If you’re in the pet industry as a retailer, groomer, or wholesaler, you know exactly what the Super Zoo is.
It’s one of the 100 largest trade shows of the year, which means if you’re anybody in the pet industry, Super Zoo is the place to be. It’s where you’ll find the latest products coming out, connect with new potential partners, or find new retailers to distribute your product.
But how do you compete with the sheer quantity of vendors that will be at the show? Mandalay Bay is gigantic, and even though in 2016, the only record that Super Zoo didn’t beat was show floor size – it’s not because they don’t have the booths or attendees to qualify!
In 2016, Super Zoo had 1,197 exhibitors – meaning no matter the niche, you were bound to find an exhibitor who provided something your business needed. And as an exhibitor, there were many more competitors there as well.
Attracting the attendees that’ll purchase from your booth, therefore, requires some strategy.
You need to prep before you attend a show of this size:
Due to the immense size of the show, you need to have a game plan before you show up. More than just show up, set up, and exist in your booth, you need a plan to get business.
That is if you plan on actively trying to attract more business to grow your company for the next year.
A whopping 80% of attendees to the show are buyers. That means your booth should cater to what a buyer wants to see.
Regardless of your booth placement, which may or may not be ideal, you’ll still want your booth to be as attractive as possible. Make sure everything you’ve packed and prepped is in the best possible condition.
After you unpack, take the time to wipe off fingerprints, perfectly front and face your displays, and ask the show attendants for a vacuum or broom to clean up the floor of your booth. If you’re displaying animals, clean the glass of the cages. Regardless of how filthy the animals inevitably make the bedding (you just know that they wait to poop until you’ve put a fresh layer of bedding in), if the glass is clean, the cages seem cleaner.
Conversely, if the glass is dirty, even if the bedding is fresh and spotless, viewers will think the cages are disgusting.
Clean your glass! It makes a monumental difference, especially for you small animal vendors.
After you unpack all of your booth materials, make a point to keep and carefully store the packing materials you used. Take care of them; you’ll need all those materials at the end of the week when you pack up!
The people manning your booth:
More than just what your booth looks like (because let’s face it, this close to the show, you’ll have a hard time redesigning your marketing materials), your staff in the booth needs to be your very best.
Far too often, trade shows are viewed as an excuse to see and hang out with other vendors that you already know, drinking and partying until the wee hours of the night – and giving the bare minimum of effort at the show itself.
Don’t be those vendors. This is a chance to put your business in front of thousands of potential new buyers. In 2016, over 4,800 buying companies were attending the show – and 2017 is shaping up to be just as busy.
How well do you think your booth is going to do if everyone in it is hungover, tired, or giving less than 100% to help attendees?
Every person in your booth should look sharp and professional, with crisp, clean clothes (you’d be surprised how often this is neglected), and they should be willing and able to help anyone who walks by.
Make sure they’re not staring down every passerby like hawks, waiting to pounce! This is, understandably, off-putting to attendees, and they’re unlikely to pause and look through your booth. Your staff should wait to see who strolls through the booth, and be readily available to help answer questions.
How to get attendees to purchase from you after the show:
Make sure you have readily available materials for attendees to take home to remember you by.
Business cards, pamphlets, coupons, or free samples are all things you’ll want to have at least 5x what you think you’ll need. Even then, chances are good you’ll run out!
Make sure that your website is entirely up-to-date, easy to find, and mobile-friendly before the show.
On top of that, take the time to review the social media accounts associated with your company. You’ll want them to look as up-to-date and active as possible so that on the off chance any attendees look you up, they find an appealing profile for your company.
In the pet industry, you’ll want to be sure you’re active on at least three of the big networks: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
If you’ve been maintaining an Instagram account, then make sure that’s equally up to date.
You don’t need to go crazy sharing posts or writing long statuses about the show, but a handful of posts using the Super Zoo hashtag – this year, it’s #SZ17 – can help increase the exposure around your business.
The show is huge, and there’s no reason not to take advantage of the massive amount of industry press that’ll be happening around the show!
End of the show tip:
If you’re vending, at the very end of the show, it’s worth taking a break from your booth to wander through the show and find booths with products you’ve been interested in.
On the very last day of the show, many vendors want to pack as little product as possible back up, which means you might be able to score a killer deal on a new leash for your dog, cat toys, or food for your exotic pets.
Bring plenty of cash, as these end-of-show bargains often are much better if you offer cash – many vendors don’t bring a credit card reader for on-the-spot transactions, since that’s not the focus of the show.
Fellow vendors can still score deals, though, so bring plenty of cash and make sure you’ve checked the exhibitor floor plan so you know where to go for the exact items you want.
Packing up after the show:
While at the end of a long week of vending the busiest pet industry trade show of the year, the last thing you really want to do is spend hours packing up your booth – that’s exactly what you need to do.
Carefully inspect the packing materials you used to get to the show and thank yourself for being so careful about unpacking at the start of the show.
On top of packing your booth with care, you’ll also want to make sure you’ve already taken care of your MHA (Material Handling Agreement) for your freight carrier shipping your booth back to your company address.
You may not have an MHA, but instead, need to fill out a bill of lading or simple shipping form – regardless of what the paperwork is, make sure it’s done or nearly done before the show ends. That way, you can leave the show promptly, and get home to your own bed at a reasonable hour.
Diversified Transportation Services specializes in helping companies like yours with this kind of stressful shipping needs – if you’re not sure of your outbound routing instructions from the show, we have trade show coordinators who do nothing but help companies like yours get to and from the show.
If you want someone to make your Super Zoo shipping experience as easy and painless as possible, you can schedule a call with us by clicking here!
After you’ve gotten home from the show:
While a whirlwind week at Super Zoo in Las Vegas might seem like plenty of effort for you to be exposed to new business, that’s just the beginning of your efforts.
At the show, you should have been collecting as many business cards, names, or business information as possible for follow-up after the show.
During the show, use your phone or laptop to check out these potential new customers online – doing to exactly what they’re probably doing to you! You’ll want to create a “short list” of prospects to follow up with after the show, solidifying the impression you made at the booth and encouraging a long-term business relationship.
Follow-up after the show is the most vitally important part of vending!
Why vend the show if you’re simply going to stand at your booth and hope people call you after the show? You may get a few new prospects (with thousands of buyers attending, you’re nearly guaranteed to), but to take your business to a new level, you need to be proactive.
When your business has reached a point where you need help with the logistics of keeping your customers supplied, we’re here for you! For help with logistics management, reach us today and schedule a free consultation about your needs.
If you want someone to make your Super Zoo shipping experience as easy and painless as possible, you can email us by clicking here!
Whether you're a company looking to improve one facet of your supply chain, your entire supply chain, or simply looking for a transportation and logistics consultation, we can help.