After compiling final show numbers, leaders from the American Pet Products Association (APPA) and Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA) announced that Global Pet Expo 2011 exceeded last year's record-setting numbers in nearly every aspect with thousands of innovative, new pet products introduced, and a record number of booths, exhibiting companies and buyers attending the show.
According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), there are 13,000 trade shows in the U.S. every year and Trade Show Executive Magazine has ranked Global Pet Expo #82, making this Show one of the top 100 in the exhibition industry. Square footage of paid exhibit space at Global Pet Expo was an astonishing 238,000 net square feet for 2011.
This year's Global Pet Expo took place March 16-18, 2011 in Orlando, FL, and enjoyed growth that far exceeded organizers' expectations with 835 exhibiting companies, 2,380 booths and total attendance of 4,691 buyers - the highest buyer attendance ever at Global Pet Expo.
One contributing factor to the success of Global Pet Expo 2011 was that it moved to an all-weekday pattern to better accommodate buyers as compared to the previous year.
"I believe our new show date pattern definitely contributed to the record level of attendance this year," said Andrew Darmohraj, APPA Senior Vice President. "Overwhelmingly we had heard from buyers that the amount of time they spend at the Show would increase should the show dates take place on weekdays only as opposed to the previous format of Thursday through Saturday. As buyer attendance is critical to the success of Global Pet Expo and its exhibitors, we listened and successfully made the change to a Wednesday through Friday format."
Global Pet Expo is a gathering of the pet industry from around the world representing the leading retail chains, pet superstores and mass-market retailers, distributors, wholesalers and independent retailers. These attendees spend three days surveying the hottest pet products that have yet to hit store shelves. This year they witnessed everything from doggie exercise equipment and hi-tech gadgets to the latest aquatic pets...jellyfish. Each year thousands of new products are launched and debuted at Global Pet Expo.
Nearly two months before Global Pet Expo opened its doors at the Orange County Convention Center, the Show's special sections including "Natural Pet," "Boutique," "Everything Aquatic" and "What's New!," sold out. The special sections, created in response to growing pet product trends in the industry, showcased popular product lines and made it easier for buyers to navigate the show floor. And when Show doors opened there was still a waiting list to get a booth anywhere on the floor.
"Social media also played a huge part in creating buzz leading up to Global Pet Expo as well as during the Show," said Darmohraj.
The Global Pet Expo website and Facebook page provided up to the minute information on show events, daily highlights and other important news. Exhibitors were also encouraged to Tweet during the Show to broadcast specials and promotional information on the flat screens throughout the floor. Global Pet Expo's Twitter and Facebook pages grew to all-time highs with Twitter followers increasing 51% and the Facebook fan base ballooning 325% from last year's show.
"We're also happy to report a record level of media attendance including online news outlets and bloggers," said Darmohraj.
This year, dog trainer and TV personality, Victoria Stilwell was named the 2011 recipient of Global Pet Expo's annual "Excellence in Journalism and Outstanding Contributions to the Pet Industry Award." Stilwell accepted her award at a media-exclusive event sponsored by Nestle Purina Pet Care Company on March 17, 2011.
Global Pet Expo 2011 also marked the debut of the New Products Showcase Awards Presentation. The ‘Best in Show' ceremony took place on the Show floor and was hosted by veterinarian and media personality, Dr. Marty Becker. With more entrants into the showcase this year than ever, buyers had to really take their time searching through the hundreds of products across all categories to determine ‘Best in Show.'
"The sheer number of new products entered into this year's New Products Showcase is a positive sign of continued growth and innovation in the industry," said Darmohraj.
Global Pet Expo's success is also reflected by industry spending figures announced at the Show. Industry spending in 2010 hit $48.35 billion and is projected to grow another 5.1 percent to $50.84 billion in 2011.
"Global Pet Expo's success continues to validate the strength of the pet industry as a whole, as well as demonstrates how the industry recognizes and responds to the importance of the human-animal bond," said Bob Vetere, APPA President.
For hi-res images of this year's Show please visit http://www.thephotogroup.com/ and enter access code: appa11press. Online images will be available until June 2011.
The 2012 Global Pet Expo will take place Wednesday-Friday, February 29-March-2, 2012 in Orlando, FL, at the Orange County Convention Center. For details, visithttp://www.globalpetexpo.org/