global learning 2

Global Pet Expo's new Global Learning Series is a robust educational program that is customized for retailers, distributors, exhibitors and other special groups. Free to all Global Pet Expo Digital Access registrants, the expert-led sessions cover a wide range of topics on four distinct tracks:

Paws2Learn — Quick, on-the-go learning experiences and three Paws2Give sessions covering initiatives and good works everyone in the pet care community should learn about.

Keynote Series — State of the Industry Keynote session, Post-Pandemic Success for Independent Retailers, and Integrating Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Into Your Business Culture

Market Data Sessions — What to plan for in 2021 and beyond, including the latest data in pet ownership, profitability, and more.

Hot Topics — Your business has been turned upside down. Dive into hot topics facing the pet industry.

Retailer Success Series — 18 sessions, presented by retail industry experts in areas such as customer experience, human resources, leadership, PR & marketing, and profitability & growth.

Here's what's on the schedule:

 

Wednesday, March 24

12:00pm–12:40pm

Keynote: State of the Industry

2020 was a year of profound change. The pet care community experienced increased demand from pet owners while the pandemic disrupted production capabilities, supply chain efficiency and consumer shopping habits. The APPA and PIDA executive team will look back on this extraordinary year and its impact on pet products and services and explore what 2021 has in store for our industry. Will the pet industry top the $100 billion mark for the first time? Join us to find out!

SPEAKERS: Steve King, APPA President & CEO; Celeste M. Powers, CAE, President Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA)

 

12:45pm–1:00pm 

Update from HABRI

The mission of The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) is to advance the vital role of the human-animal bond in the health and well-being of individuals, families, communities and companion animals. Hear more about how you can help support HABRI and promote the human-animal bond.

 

1:00pm–1:40pm

HERO Customer Experience in a COVID-19

Environment Andy illustrates that crises lead to forced innovation, therefore we need to create solutions to provide even better services. Customers will always remember how they were cared for and appreciated during a time of crisis. Andy also shares examples from around the globe on how to create customer loyalty, avoid dissatisfaction and improve reputation, including on social media. Enjoy this timely, interactive and impactful program, which provides critical solutions to our industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.

SPEAKER: Andy Masters, Masters Performance Improvement, Inc.

 

How to Make 2021 Make up for 2020!

The COVID-19 pandemic made 2020 the most challenging year in recent history. Now, we need to figure out the steps we must take to rebuild the business and set it up for future success. Share key strategies and techniques that every retailer should follow to make 2021’s sales and performance turn 2020 into just a fading bad memory.

SPEAKER: Dan Jablons, Retail Smart Guys

 

The Impact of COVID-19 on U.S. Pet Ownership

Join us for a comprehensive look at how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted U.S. pet ownership. The seminar will feature data from The APPA National Pet Owners Survey, as well as APPA’s COVID-19 Pulse Study. These studies explore consumer attitudes and behaviors over the course of 2020, including pet product purchasing and service consumption.

SPEAKER: Julie Springer, APPA

 

1:45pm–2:00pm

Natural Pet ProductsTrends

Take a deep dive into the natural attributes impacting the pet industry today.

SPEAKER: Amy Kerr, SPINS

 

Keeping Great Employees

Anne will share a few simple and cost-effective suggestions on how to keep talent: Understand who you are competing with for talent, determine what incentives motivate your employees, and utilize low- or no-cost methods to improve employee satisfaction.

SPEAKER: Anne Rollins, Rollins HR Consulting

 

Update from Pets in the Classroom

Tune in to learn more about this program supported by Global Pet Expo’s partners, APPA and PIDA. This session will provide an overview of the mission and goals for the Pets in the Classroom program. Learn additional ways you can get involved in supporting the entire pet care community.

