Anne Ferrante, senior vice president of member relations & business development for the American Pet Products Association, discusses how Global Pet Expo has become a must-attend trade show for vendors and buyers around the world.
How does the participation of international exhibitors and attendees at this year’s Global Pet Expo compare to previous years? What does this say about the growing influence of the show worldwide?
Anne Ferrante: In 2010, Global Pet Expo’s International Pavilion started with just 30 booths, and this year—with our new Country Pavilion format—we have nearly 100 booths in our pavilions. In total, Global Pet Expo features nearly 260 exhibitors from 30 countries, both in the pavilions and throughout the show floor.
This growth is significant and parallels the growing international interest in the U.S. pet care market. Buyers know that they will see a broad array of products from all over the world, so they attend with the confidence that they will find something that satisfies their customers’ demand for unique items with global flair. This dynamic ensures that Global Pet Expo is a top place on the international show scene, attracting key buyers from the U.S. and Canada, as well as from over 80 other countries.
What countries are represented in the Country Pavilions this year? How are they organized on the show floor?
Ferrante: Our pavilions feature exhibitors from Great Britain in aisles 1100-1200, Canada in aisles 2700-2800, China in aisles 4000-4200 and Taiwan in aisles 1200-1300.
Aside from giving them an opportunity to exhibit at the country’s premier trade show, how does the American Pet Products Association (APPA) help international vendors compete in the U.S. market?
Ferrante: APPA offers many programs and services to support our international exhibitors and members. At Global Pet Expo, APPA offers key elements from our Market Access Program. The Retail Market Tour takes attendees and buyers to four retail outlets to see American merchandising strategy in action. The event is moderated by a very insightful retail specialist—Dave Bolen—and begins with a market briefing followed by store tours. En route, participants learn the nuances of the U.S. supply chain and what to expect when selling to key U.S. retailers. This program offers great networking opportunities, as well as valuable insight from a seasoned industry expert.
Also part of the Market Access program, APPA offers three market research seminars. The new volume of the APPA Generation Report will make its debut at Global Pet Expo and APPA market research analysts Fran Berger and Julie Springer will present insights into U.S. pet owner data by generation. A presentation by Packaged Facts will discuss Channel Trends and the Online Onslaught and Euromonitor International will present on Global Trends and Developments in the Pet Care Market.
In addition, the APPA National Pet Owners Survey is instrumental in acclimating international suppliers to the U.S. pet care market. APPA also offers education and assistance through our Ex-Im Program, which provides consulting, regulatory and compliance insight, logistics and U.S. customs broker assistance.
Does APPA offer similar assistance to American companies that want to expand into international markets?
Ferrante: APPA offers members a broad array of programs to assist with their exporting initiatives. Global market reports help members identify and assess markets of interest, and our Ex-Im Program assists with every level of exporting, from assessing export readiness to freight consolidating and logistics.
In addition, we partner with the U.S. government and various foreign trade commissions to bring international buyers to Global Pet Expo. Working with Food Export USA, The Pet Food Buyers Mission is offered each year at Global Pet Expo. This program successfully connects suppliers with qualified foreign buyers who display interest in buying their product. APPA also supports foreign trade commissions, which bring delegations of qualified buyers to Global Pet Expo, and individual meetings are created with APPA members.
APPA’s U.S. and global data offerings and our export-import initiatives are expanding each year, truly giving APPA members and Global Pet Expo exhibitors every advantage in the global marketplace.