The Most Important Event You've Never Attended



What if I told you that, for years, you have been missing out on a conference that can provide insight and leadership skills that will help drive your businesses to new heights? Something tells me you wouldn’t want to miss it again next year.


The Pet Industry Leadership Conference may be the most important industry event that most pet store owners have never attended. Hopefully, that is about to change, as the organizers have made it their mission to increase retailer participation in 2019 and beyond.


Next year’s conference will be held Jan. 27-30 at the La Cantera Resort & Spa in San Antonio and will once again gather top executives from across the industry to learn about and discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the pet care market, gain insight on what it takes to be a great leader, and build important relationships with current and prospective business partners. This formula has long served the industry’s distribution and manufacturing communities well, but it can be just as valuable to retailers.


Just take a look at some of the speakers that the conference’s organizers already have lined up:


Washington insider Jeff Bush will analyze the results of the 2018 mid-term elections and their implications for the business community


Economist Chris Kuehl will explain the impact of tariffs, the Fed’s interest rate hikes and the overall prospects for the U.S. economy in the year ahead


• Neil Pasricha, former director of leadership at Walmart and author of The Happiness Equation, will discuss the research he has done on happiness, mindset and human potential.


In addition, I will have the honor of moderating a panel of executives from some of the industry’s fastest-growing independent pet store chains (including several members of Pet Business’ Top 25 Retailers list) and will discuss the current retail environment and the future of pet specialty stores—just one example of how retail leaders are being embraced by the conference.


As with every year, there will also be a variety of breakout sessions covering topics that play a critical role in the success of pet businesses of all shapes and sizes, and many opportunities for networking.


As someone who has always advocated for more retailer participation in the Pet Industry Leadership Conference, I’m excited to see that the organizers—the Pet Industry Distributors Association, American Pet Products Association, Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council and World Pet Association—have made this a priority moving forward. Not only does it hold amazing potential for retailers, it will most certainly elevate the value of the event for everyone in attendance. 


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