 

2:00pm–2:40pm

It’s Time to Adapt — or Die on the Vine: Marketing Tactics You Must Use in 2021 to Connect with Your Customers

The events of the past year have fundamentally changed the way customers interact with retailers — including your pet business. Online shopping habits have been altered forever, and for pet businesses to survive this permanent consumer change, they must be prepared to quickly adopt new marketing strategies or suffer the fate of the dinosaurs. Join us as we give lessons that will help your pet business ride with the tide — and not be a victim of extinction. Attendees will gather critical tools and marketing strategies that will always help them generate revenue and build customer loyalty. Let’s work on a marketing strategy that will propel your pet business to more profit — whatever the circumstances!

SPEAKER: Lynn Switanowski, Creative Business Consulting Group

 

Enhancing the Customer Experience

Learn how to tell a story from the outside in, create an extraordinary time in your store, implement touchless solutions, and review every touchpoint to create a new experience with safety in mind.

SPEAKER: Chris Miller, Pacific Store Designs

 

Pet Innovation in the Marketplace

From CBD, to grain-free, to raw, the pet industry is in a state of change as pet parents place emphasis on the types of products they buy to fuel their furry or scaly kids. SPINS has seen how the natural and specialty pet market has adapted human health and wellness trends, driving innovation in pet products now more than ever. Join pet industry expert Amy Kerr of SPINS for an overview of how pet innovation manifests in the marketplace, including hot functional ingredients in pet food, treats and wellness care segments, plus how natural and organic pet products stack up against conventional items.

SPEAKER: Amy Kerr, SPINS

 

2:45pm–3:00pm

Pet Sustainability Coalition

Learn how 200 pet companies measure, improve, and celebrate their profitable environmental and social impact. Presented by Caitlyn Dudas, Co-Founder and Executive Director.

 

Pet Store Pro: Training for Success

Pet Store Pro recently launched several new enhancements to this free retailer training program. Learn how you can incorporate this program into your overall employee training.

 

3:00pm–3:40pm

What’s Your Pink Pig? How to Feed and Nurture Your Competitive Clout!

Marketing, service and creating a customer experience are all critical parts of any successful business. But what is it that really sets your company apart from the competition in an unusual way, post crisis? When your customers talk about your business, what is the first thing they now say to describe your business? Discover simple things that you must do to cement your brand in your customers’ minds. Ask yourself, “Is my team part of my brand and how can I make that impression one that lasts and spreads?” Learn how creating and marketing a “Contagious Experience” for your customers will drive them to your business the first time — and then encourage them to return and spread the word along the way.

SPEAKER: Anne Obarski, Merchandising Concepts

 

Never Have a “Difficult Conversation” Again: Communication Is the Key to Effective Relationships with Your Employees

In this session, we will talk about what effective communication looks like: Communication as a two-way street; setting performance expectations so employees adopt your mission, vision and goals, while doing what you need them to be doing; providing regular feedback, and not just the negative stuff; and documenting performance conversations quickly and painlessly. Anne will show how small, simple investments of your time with your staff can have big payoffs, including increased retention, reduced turnover, improved performance, happy employees — and a better quality of life for you.

SPEAKER: Anne Rollins, Rollins HR Consulting

 

U.S. Pet Market Outlook and Trends 2021

From an omnimarket cross-sector perspective, this presentation of Packaged Facts research covers key market issues in the wake of COVID-19: Pet market growth, pet acquisition and pet population across animal types, pet care psychographics and the “new breed” of pet owners, e-commerce/channel share shifts, and digital pet health care trends. Addressed in this market growth and opportunities context are the roles and impact of pet welfare causes, subscription products and services, product personalization and customization, and broader consumer market drivers.

SPEAKER: David Sprinkle, Packaged Facts

 

4:00pm–4:40pm

Retail Market Tour

Our very successful live tour has been adapted to a webcast format for Global Pet Expo Digital Access. Join us for a pet industry market briefing and guided retail outlet overview from our moderator and retail specialist, Dave Bolen. Dave will highlight visits to the leading pet retail outlets to showcase U.S. in-store merchandising strategy in practice. The itinerary contains views and insights into a variety of pet product retailers touching on leaders in the pet specialty, mass, and e-commerce channels.

