The first Global Pet Expo (APPMA) occurred 63 years ago with 17 exhibitors in 30 booths. The industry and the show have both come a long way since then. Although the show is virtual this year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is still much for 2021 attendees to see and experience:
- Over 200 separate exhibitors and the list is still growing – with companies from the U.S. and around the world – still a Global experience!
- As always, the New Product Showcase will be a major attraction.
- There will still be thousands of attendees with opportunities for virtual networking.
- The opportunity to choose from 39 targeted educational seminars – 23 hours of classes.
- Not 5 miles of aisles but get your fingers ready to do a lot of walking on your keyboard!
The show is open for 26 hours so let’s put this in “virtual” perspective and… “Do the Math!”
If you don’t attend any seminars, visit the New Product Showcase, stop to have a virtual chat with someone or to eat, drink or to go to the bathroom, you can spend about 6 minute and 55 seconds with each exhibitor. That’s a lot more than usual but now you will be competing for appointment times. You still definitely need a plan!
Global Pet Expo still has it all… and more. Attendees will find a broad selection of products while Exhibitors have the opportunity to reach a wide range of buyers across all retail channels.
First and foremost, Global is about Pet Products – Food, treats and a vast array of Supply categories. A regular flow of New Products is always critical to keep businesses and the whole industry strong and growing. Obviously, you must take the time to visit the New Product Showcase. You should also sign up for any relevant classes, network with other industry professionals and…”virtually” walk the whole show. There are many more new products being “launched” in exhibitor showrooms as there are on display in the New Product Showcase. Plus, even with the lower exhibitor count over 22% of the exhibitors were not at GPE 2020. Global is about gathering information and making decisions to improve your business – whether they are made on the spot or put on your “must do” list.
Every business can improve in terms of products. If you are a retailer, what sections of your store are not doing as well as you hoped and need a “facelift” or conversely, what areas are growing and need products to fill additional space? Category managers for distributors and retail chains may only be interested in targeted visits to exhibitors relevant to their “categories”. Representatives may be looking for new manufacturers…in specific product categories. Manufacturers could be looking to find distributors to handle their products or just looking to “check out” the competition. In regard to products, there is always something to see…for everyone!
And Global is the place to see it. It’s all there! With so much to see and do, time is perhaps the most valuable commodity at the show. How do you make the most of your time on the show platform? Here’s an idea.
In 2014 I first designed a tool in Excel, the Super Search Exhibitor Visit Planner to make “working Global & SuperZoo easier and more productive for ALL attendees – retailers, distributors, reps, groomers, vets…even exhibitors. I have updated the data and produced a tool for every GPE and SuperZoo since then…including GPE 2021.
The “update” is not just exhibitor lists but also to the product category offerings for every exhibitor. I reviewed every available exhibitor profile, but I also visited hundreds of websites and conducted separate internet searches to “validate” the product offerings. It is not 100% accurate, but it is close.
What does the SuperSearch do?… It searches for and produces a list of Exhibitors by product categories.
- From the simplest – “give me a list that I can look at on my phone or tablet.”
- To the most complex…”can do a simultaneous search for multiple specific product categories, allowing you to personally narrow down the initial results and see the “final” targeted result.” The GPE Super Search Exhibitor Visit Planner does both…and more…and does it quickly! Take a look at the Quick Start Guide. You will see that it looks complex but is really quite simple.
GPE 2021 Super Search Exhibitor Visit Planner – Quick Start Guide
First: When you download the Excel file, Remember to Enable Editing & Macros!
The GPE Super Search Exhibitor visit planner is designed to make your time on the show platform more efficient and more productive. With the Super Search you can conduct up to 5 separate and distinct product category searches simultaneously with consolidated results produced in alphabetical order to facilitate your “journey”. There are detailed instructions for reference and to help you understand the nuances of the tool. However, it is really very simple so let’s get started. (Note: No Floor Sections or Booth #s in 2021) Here is the Dashboard where you set up your searches. ↓
On the dashboard, the first things to note are the numerous category columns. There are no preassigned sections as yet in 2021 so these columns may be hidden to save some space but there are 11 different Exhibitor or Animal Types and 33 Dog and/or Cat Product categories. You can search exhibitors for any combination of these.
Let’s take a specific example running 3 simultaneous searches for several Dog/Cat categories:
- Catnip & Litter (Must sell both)
Now referring to the Dashboard, let’s take it by the numbers:
- This column is where you activate each search. Type in a “Y” (Cells C3>C7 will auto-capitalize) This search “line” becomes active.(cell turns green) In our example we are running 3 searches, so we have 3 “Y”s.
- Now we enter a 1 in the correct column for each search line. Search Line 1: Toys; Search Line 2: Treats.
- In Search Line 3 we want exhibitors that sell both Catnip and Litter, so we put a 1 in both of these columns.
- Now we just “click” the Execute Search Button. The searches are done simultaneously, and the results combined into a single list in alphabetical order.
- There are no Booth #s in this “virtual” year so this button is not relevant.
- Your sort should appear in alphabetical order, but you can always click the Alpha Sort Button to be sure.
- To Clear all your search categories and start a new search, Click the Clear Criteria Button. Then click Execute (#4) again and you will be back to the full list.
Note: Any Search Line with a Y and no 1’s in any column will always deliver the entire list regardless of what is selected in other lines. Change the Y back to an N in unused search lines. Now a sample of the results:
Company A – Has Toys Only; Company B has Dog Treats Only; Company C is on the list for Treats and also has Catnip, but no Litter. This is not unusual as Catnip is often a Treat; Company D has Treats & Toys. Company E has both Catnip and Litter and in fact, actually has it all!
Note: The Super Search highlights your search categories, so you know “why you are there”. However, it also shows all categories that are available. Some might “pique” your interest while you are visiting the exhibitor showroom.
In 2021, since there are no booth #s you will review the exhibitors alphabetically. The Super Search also allows you to “cut down” the list during your review. (Pg 2; Point #11 – “U Pick ‘em” in Detailed Instructions) But First, I suggest that you “play” with the Super Search to get a “feel” for the tool, and then review the Detailed Instructions. With your “play” experience, the detailed instructions will become a “quick read” and a valuable reference. You will soon be “up to speed” on the full capabilities of Super Search. Good Luck and Good “Hunting” at GPE 2021!
Ready to Start Planning?
Use the links below to download the Super Search Tool (Be Sure to Enable Editing/Macros/Content if asked by your computer), the Quick Start Guide and the Detailed Instructions. Then GET STARTED!
NOW DOWNLOAD THE SEARCH TOOL
(For the Excel file to work on your computer, be sure to enable saving/macros/editing/content if asked.)
NOTE: Each Super Search has a date in the file name. The first file was dated 3/8. The latest file is dated 3/23. There were a lot of additions since 3/22 – mostly media, organizations and business services providers. They are highlighted in light gray. There were also 3 name changes, highlighted in orange. MORE CHANGES ON DAY 1 – Highlighted in yellow!