work life

Total Pet Expo Fall 2013 Recap

I’m finally home after a whirlwind trip to Chicago with pit stops in Indianapolis and Houston. There’s always so much to do to catch up after time away, but I wanted to recap a few trends I spotted at the Total Pet Expo. (Note: These are from the business/editorial side. If you’d like to read about trends in pet products, check out  my recap on OMD!)

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  1. The pet industry is huge. It’s growing. It’s long been touted as “recession proof,” which may not be true. Everyone I spoke with said orders were down at this show. One reason? Nerves over the possibility of a government shutdown, for one. Plus, there wasn’t much new at this show. (It’s smaller than other shows, which could be the reason for that.) Regardless, a conversation I had with a woman in line for coffee captured it. She said, “People sure are grumpy this time around.”
  2. Editorial is highly valued. Obviously this is reassuring to me as a writer. But it’s also interesting from a business perspective. Brands strongly desire editorial coverage, which means that managers are looking to publications to stay on top of trends. This drives home just how important it is for writers and editors to stay on top of what’s new and hot. A fun challenge! I accept! 🙂
  3. Pet industry professionals are nice. That may seem irrelevant at first glance, but we all want to work with people we like, right? From friendly and helpful PR reps to the knowledgeable sales reps to the product designers, everyone comes from a shared passion – pets – and it’s evident in their work.

If you’re in the pet industry, do you see these signs in your day-to-day? If you’re in another industry, what can you take from these trends?