SPEAKER: Dave Bolen, The Bolen Group

 

Thursday, March 25

12:00pm–12:40pm

Keynote: The New Normal in Retail

Faced with the daunting challenge of retailing during a worldwide pandemic, pet stores across the country made critical adjustments to their businesses while leveraging unique, established strengths to continue serving customers in their time of need. In this lively panel discussion, learn not only how a diverse group of independent and neighborhood pet specialty retailers not only overcame the unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19, but how they plan to drive their businesses to new heights in a post-pandemic retail landscape.

MODERATOR: Mark Kalaygian, Pet Business

 

12:45pm–1:00pm 

Update from Pets in the Classroom

Tune in to learn more about this program supported by Global Pet Expo’s partners, APPA and PIDA. This session will provide an overview of the mission and goals for the Pets in the Classroom program. Learn additional ways you can get involved in supporting the entire pet care community.

 

1:00pm–1:40pm

Navigating the New Normal: Embracing Work & Life in the Era of COVID-19

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, organizations have downsized and are operating extremely trim. Never before have managers and employees been asked to wear so many hats and do more with less both in the office and remotely while balancing the anxiety of health, finances and family. A timely, interactive, and impactful program that truly helps attendees embrace our new normal in both work and life.

SPEAKER: Andy Masters, Masters Performance Improvement, Inc.

 

Hire the “Right Fit” Employees Every Time

Many employers are frustrated to find that the seemingly stellar employee they met in the interview is not the person who shows up to work the first day of the job. Participants in this fun and interactive program will analyze the difference between behavioral and traditional interviews, identify the benefits of a structured, behavioral interview, practice developing behavioral interview questions that will help identify the “best fit” candidate, and practice conducting the three phases of a great behavioral employment interview.

SPEAKER: Amy Castro, Triad Communications Inc.

 

The Future of Pet Care: Global Trends and Opportunities

Despite a pandemic and economic instability, global pet care sales thrived in 2020. Pet populations soared with increased adoption rates, and pet owners did not compromise on product quality standards. But, with the uncertainties shaping today’s world, will the industry remain on this trajectory? Join Euromonitor International’s Head of Pet Care Jared Koerten to dissect global pet care performance. This presentation will examine several new growth frontiers for the industry, including channel shifts, sustainability, and trends in product claims and formats.

SPEAKER: Jared Koerten, Euromonitor International

 

1:45pm–2:00pm

Introducing Clubhouse for Your Business

Join this mini session for the basics of getting on Clubhouse and tips and tricks on how to utilize it to grow your network, and shine a light on your pet business. Pet professionals have been flocking to Clubhouse since the end of 2020 — a tremendous global platform for new and seasoned pet professionals.

SPEAKER: Nancy Hassel, American Pet Professionals

 

Finding More Space in Your Store

This session will show you how to find hidden space in the same footprint of your store. Using these ideas and concepts, you can add at least 77 linear feet of selling space to an average 2,400-square-foot store. You will learn: 10 NEW display ideas to save space in your store; Unlock 3 KEY areas to display more products; and 3 secrets to give customers more aisle space.

SPEAKER: Chris Miller, Pacific Store Designs

 

2:00pm–2:40pm

Empowering Employees to Empower Themselves

Letting go of control in your pet business can be difficult for many owners and managers. However, by empowering your employees to empower themselves, your employees will become stronger, more confident, and they’ll feel more ownership and accountability to their jobs and your business. Research also shows that empowering employees leads to happy customers and a more successful business. In this fun and interactive workshop, you’ll learn the steps to take to create an empowered and productive workforce by providing employees with clear responsibilities, boundaries and freedom for decision making; provide effective feedback that motivates; and more.

SPEAKER: Amy Castro, Triad Communications Inc.

