I thought I would write this post because I am sure that there are a ton of International Pet Product Manufacturers that just aren’t sure if it will be worth the time, money, and effort to display their products at Global Pet Expo. It is a big gamble that can come with the huge potential reward of being seen by US based media and picked up by stores across the country. The question that lingers on your mind is will that happen? Will there be a buzz created around your products before they even hit US store shelves? Will I be able to bring in enough orders to make the trip worth it? While only you can really answer that question I thought I would share what I witnessed this year.
To me the answer is yes. If you have a great product or product lines, happy people working your booth who know the product and are excited to promote it, and are willing to put yourself and your company out there you will see the results. Lets take Global Pet Expo 2012 as an example. Out of the 25 BlogPaws Best Awards that were given out 5 were to companies not based in the US. There was an Italian company, a German Company, an Asian Company, a company from the Netherlands, and one from the UK who won an award. The winners have already received mulitple mentions via Social Media and I know that BlogPaws was not the only “media” group that took notice of these companies. I had the opportunity to speak with several of these companies and asked them how they were getting visits from the buyers and if those visits were resulting in sales of their product and without hesitation all of the companies said yes to both of the questions.
It is true that everyone who goes to Global Pet Expo will have a different experience. If you were to visit every company, not take a bathroom breaks, or lunch breaks you would only have 1 minute per company. In reality you probably have 30 seconds to interest the buyer or media person enough when they are walking by to draw their attention and have them come and visit with you. Which means you have to have a product that stand out, a booth that is inviting, and sales people who are willing to be up and ready to share. To pull people into the booth as they are walking by and ask them what they would like to learn about or to pitch your “special” product whatever that is for your company. As an example a friend and I both happened by the same booth at a different time during the day. To one of us they pitched the banana leaf version of the product and to the other they pitched the recycled paper version. Both of which were memorable enough to the two of us to choose them in our top picks and therefore won the award for Best Green Product. Whenever I happened to go by the booth there were always buyers in there learning about the product and interested in what they were hearing.
Some tips for success:
- Make sure you have quality products that will stand out as people walk by.
- Create an inviting open booth area where people can explore your products.
- Have enough people manning that booth that there is always someone available and ready to talk to potential buyers and media people as they walk by. (this means making sure that even if they are sitting down they are easily viewable to those walking by and not standing in groups which potential buyers might mistake for other buyers and think you are busy)
- Be happy. Greet everyone with a smile even if they walk by and say they will have to come back later. Hand them some sort of promotional paper (even if they never make it back to your booth during the event they now have your information and can contact you when they get back home). If your product is conducive to giving out samples make sure you do so this way they can have their pet try the product and you might have won them over that way.
Global Pet Expo the pet industry’s largest annual trade show, is presented by the American Pet Products Association (APPA) and Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA). APPA is a sponsor of BlogPaws 2012 and the BlogPaws “Bloggerspondents” have received press passes and other consideration as part of that sponsorship package.