Love is in the air and so are trade shows- which one should you attend?

Unfortunately for those of us exhibiting or attending Global Pet Expo this year, love is not in the air as the show falls on Valentine’s Day.  Hopefully the love can float around a few extra days until we can get home and celebrate!

We are attending three shows this month and some brave souls are attending four- yikes! But for those of you who aren’t masochists and just want to attend one show, here is a run down of the four shows and what to expect.

 1. Groom & Kennel  Burbank, CA- Feb. 8-10

Target Audience: As the name implies this show is for groomers, spas, kennels, mobile groomers and even trainers and those considering adding services to your retail store.

Types of Exhibitors: Grooming supplies and tools (Scissors etc), shampoos and spa companies, grooming equipment (Hydrosurge, kennels, tables etc). There are about 90 exhibitors at this show.

Education: There is a full 3 day line up of seminars and lectures on topics ranging from adding retail to your grooming business, to the latest dog grooming techniques.  Most attendees come for the educational component.

Entertainment: Throughout most of the show a grooming contest is going on. But the highlight is  the Creative Styling Contest when groomers groom the dogs to look like anything from a cow, a camel, a zebra and the groomer dresses to match the dog.  Think lots of pink standard poodles. The above link will show you an example.

My opinion (for what it’s worth): We have exhibited at this show for 3 years because it’s close by- a 15 minute drive. The show definitely has a local, casual feel to it and is nothing like some of the larger shows. It’s in a much smaller area and has a more “industrial” feel to it then say the 2nd floor of the Chicago Christmas show.  You only need to attend this show if you want to add grooming services to your retail location, or if you are a groomer. In the grooming world this is probably the second most important show, after the one in Hershey, PA- also run by Barkleigh Productions.

Our Booth Number: 54

2. Global Pet Expo-San Diego, CA Feb 14-16

Target Audience: Traditionally APPMA has put on it’s show for distributors and chain stores although they are trying to pull in more independent stores.


Types of Exhibitors: In the past it was your large distributors and giant manufacturers but in the last couple of years they have tried to chage that. This year they have added a specific Boutique area which is upstairs. So, let’s hope that more boutique manufacturers will attract more boutiques! There are about 100 companies in this boutique section. According to their website: This show-within-a-show concept is for buyers looking for the trendiest, most fashionable boutique products to pamper pets. You will find custom designed jewelry, stylish carriers, couture clothing, luxury pet beds, elegant collars, spa products and more. The Boutique at Global Pet Expo is made up of Aisles of Style featuring everything a pet owner needs to satisfy their beloved, pampered pet.

Education: There are attendee seminars throughout the show. Topics include:

  • Rick Segel’s Retail Boot Camp
  • The Essential Online Solution…The Five Step Formula For Small Business Success
  • The A-Z of Growing Your Sales and Profits
  • and many more

Entertainment: Thursday, Friday and Saturday, February 14, 15 & 16, Pet Style News is hosting the Puppy Luv Fashion Show at 11:00am and 3:00pm each day at during Global Pet Expo.  It’s in the Boutique in Room 11B.

My opinion (for what it’s worth): The good news for attendees is that this show doesn’t have the mad rush feeling that some have. Nice wide aisles and not that many shoppers make it a comfortably buying experience.  This will be our third time exhibiting at this show and I think it will be the best, now that they’ve added the boutque section. Last year we were next to a company that made bird seed!

Our Booth Number: 7525 (upstairs in boutique section)

Luxury Pet Pavilion Ad

3. Luxury Pet Pavilion-Los Angeles, CA Feb 23-24

Target Audience: Pet Boutiques, gift stores/hotels/spas with pet sections, Dog spas and other higher end stores

Types of Exhibitors: High end. You probably won’t find cat litter or bird seed at this show. Think dog carriers, matching collars and leashes, beds, spa and more. There are at least 80 high end vendors exhibiting.

Click here to see some of the cool new products being launched at the show.

Education: There are a couple of attendee seminars. Topics include:

  • Show and Tell just got serious! Presentation skills and follow up. Sat. Feb. 23 8:30 am
  • Trend Spotting. trend watching is used to develop products, generate ideas, inform customers, create promotions and strategically plan Sunday Feb. 24th 8:30 am

Entertainment: There’s loads of entertainment at this show including a “Celebri-Dog” kick off on Friday at Laurel Canyon Dog Park and the Pawscars on Saturday evening where awards will be announced.

My opinion (for what it’s worth): It’s a small yet very targeted show. If you are a boutique and live within 3 or 4 hours of  L.A. it’s definitely worth the trip out.  You won’t wear out your feet schlepping down endless isles where only 1 out of 10 companies you want to see.  If your main focus is food and basics this may not be the best show for you. It would probably be better to go to Global Pet Expo where you have a blend of boutique products and day to day stuff.   It’s too bad that it competes with the LA Showroom, which is only a day before. See my other post on this

Our Booth Number: 215

4. LA Pet Designers at the Show Room, Los Angeles, CA Feb. 21-22

Target Audience: Pet Boutiques, gift stores/hotels/spas with pet sections, Dog spas and other higher end stores

Types of Exhibitors: High end (ish) Everything from collars, clothes, treats and more. There are at least 40 vendors exhibiting at this show.

Click here to see some of the cool new products being launched at the show. 

Education: There will be two symposiums. One is on starting a new pet business and growing your existing business. The other topic is growing your company via the internet.

Entertainment: There is a special event at the Sky Bark, which is a dog-friendly “club”. Sponsored by Petapotty.

My opinion (for what it’s worth): It’s too bad that this show is just a day before the Luxury Pet Pavilion. You could make a long weekend out of it and visit both shows though if I could only pick one I would go with the Luxury Pet Pavilion (and we did). There are more vendors there, so you will see more. If you want to know why there are two very similar shows, both in downtown La in the same week- see my other post.

Our Booth Number: This is one show we’re not doing!

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  1. Thanks for the info! We weren’t sure which one to attend but this certainly narrows it down!


  2. I would love to attend all of them—but the one at the Luxury Pet Pavilion looks the most interesting to us as we would like to see the latest in new products.


  3. I love attending trade shows. I think they are a great way to learn about new products and get your name out there but I hate the idea of closing for even a day to attend one.

    Just thinking about all those lost sales makes me ill. 😉


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