners, until Feb. 21. You can download a copy of the nomination form here. 


As if the awards alone weren’t enough to create a must-attend event, this year’s presentation will be followed by a series of roundtable discussions, where some of the expert Global Pet Expo Academy speakers will lead peer-to-peer conversations about a variety of topics that are important to pet retailers. These discussions are sure to provide practical business-building ideas that retailers can put into action as soon as they get back to their stores—not to mention valuable new connections with their peers.


It all adds up to one of the most important events retailers can attend this year. But you should expect nothing less from the pet industry’s premier trade show—Global Pet Expo.


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