Monday, March 18, 2013

Highlights from Global Pet Expo 2013

Highlights from Global Pet Expo 2013

I'm still recovering from February's GPE trade show, the industry's largest. There were over 900 exhibitors there, and while not all of them had products for cats, a huge number did. And since I attend as media thanks to this blog, I also get invitations to some media-only press conferences covering product launches and such. Global Pet Expo is not open to the public, only to the trade, so I shot some video this year to help you understand what the experience is like.

The show begins on a Wednesday with a media breakfast in the press room, which gives me a chance to meet some other folks who are here to cover the show. They range from other bloggers like myself to representatives from news media outlets and industry publications. It's always interesting to chat with people who are here for the first time. They haven't a clue what they're in for! This is my fourth GPE, and every year it gets bigger.

Guards at the doors won't let anyone onto the show floor other than exhibitors until the appointed time for the show to open. So everybody else -- buyers and media folks -- gathers outside in the hallway to await the opening. It's a busy time, as exhibitors are heading in to get settled into their booths and prepare for the onslaught of customers. Most spent Monday traveling to Orlando and Tuesday setting up their booths. But "booth" doesn't really do some of them justice. Many are quite elaborate constructions that would take that long to set up. A few even include little rooms where their employees can go to meet quietly with a customer or take a break from greeting people in the exhibit.

Waiting for the GPE 2013 doors to open

Before long, the doors are open to all registered attendees, and we head onto the show floor. The first time you walk into a GPE show hall, it's overwhelming. There are just so many exhibitors, such a wide array of products for every type of pet, that you can't imagine where to start. It takes a good five minutes just to quickly walk from one end of the show hall to the other. Here's a look around upon entering the show hall this year:

As you can see, there's lots of ground to cover. In future posts, I'll be showing some of the products being exhibited there as I get them added to Here's one that's already been added to the site, the CritterZone Air Purifier...and wouldn't you know that my camera memory filled up toward the end of the interview! But you can still tell from what was recorded how fabulous this product is. I've been using one and let me tell you, they really do work wonders! The air in the room where my cats' litter boxes live is always fresh and clean now:

That's all for this post, but you'll be seeing many more video interviews with other exhibitors coming up soon!