Excitement in the world of pet trade shows
Shanghai, 4th September 2014
The 17th edition of Pet Fair Asia took place in Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center, on August 21-24. Knowing its rapid growth over the previous years, the show was certainly expected to be a success.
Returning from four intense days in the electric city of Shanghai, there’s only one word to describe the experience at Pet Fair Asia: excitement. In a world where leading pet tradeshows across the globe have become great backyards for networking, there is just something “more” happening here.
The show’s surface area has grown 3 times in 4 years, with 650 exhibitors occupying in 2014 the totality of Halls 1 and 2 (42,000sqm). For those of you who visited the event in 2010 or 2011, the difference is jaw dropping. The organizer will open a third hall in 2015 to accommodate the growth of the show, and expects to reach an exhibiting surface of 50,000sqm.
Multinationals and leading brands from all over the world cannot afford not to be visible in a market like China and in 2014 they were all present again at Pet Fair Asia: Mars, Royal Canin, Eukanuba, Flexi, Pet Safe, Petio, Doggyman, United Pets, Touchdog, Natural Balance Pet Foods, Hunter, etc. Many others, new comers or well known brands like Precious Pets London or Julius K9 chose Shanghai for their first appearance in Asia. A common point for all of them: developing their brand image among Chinese professionals and consumers, and more and more organizing their communication towards other Asian markets.
The show ground is busier than ever. 17,313 professionals visited the event during the first 2 days, a 13% increase from 2013. The atmosphere is buzzing, with obvious purchasing needs and increasing demand for imported products. Along with the steady growth of local visitors (Shanghai and neighbour provinces), visitors from north and western regions of China progressed by 17%.
Overseas visitors are also on the rise and now represent 15% of professionals attending the show, with a fast growing number of visitors coming from other Asian countries (75% of foreign buyers). The top 6 in 2014: Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong-Kong. The USA, Australia and the Oceania region come next, with a significant development of both exhibitors and visitors from those countries.
On the other hand, the public days attracted close to 50,000 visitors, a figure above the organizer expectations, making the 6m wide alleys feel like narrow corridors at pick hours.
In a market now weighted for 1.6 billion US$ a year (+14%/2013), where distribution channels are shorter than in traditional markets, the presence at Pet Fair Asia becomes decisive for branding. A majority of companies presented their offer in more creative and larger spaces than previous years. This tendency will most certainly accelerate in the coming years, with a clear signal from on-site rebooking demand (65% on-site rebooking rate with 24% increase in average booth size).
For the second year, the InnovAction Campaign boosted the visibility of a short selection of new products. Featured both online (web / phone app), in a widely distributed dedicated booklet and on site in a centrally located display area for hands-on experience, the campaign was coupled with voting system and lucky draw, attracting above 10,000 visitors.
On August 20th, the International Pet Industry Summit (IPIS 2014) came with the subtitle “Decoding the Secret of Pet Retail”. Focusing on retail strategies in the era of fast developing Internet sales, the conference attracted close to 400 delegates; same success for the First Annual Meeting for Pet Hospital Management, gathering more than 150 directors and management level attendees from Pet Clinics.
Last but not least, the 3rd Petfood Forum China was held on August 22nd and attracted delegates from top companies’ managing and R&D departments, attending high-level presentations by industry leaders (Extru-Tech Inc., Vobra Special Petfoods, DVM Consulting Inc.). Paula Flores, head of pet care at Euromonitor International, presented an updated market overview and confirmed the rise in demand for gourmet products and grain free food, and insisted on the highly emotional character of pet products purchase in Asia.
Pet Fair Asia will come back on 27th-30th August 2015, with an extended exhibiting space and new sections to company the rapid growth and fast changes in the Chinese pet market.