With a record-breaking number of participants flooding the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, SuperZoo was a true reflection of the growing pet industry it serves. For four consecutive years, the event has increased in size and scope, this year hosting 871 exhibiting companies in 160,000 net square feet of sold out exhibit space. Attendance also increased 12 percent over the 2011 event andparticipants hailed from 53 countries including Canada, Japan, Brazil, Australia and Mexico. “We are thrilled with the continued success of the show—especially in terms of the quality of buyers present,” said Doug Poindexter, World Pet Association President.

Poindexter re-hired MDG in 2009 saying, “The SuperZoo board of directors and staff members reevaluated our marketing and sales objectives with a focus on how we could maintain our leadership positioning and consistent growth. Consequently, MDG was brought in as our strategic marketing partner to provide insight, inspiration and a campaign that enables maximum reach and ROI.” MDG’s challenge was to reposition the event as “The National Show for Pet Retailers,” highlight innovation as its primary differentiating factor and attract more participants from outside the traditional market of small, independent retailers (without alienating the core audience).

In fact, the quality of the buyers was a common theme among exhibitors who attended the event, Sept. 11-13, 2012. Many exhibitors stated that this was the best SuperZoo yet for attracting nationwide stores with considerable purchasing power. According to Greg Wheeler, Managing Partner of CleanTraks, LLC, “We’re seeing big buyers, big chains, buyers from overseas—it’s been great.” Buyers represented every segment of the market—from big box and Internet retailers to distributors, independent retailers and everything in between.