It goes without saying that coronavirus has certainly changed how our manufacturers are doing business… as well as the opportunities to be part of pet food supply gatherings on a mass scale. Global Pet Expo had very minimal attendance in March of this year as it occurred concurrent with the international outbreak of COVID-19. After first being postponed, SuperZoo 2020 has now been rescheduled for August 2021.
But before we get too settled into a miniature pity party belaboring all of our missed opportunities here, let’s honestly evaluate if these events are really the right event for OUR manufacturers. Because, let’s be real, both of these events are internationally renowned and absolutely dominated — from banners to brochures to floor space — by big pet food and the industrial giants. For those of our members who have set up booths at these events, you know you’re stuck in the back, and let’s face it: it’s a long walk from the front of the expo center to where your booth is set up.
And yet, I totally get the appeal to attend.
It’s possible that the small(er) companies attend these over-sized events because they’re hoping to get noticed and take the pet food world by storm. It’s highly possible that many small manufacturers actually attend these large events because they want to be bought out by the big companies – the other side. Or you’re simply trying to get noticed by wholesalers so they will carry your line. And look, we all need to make money while we’re proving Fluffy and Fido the best food possible.
But maybe this is a situation of RIGHT STRATEGY / WRONG FORUM and maybe this is the PERFECT time to think about what that right forum may be.
Introducing: Pet Con Expo. This is a newer, small trade show occurring virtually in New Jersey in October. It is designed to connect small businesses and independently owned chains with products their market literally can’t get anywhere else. Perhaps this one — and others similar events — is the venue we really need to be considering. Let’s get picked up but let’s get picked up by independent retailers who want to promote our brands as a way of setting their own stores apart! Frankly, it’s these stores who support what we do anyway!
So, that’s where you’ll find Next Gen PFMA showing up as a sponsor this year. We will also be speaking, as well as Susan Thixton, Drs Barbara Royal and Ryan Yamka. And I invite you to join me. Actually, I worked out a little deal so if you want more information, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know.