Quality and quantity harmoniously merged at the PATS Telford 2023 show, creating a vibrant atmosphere that resonated with both exhibitors and visitors over the two-day event. The show, held at the Telford International Centre, witnessed a bustling crowd of pet retailers and industry professionals, all keen to explore the innovative products and services being unveiled in the market. With over 260 companies and brands presenting hundreds of new products across all three halls, the event not only showcased the burgeoning developments in the pet industry but also set a new record in terms of participation and product launches.
The second day of the event mirrored the enthusiasm and business activity of the first, with attendees eagerly exploring the diverse array of innovations on display. The excitement was palpable, not just for the present, but also for the future, as news broke that PATS Telford 2024 would expand to become a three-day show, providing even more opportunities for networking, discovery, and business development in the pet industry.
Exhibitors experienced a steady influx of inquiries and interest from the get-go. Rogz, for instance, garnered substantial attention for its New Product Award-winning range. Sallie-Ann Reed, Managing Director for UK and Ireland at Rogz, expressed her delight at the show’s outcome and the support for the exhibition, affirming her full backing for the transition to a three-day event next year.
Ancol Pet Products also welcomed the prospect of a three-day showcase from 2024 onwards. Director Simon Lane shared his positive experiences from this year’s show, noting the consistent busyness of their stand and a healthy mix of retailers and buyers expressing interest in their product ranges. He expressed a fondness for the idea of having an additional day for showcasing in the future.
Exhibitors and Visitors Alike Laud the Show’s Layout and Offerings
Daniel Vander from we.pet reflected positively on the show, mentioning new customer acquisition and orders as highlights, and praising the layout of this year’s event. Similarly, Rita Sohal, Relationship Manager at Earthbound UK, noted a “really nice steady flow” through their stand, with numerous new customers and individuals looking to restock or embark on new business ventures. The New Starter Zone was highlighted by a few customers as a particularly attractive feature, offering something fresh and innovative for those in search of new opportunities.
Cristina Gavilan, Category Manager at Company of Animals, echoed the positive sentiments, citing a high visitor turnout, substantial interest, and several orders already placed. The company is now gearing up with a few innovations for the next show.
First-time exhibitor Oh So Precious, represented by Helen Davies, was elated with their decision to participate, underscoring that PATS is the pivotal point for the pet trade. The show also received a thumbs-up from visitors, who thronged the venue across both days, exploring the myriad of offerings and networking opportunities available.
Positive Vibes and a Wealth of Opportunities to Explore
Toni Thornton of Four Oaks Country Store, a veteran in the pet trade for over three decades, remarked on the uplifting vibe this year, with everyone seeming “upbeat and happy to be doing business.” The extensive array of offerings presented a delightful challenge, with Thornton admitting that navigating through everything in two days might prove to be a struggle.
Darren Porter, owner of Urmston Pet Shop in Greater Manchester, enjoyed the show and appreciated the separation of the New Starter Zone, especially its proximity to the free drinks. He found that it significantly aided in identifying newcomers and believed it also fostered a sense of unity among them. Meeting them at PATS, he said, is the sole way to discover what’s new and emerging in the industry.
Olga Olesheva, representing Happy Dug and having travelled from Edinburgh, found the trip thoroughly worthwhile. She praised the exhibition’s layout, finding it easy to navigate, and was impressed by the extensive range of products and services on display.
Grooming Demos and Business Insights
With a growing trend of pet retailers incorporating grooming salons into their stores, the PATS programme of demonstrations, in association with For All DogKind, offered invaluable insights into this aspect of the business. Expert groomers provided demonstrations of specialist grooming techniques on both days, along with advice on how to expand grooming businesses.
Laura Redstone of For All DogKind expressed it was a “great honour” to conduct the grooming demos for PATS. The opportunity not only enhanced their brand awareness but also allowed them to engage with numerous individuals and showcase their capabilities. Redstone highlighted their aim to raise awareness among groomers about the potential to expand their businesses through pet retailers, and for retailers to seize an additional opportunity to attract customers. Their exposure at PATS, she believes, will significantly aid in achieving this.
Date for the diary: PATS Telford 2024 – Telford International Centre, 29 September -1 October 2024