Event marketing

Event marketing: take advantage of face-to-face pet shows

Imagine having a microphone in your hand and over 18,000 pet owners in front of you, eager to hear what you have to share about your business, products and / or services. What message would you deliver to these highly qualified prospects about your business?

Retailers, manufacturers, contractors, artisans and service providers love to talk about what they do and how they do it. And consumers love to discover unique problem-solving solutions.

Event marketing is two-way communication that allows you to convey a message in a clear and concise manner, educate the pet-owning audience, and drive business to your physical and / or online business. The beauty of being at a show is that the playing field is level for everyone. Small businesses can create great impressions with a well-designed booth. Pet food and treat companies have the opportunity to discuss the features and benefits of their products and build long-term relationships.

Case in point: Many years ago I met a representative, Tommy, who worked for a large pet food company at a trade show. As he was packing up his booth to leave on Sunday night, I stopped to see how the show went. He sang our praises and finally asked if our family had a dog. I told him about our beloved Chandler, a 90 pound Weimaraner. Tommy asked me what kind of food I gave him and I said, “Which is the cheapest.”

Immediately he asked several questions such as “has your dog molted?” And “Does your dog have loose stools” and “Does your dog have a lot of energy?” I told him Chandler seemed to be losing weight all the time, often had loose stools, and often didn’t have a lot of energy when it came to playing in the yard. Tommy told me about his plant-based pet food and gave me several bags of samples. He suggested that I start feeding my dog ​​his pet food and said that I would notice a big difference in Chandler’s excretion, loose or no stools, and a lot more energy. I took his pet food home and the rest is history. Our beloved Chandler was instantly hooked, and we started paying $ 40 / bag per month for the next 13 years.

The result: A simple five-minute chat at an event enabled a lifetime customer and over $ 6,000 to purchase pet food.

How many conversions does it take to justify and hopefully exceed your investment of time, money and energy in event marketing?

Consumer shows, such as pet shows and local community events, present wonderful marketing opportunities. Many retailers swear by them and love to offer advice to pet owners, driving traffic to their stores.

America’s Family Pet Expo is the world’s largest pet show and is a product of the World Pet Association. Many consider this show to be the gold standard for pet events. Many other regional events include Super Pet Expo which takes place in central Jersey and Northern Virginia, Family Pet Expo in Philadelphia and Long Island, World of Pets in Timonium, Maryland, Pittsburgh Pet Expo and many more.

The events offer something for everyone. They provide pet owners with a panoramic view of the market for products and services, fun features like dog agility shows, decoys, guest speakers and more. It’s fun for the whole family and all for the price of a movie ticket. In many ways it’s a ‘dream day’ for pet lovers to bring their pets, shop for cool pet products, and hang out with many like-minded pet owners. ideas.

Manufacturers and retailers benefit by building relationships and driving traffic to physical and / or online stores. The most knowledgeable exhibitors offer incentives to shop during and after the show. Specialist vets regularly ask new patients how they heard about them and “events” are the number one answer.

All traditional marketing approaches are one-way communication. The human aspect (touch perhaps not a big word in times of COVID) of face-to-face interaction is essential in an industry where trust is a highly valued commodity. When it comes to pet services like vets, pet sitters, doggy day care, etc., it’s about building relationships and building relationships.

Event marketing works. Coupons distributed at events will have a significantly higher redemption rate than other forms of marketing. Pet owners often stay after a connection is made.

What works for sellers at a pet show? An eye-catching stand. Something to attract the pet owner to your booth. Maybe it’s a product display or a big screen with a video. Once you have a pet owner in your booth, you need to ask them questions to see what they’re looking for, and then come up with relevant solutions. Even if a customer leaves without buying anything, you need to give them a coupon or special offer to order in-store or online.

The beauty of a face to face event is the two-way communication. Events are not easy, especially since many take place on weekends. But they are definitely worth it. A 10 × 10 display space is all you need to dip your toes in the water and I always love to see retailers bring in excess inventory in order to have a burst sale. Pet owners love to do business and often splurge on their four-legged friends.

Eric Udler enjoys producing public events. He founded and produced Super Pet Expo, a pet buying extravaganza that runs January 21-23 at the New Jersey Expo Center in Edison, New Jersey, and March 18-20 at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly. , Virginia. Each show attracts over 18,000 affluent people eager to shop pet owners, many taking their pets on leashes for fun.