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Pet Trade Shows Roundup

A Guide to the Top Events


Pet trade shows are very important events for anyone in the pet industry to attend. Below is info about the top events.

For in-depth advice about how to get the most out of your trade shows experience, please see my article Pet Industry Trade Shows Tips.

Note: The first three trade shows listed below were nominated in the Best Trade Show category for the 2013 Pet Shops Reader's Choice Awards. The winner was Global Pet Expo, which you can read about here.

1. Global Pet Expo

Photo courtesy of Global Pet Expo

The Global Pet Expo, presented by the American Pet Products Association and Pet Industry Distributors Association, is considered by industry experts to be the most important of the U.S. pet trade shows.

"This attracts the largest audience across all channels, from Petco to the mom and pop stores and the grocery channel," said Howard "The Pet Industry Guru" London.

The annual extravaganza, traditionally held in late winter in Orlando, Fla., in 2012 attracted 890 exhibitors, featured 2,452 booths and more than 3,000 new product launches, with pet product buyers from around the world in attendance.

This was the largest event in the show's eight-year history, which industry insiders attributed to the switch to an all-weekday format instituted in 2011, plus the addition of special interest sections such as "Everything Aquatic," "The Natural Pet" and an International Pavilion with pet products from all over the globe. All of the sections were sold out.

The show is open to independent retailers, distributors, mass-market buyers and other pet industry professionals. The most recent show took place Feb. 20-22, 2013 at the same venue.

To see the list of winning pet products for 2012, please refer to my article.

To read about the 2013 show, see my article Global Pet Expo Trade Show 2013 Preview.

Post-show wrap ups: To see a list of the winning products from the 2013 Global Pet Expo, click here. To view the 2014 winners, click here.

The next show takes place March 4-6, 2015 at the same venue.

2. H.H. Backer Christmas Trade Shows

Photo courtesy of H.H. Backer

Since 1967 H.H. Backer Associates, Inc. has been a pet industry leader with trade magazines (most notably Pet Age, which the company sold to Journal Multimedia in September 2012), educational conferences and trade shows.

In April 2013, the company announced a major overhaul, with a complete re-branding, which you can read about here.

Backer hosts two trade shows each year, the fall Total Pet Expo (formerly called the Christmas Trade Show) in Rosemont (Chicago), Ill., and the spring show, which takes place in Atlantic City, N.J.

The fall show is the most pivotal and well-attended.

Among the highlights are the Celebration of Style Grooming Competition, educational seminars and events, all-natural area with organic and green products, Best Dressed Dog Competition and the annual Halloween party for attendees.

For a preview of the 2013 fall trade show, click here.

The next Total Pet Expo takes place Sept. 19-21, 2014 in Chicago.

Update: Backer announced in August 2012 that it was switching the spring trade show, which previously had been presented annually, to a biennial format. But in a stunning reversal, the company announced in early 2014 that it had cancelled that show, which was set to take place in April 2014. For more information, please see my blog

3. SuperZoo

Photo courtesy of SuperZoo

Another pet trade show biggie is SuperZoo, which now takes place in Las Vegas in September.

Presented by the World Pet Association, the group’s mission statement states: “SuperZoo is a non-profit event with proceeds invested back into the industry in the form of legislative advocacy, consumer marketing campaigns promoting responsible growth and development of the companion pet, product and services industry, and programs that advance the knowledge of those currently employed in or entering the pet retail industry.”

Like the Global Pet Expo, the 2011 trade show also was a record-breaking event with attendance by 10,000 industry professionals from all 50 states and 41 different countries.

Among the highlights of this particular pet trade show is the Groomer Supershow, with educational seminars and pet groomer competitions. In 2011, SuperZoo was the venue for the presentation (in conjunction with Grooming Business magazine) of the Crystal Grooming Achievement Awards, a prestigious honor instituted in 1988 under the sponsorship of Crystal Laboratories.

The 2012 show, held in September, promised to be bigger and better than ever, and it was, with record attendance. For highlights and a list of the best products from that show, click here.

For a gallery of cool photos from that event, click here.

You can read about highlights from and see a list of the winning pet products and winners of the Groomer Supershow for the 2013 event here.

The next SuperZoo takes place July 22-24, 2014 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Vegas.

Update: The World Pet Association acquired the popular Atlanta Pet Fair pet grooming show in March 2014.

4. International Pet Trade Shows


On the global trade show stage, InterZoo is the largest such event of its kind in the world.

Held every two years at the Nuremberg Exhibition Centre in Germany, this multi-channel pet products showcase features approximately 1,500 exhibitors and a whopping 38,000 visitors from around the world.

The show is organized by international trade show giant NürnbergMesse. The promoter of Interzoo is Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft Zoologischer Fachbetriebe GmbH and the honorary sponsor is the German Pet Trade & Industry Association.

The most recent InterZoo pet trade show, which took place in May 2012, was a huge success.

For those interested in tapping into the international pet business market, this is the place to be.

PIJAC Canada

The largest trade show of its kind in Canada is presented by the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council of Canada, “the voice of the Canadian pet industry.”

Established in 1988, this is a not for profit, member based organization that advocates on behalf of the Canadian pet industry, and is a source of information and education for pet related businesses.

PIJAC hosts national (in Mississauga, Ontario) and regional shows each year.

For info about the top pet grooming trade shows, please see my article Pet Grooming Shows Schedule at a Glance.
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