Although the average U.S. trade show visitor spends 9.5 hours viewing exhibits, most expos don’t usually involve adorable animals, tempting treats, and cutting-edge pet tech. It’s no surprise, then, that the attendance at this year’s SuperZoo pet expo, the nation’s largest pet industry trade show, soared with more than 10,000 pet grooming, retail, and service industry professionals taking part.
This year’s expo, held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, saw a lot of new additions, including mobile app assistance, interpreting services for international guests, educational talks, demos, and training sessions. A new series of free animal wellness talks premiered this year as well, which provided accessible education to business owners who want to improve the lives of their customers and their pets. Nearly 1,100 exhibitors came to plug their services and showcase their wares, which included 850 never-before-seen product debuts.
For attendees, getting the first look at these items is a true highlight. Since almost half of all U.S. households have a dog, those who attend SuperZoo are eager to get their paws on the products that will appeal to their customer base. Among the highlights were the Petcube, an interactive pet camera toy that allows owners to play with their animals remotely; the Wigzi, a reflective, waterproof, and stink-free leash ideal for walks on rainy nights; and the Sure Flap pet bowl and door, which features microchip implants to ensure only your specific animals get to take advantage of food access.
Pet lovers will be disappointed to know that the event is not open to the public. But video footage proves that authorities had a hard enough time keeping exhibitors and industry professionals in line. Ricky the rescue cat, a.k.a. Po-Po Kitty, took his patrolling duties seriously. The spotted feline was a familiar and foreboding sight, driving around the expo floor in his police car. Luckily, the three-day trade show ended without incident, proving that every dog — and cat — has his day.
SuperZoo broke multiple records in 2016, including buyer attendance, show floor size, number of products launched, exhibitor participation, and educational content. Since there seems to be no shortage of exhibitors who want to attend, finding a room has been ruff for many. But next year, the SuperZoo expo will be moved a month earlier to accommodate for increasing exhibitor attendance. By holding the event June 26 to 28, attendees can take advantage of 30% more room availability on Mandalay Bay property. Registration for the 2018 event is expected to open in January. So if you plan on going, you’ll want to sign up right away.