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Global Pet Expo 2024 Breaks Attendance Records

This is a photo of the Global Pet Expo 2024 show floor.

ORLANDO — The American Pet Products Association (APPA) and the Pet Industry Distributors Association’s (PIDA) Global Pet Expo reported record-breaking attendance in 2024. Approximately 20,000 registered attendees (an increase of around 4,000 from 2023) visited more than 1,100 exhibiting companies on the sold-out show floor, spread over 343,000 net square feet, at the Orange County Convention Center March 20-22.

Peter Scott, APPA’s CEO, gave three reasons for this attendance spike: increased domestic and international travel to trade shows in the post-pandemic era, new marketing tactics and experiential enhancements to make Global Pet Expo a “can’t-miss event.”

New Marketing Approaches

Scott shared that the expo’s marketing team ramped up its social media efforts and expanded their reach, using targeted campaigns, a partnership with DOGTV and a more-conversational approach to drive engagement:

“We did quite a bit different, really leaning into social, with LinkedIn being a good point of conversion. Just measuring a lot of the funnel, and doing more drip campaigns… We were a lot more aggressive in how we went out there and acquired attendees. That really seemed to pay off.”

A “Can’t-Miss” Experience

According to Scott, additions to the show — including informational touchpoints, specialty sections, Fireside Chat areas, a Q1 industry report presentation and more — were included to enhance the show experience and “gather, inform and connect… with a little bit of a wow factor.”

One highlight was an extended, updated Unleashed Party welcome reception, which featured a video DJ, 360-Selfie photos and a custom poem written and performed by Orlando Poet Laureate Shawn Welcome about the human-animal bond. With approximately 2,000 guests, the reception surpassed attendance expectations.

“Seeing all that come to life, that was probably the highlight for me,” Scott stated.

Related. Trade Show Executive Announces the Fastest 50 Class of 2023

Another new feature, an event from the APPA’s newly-acquired Pet Summit about business marketing, creator content and research and analytics, also exceeded attendance predictions and sold out.

Additionally, the Global Pet Expo’s new “Innovation in Motion Experience” included a revitalized New Product Showcase, with over 1,000 products spanning the show’s continuous, reusable back wall.

“Our research showed that 96% of attendees go to discover new products. So, we really wanted to focus on that area… go there first, discover what’s new, and then go talk to the manufacturers that are selling them,” Scott said.

Looking Ahead

The next Global Pet Expo is set for March 26-28, 2025. Scott shared that APPA and PIDA plan to refresh the show’s aquatics area, further optimize its educational features and “keep on upping the experience… just making it a can’t-miss show.”

The APPA and PIDA will also “gather, inform and connect” throughout the year, using the expo as a nexus point while organizing virtual cohort meetings.

Global Pet Expo is in the Fastest 50 Class of 2023, ranked by Exhibiting Companies, Net Square Feet of Exhibit Space and Total Attendance. Learn more about the Fastest 50 Class of 2023 here.

Reach Pete Scott at

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