A Decade of Growth

The 10th-annual Global Pet Expo was the biggest edition of the show so far.


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If you happened to see Global Pet Expo TV’s video highlights on Globalepetexpo.org, you will have noticed that we set the wrap-up/thank-you video to Pharrell’s song Happy. That is not only because I happen to really like the song, but because “happy” was the overwhelming sentiment we heard from attendees of this year’s show.


Exhibitors expressed great satisfaction with the record-breaking number of buyers at the show, and buyers were abuzz about the vast number and variety of companies displaying products.


The tenth-annual Global Pet Expo featured 5,597 buyers in attendance, a five percent increase over last year, more than 3,000 new pet product launches, 985 exhibitors and 2,896 booths sold—the highest post-show numbers to date. Total show attendance came to nearly 14,000 people, with 289,600 net square feet of exhibit space.


On a truly global front, 16 percent of exhibitors were international, making up 156 of the 985 exhibitors. An impressive 27 percent of buyers were from outside of the U.S., coming from 76 countries. To put those numbers in perspective, Global Pet Expo ranks No. 72 in size out of the 10,000 shows that take place annually in the U.S.


If you were at this year’s Global Pet Expo, you couldn’t help but see how much bigger the new products showcase was than in any year past—there were more than 900 entries. That area alone was bigger than the entire first APPMA Show. 


I’d like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of the buyers who took the time to cast their votes for best new products and congratulations to this year’s Best in Show winners. It was great to see such an incredible level of creative innovation this year. From food to products that contribute to shelters to high-tech pet monitoring cameras and collars, every aspect of pet care was covered in amazing fashion.


Each year, it’s fun to see the growing number of celebrities the pet industry is attracting. This year, we had baseball legend Tony La Russa promoting his involvement with take your dog to the park days at Major League Baseball stadiums. Former fashion model, designer and highly successful businesswoman Kathy Ireland spoke at the American Pet Products Association’s (APPA) Professional Women’s Network Breakfast and launched a new pet product line.


Global Pet Expo also continues to attract a growing number of media outlets, demonstrating American’s interest in pets and pet products. TODAY Show correspondent, Jill Rappaport attended Global Pet Expo with an NBC camera crew to cover the show, new products and industry trends for a TODAY Weekend Edition segment that aired the following Sunday. Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford covered Global Pet Expo the following week on the TODAY Show, fawning over new catnip toys, feeding puzzles and boots for dogs.


Global Pet Expo was also featured on the front page of the New York Times Home Section on Thursday, March 20, with stories on how many of the unique products at the show were created and further telling the world just how much we love our pets.


TLC (The Learning Channel) shot an episode of The Little Couple, one of their most popular shows, at Global Pet Expo to air later this year. Star of the show, Bill Klein and his mother-in-law Judy Arnold attended the show as buyers for their pet store, Rocky & Maggie’s Pet Shop.


With all the success Global Pet Expo has experienced over the past few years in Orlando, Fla., we announced that the show will be located there through 2019. It’s never too early to start planning now for next year, when the show will be held March 4-6. From all of us at Global Pet Expo, we look forward to seeing your happy faces next year.


Andrew Darmohraj is executive vice president and COO of the American Pet Products Association.

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