 

Be an A.C.E.: 8 Steps to Delivering an Astonishing Customer Experience

We’ll focus on 8 critical areas of your store that EACH need to be spot on to deliver that “astonishing” experience at every single touch point you have with your customer, including the “face” of your business culture and how diversity and inclusion internally and externally is more important than ever. The A.C.E. grading scale includes marketing, exterior and interior, employees, merchandising, and 3 more areas you might not have considered.

SPEAKER: Anne Obarski, Merchandising Concepts

 

How to Help Pets and Increase Profits by Building a Strong Supplement Section

Pet supplement sales rose an astonishing 21% in 2020, confirming that pet parents view these products as an important tool for helping their animals live longer, healthier and happier lives. While this trend is expected to level off post-pandemic, the fact remains that the market is vigorous and supplements have the highest gross profit per square inch of any other category, representing continuous-use SKUs that bring customers back to the store.

PANEL SESSION LEAD BY: Bill Bookout, NASC

 

2:45pm–3:00pm

The Latest from PIJAC

Tune in to learn more about the Pet Industry Joint Advisory (PIJAC), supported by Global Pet Expo’s partners, APPA and PIDA. This session will provide an introduction of PIJAC, their mission, and goals for 2021 and beyond. Learn additional ways you can get involved in supporting the entire pet care community through involvement with PIJAC.

 

Delegate Like a Boss in 5 Easy Steps

When delegation opportunities arise, too many business owners and managers think, “It’s quicker and easier to do it myself.” However, when you avoid delegating, you not only hurt yourself, your business and your employees’ development, but you also risk losing great employees because lack of opportunities for growth is one of the top reasons employees leave their jobs. In this quick mini session, leadership and communication expert Amy Castro will share her 5 essential steps to effective delegation as well as tips for making every delegated task or project a success!

SPEAKER: Amy Castro, Triad Communications Inc.

 

3:00pm–3:40pm

From Scrambling to Planning and Beyond: Planning and Preparing Your Pet Business for Whatever Comes Next

The past year has been full of retail business interruption. Was your pet business prepared, or was it left scrambling to create strategies that would keep the sales flowing and the customers satisfied? Know this — chaos will continue to happen, and the key is to prepare for the chaos that “might” come. Attendees will spend time forward thinking about their business to ensure that chaos does NOT rule the day — whether it's planned or not. Join us and learn how to create strategies for each part of your business to be as flexible as it can be when it comes to dealing with all types of business difficulties and disruptions.

SPEAKER: Lynn Switanowski, Creative Business Consulting Group

 

How 2020 Changed the Pet Retail Landscape and What Could Come Next?

Please join NielsenIQ as we review the key pet consumer and retail trends that shaped 2020, including evolving shopping patterns and an ecommerce deepz dive, the lasting impacts of Covid-19 and 2020 product preferences trends. Our experts will also discuss NielsenIQ’s predictions of what we think is likely to stay and shape 2021.

SPEAKER: Nielsen

 

Marketing Plans & Marketing Execution

You’ve got a marketing plan and you have or are the marketing go-to person for your company. This session is about execution on marketing: How to ensure that campaigns go smoothly, how to evaluate when things need to change or evolve, when and where to work with other departments/groups to accelerate plans, and how to ensure that you manage to keep your priorities and growth targets in focus. Bring your examples/problems to work through in the working part of this session, or come and hear some great examples from Phil to spark ideas.

SPEAKER: Phil Chang, Retail Phil

 

Friday, March 26

12:00pm–12:40pm 

Keynote: Inclusive Leadership 

Viewing diversity and inclusion as a leadership function is vital for well-functioning organizations. Years of experience have taught us that a diverse, inclusive workplace and society do not just happen, yet we recognize that huge demographic shifts are happening that impact society, requiring strategic diversity and intentional inclusion to be practiced at every level to optimize performance. Learning how to become effective allies and strengthen team engagement requires operating as Intentional Inclusionists®. Dr. Nika White, the author of The Intentional Inclusionist®, will discuss principles for becoming an inclusion-minded leader with a focus on intercultural difference and unconscious bias.

