Superzoo is like a family reunion. It’s overwhelming, with lots of people you don’t know, and everyone wants your attention. Unlike a family reunion, you can and should pass on those who aren’t going to make the event worthwhile for you.
Connect with Pet Product Suppliers
There’s no substitute for a trade show like SuperZoo. There are industry leaders giving away trade secrets and discounts on the pet products you want. Plus, you get to talk to actual people and find those whose business values match your own.
But how? How do you identify an indispensable industry contact from someone trying to sell you things you don’t need? How do you rise above the chaos and conquer at SuperZoo? It’s not easy. It’s a real zoo. (See what we did there?) Our advice: treat SuperZoo like the real zoo. Know what you have to see, plan your route, and have a schedule in mind.
1) Determine Your Store Goals
- What are your primary objectives in attending?
- Do you want to get popular products to increase store traffic or do your customers want specialty items they can’t order online?
- How much are you able to spend on which segments of your business?
- How much time will you spend visiting with old contacts?
- Have employees attending? How can you best divide and conquer?
Answering these questions will mean the difference between hand wringing and making confident decisions that leave you with the energy you’ll need to own this tradeshow. Speaking of which, have a plan, but be realistic. It’s Vegas in the middle of summer. You can’t do everything and you don’t want to. Anticipate the time you’ll need for meals and getting off your feet. (Lunch meetings can be a fantastic way to multitask!) Also, don’t forget water and a snack bar. This is one tradeshow where you won’t want to eat the free samples.
There are over 1,000 booths this year! So how do you find the people that can help you advance towards your goals? Take note of the seminar schedule. Study the SuperZoo attendee list (you can search by category using their website’s advanced search function!) Make early decisions about who you need and want to talk to. Schedule appointments with them in advance or visit their booths on Day 1.
You’ll also want to decide how to best track your experience. Do you bring a notepad and go over everything at your hotel in the evenings? Will your planner suffice or should you be setting alarms on your phone to remind you of meetings? Will you save phone numbers on your phone, with business cards, or on paper?
Whatever systems you use, identify them beforehand. Those names and businesses you think you’ll remember, will be gone by the end of the Kenny Loggins concert. If you’re going digital, consider a portable battery to charge your phone.
3) Consider the Map
If you haven’t seen the convention center before, or got stuck in one sector in previous years, don’t forget: SuperZoo is huge. It’s tiring enough making deals and industry contacts without traversing two football fields between every meet.
Luckily, SuperZoo does try to keep areas mostly organized so two raw food vendors shouldn’t be on opposite sides of the convention center. Download the SuperZoo app before you arrive for a map you can load before and during the event.
Figure out where your top priority contacts are located ahead of time. Then strategize how best to visit them without getting blisters. Speaking of which, and we cannot say it enough: comfortable shoes.
4) Oh, and Have Fun!
Don’t let all the preplanning intimidate you. SuperZoo is a good time with over 10,000 people who loved animals so much they made careers out of it. You might forget your phone at that pet massage booth or spend way too much time trying to decide if you should buy your dog a CleverPet Hub. (They’re so cool!) But you’re going to have fun either way. Just try to get some work done too.
And, if your tight schedule allows, come visit us in booth #6419! It’s worth it!