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SuperZoo Heroes

Trade shows such as SuperZoo provide a wealth of opportunities for attendees to meet industry peers, vendors, partners and even their competition.
Written by Doug Poindexter, President, World Pet Association
Getting together in an industry-focused environment provides a great platform to grow networks, renew friendships and make new ones, as well as discover the latest and greatest products available and learn about current industry trends. Despite all of the communications technology available to us, we’re still social beings at heart so trade shows and industry events continue to flourish.

We thrive on human (and animal) interaction, and getting together with our peers and customers at trade shows provides a platform to share knowledge, strategies, ideas and experiences. It’s often the only time each year when an industry gets together, so it’s important to maximize time spent at the show to get the best ROI. Here are some top tips from the SuperZoo team that can help you get the best bang for your buck!

Plan Ahead

Dial in your goals for the event. What do you need for your business? What areas within the industry are important to you? It’s worth spending some time pre-show planning using the interactive floorplan or exhibitor list on the SuperZoo website. There’s also an attendee portal, which can be used to create a personalized ‘My Expo Plan’ show guide accessible by mobile devices to keep attendees on point during the show.

Check out the show schedule, hours and education sessions online ahead of time so you can optimize meeting times around educational sessions.

Review SuperZoo’s helpful tips page for getting the most out of your experience onsite.

Make connections by reaching out to existing and potential contacts in advance to start building new business relationships and plan to see them at the show.

Use social media to generate interest and promote your attendance at the trade show. Your customers might well be interested in sharing your show experience. Consider Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube. If you have interesting content on your website or blog, link to that from your posts. Spend some time researching relevant influencers that might also be at the show to follow or like. During the show, use your channels to post relevant material. And ALWAYS use the show’s hashtags and tag the show and/or vendors when you can – it might just earn you a shout out and some new followers.

Leads and Networking

The pet industry, like any other business, runs on relationships. Events such as SuperZoo provide a closed environment full of people with the same interests as you. Get out there and talk to people. You never know when an opportunity to grow your business, learn something new and make new contacts will present themselves.

Collect as much information as possible about people you meet in order to focus your post-show follow-up activity. Devise a system for tracking new contacts when you’re onsite, so you can follow up post-show.

Attend the social events during the show, including the Networking Reception and the SuperZoo concert, which are fun and a great chance to meet peers in a more relaxed setting.

To start planning, check out the SuperZoo 2017 schedule here.

Follow Up with Your Leads

It’s always time well-spent when you follow up on useful leads that you make during SuperZoo.

Send an email within a day or two of meeting someone new to keep the relationship top-of-mind.

Summarize action items. Was there a genius idea uncovered during an education session, a product you want to research a bit more, or a contact you could reach out to? Make a note!

Here’s to continued success!

SuperZoo returns to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas in 2017 from July 25-27 (with conference sessions July 24-26) focused firmly on the partnerships and relationships that truly make the pet industry ‘Better Together,’ a theme that runs through this year’s show.
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