SPEAKER: Dr. Nika White

 

12:45pm–1:00pm

Update from Pets and Vets Program

 

1:00pm–1:40pm 

Retail Survivors! Who Will Make It, Who Won’t and Why 

We go through the attributes that retailers need to have today to make their businesses bulletproof for 2021 and beyond. It includes everything a retailer needs to consider to not only survive this incredibly difficult year but also some case studies for retailers who are actually beating last year’s numbers!

SPEAKER: Dan Jablons, Retail Smart Guys 

 

Now Is the Time to Expand Your Exports

Pivoting to exports may be the right choice for your business as other markets recover faster than the United States. Do you know the top international markets for your products? What market entry strategies could you pursue? Do you know how to find qualified buyers in those markets? 

We’ll identify some of the top export markets for the pet products industry. Trade assistance programs at both the federal and state level are waiting to help you, and we’ll cover some of what they can do for you, including some finance options that can allow you to update equipment and build inventory. They can help you find and qualify buyers and can be a great source for assistance before you follow up with the business lead you just picked up. It’s time to think beyond our borders in your search for market opportunities. Firms that step up and do the groundwork when times are tough are the ones that reap the biggest rewards when we hit the next up cycle.

SPEAKER: Laurie Wolff, Distinguished Fellow, NASBITE International

 

1:45pm–2:00pm 

The Power of Words: Branding and Brand Language

This session is about how to think about branding and why it’s important to everything you do. With small brands and retailers, it’s normal to skip over the words and get right to selling. Having the wrong words, though, affects your website, product information, Google Ads and pretty much everything else. In this session, find out why branding and words are so important.

SPEAKER: Phil Chang, Retail Phil

 

2:00pm–2:40pm 

Pandemic Retailing in the Pet Industry 

What shoe is going to drop next? Learn how to address the new shopping experience psychology of shoppers; new store design strategies; 5 new apps and software to help you in these troubled times; the “new first point of contact” ideas and solutions; and what to expect when it’s finally all over.

SPEAKER: Chris Miller, Pacific Store Designs

 

Leveraging LinkedIn for Your Pet Business

Yes, LinkedIn. We will show you the amazing ways you can leverage LinkedIn, stand out, make incredible professional connections, and reach more customers and clients. Simple tips will include how to have an effective LinkedIn profile, business page and how to find those contacts you never thought you would be able to reach. 

SPEAKER: Nancy Hassel, American Pet Professionals

 

2:45pm–3:00pm 

How to Give Your Customers a Total Retail Experience and Build Your Pet Community! 

To stay ahead of competition, today’s retailer needs to be more than just a checkout line. Find out how adding support services, in-store and online experiences builds customer relationships, creates community and increases product sales!

SPEAKER: Patricia Zeller, Animal Connection LLC

 

3:00pm–3:40pm 

The Hidden Power of Pricing 

Every day you make pricing decisions that impact both your margin and the buying experience of your customers. Are you making the most out of those decisions? Pricing is complicated but research has unlocked some key insights that can help your bottom line. Behavioral economics and other scientific studies have revealed a number of patterns that can work to your advantage. This session will cover insights from a number of economic models and studies. No calculations here — just the important insights that have come from a field recently awarded Nobel Prizes for its top thinkers. Be informed and deliberate when you decide to raise or lower a product’s price. Use patterns of behavior to your business advantage.

SPEAKER: Laurie Wolff, Distinguished Fellow, NASBITE International

 

Celebrating Diversity in the Pet Industry

Panel discussion with pet industry professionals from diverse backgrounds. Hear about their industry and career choices and how the pet industry can be more inclusive.

SPEAKER: Nancy Hassel, American Pet Professionals  

 

Download the full Global Pet Expo education brochure HERE