Backer Christmas Show Becomes Total Pet Expo
H.H. Backer Associates has revamped its annual fall show in Chicago in an effort to improve the attendee and exhibitor experience and draw key buyers from the U.S. and overseas.

The show—renamed Backer's Total Pet Expo—will have a variety of new attractions and a fresh graphic look.

 "Our goals is to help attendees get a jump on the competition for 2014 and finalize their holiday season buying for this year, which will be easier now that we have September dates," said Colette Fairchild, the show's director. "We'll feature a variety of new exhibitors and products and offer a new twist on the education portion of the show."

H.H. Backer Associates also unveiled a new website,, to help buyers find the vendor, products and service they want to see and make the registration process faster.

New or revamped features include a pet store model set up on the floor, serving as a resource center on store layout, merchandising, staff training and POS option. The show will also include an idea wall, which will provide a forum for sharing and reading retail tips; Backer Buyer Rewards; "The Smart Zone" education stations, which include tracks on technology, finance, marketing/merchandising, aquatics and animal health/wellness; a full-day pre-show seminar on retail sales and marking; a Product Innovations area (formally product showcase); free downtown Chicago shuttles; and improved networking opportunities.

The 2013 event will be held Sept. 20–22 at the Donald E Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill. Backer’s spring trade show, April 9-11, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J., also will assume the Total Pet Expo (Spring) name.