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Letter to the BlogPaws Community: Trade Shows and Our Role as Creators

To our talented BlogPaws Community,

We tried this format once before intending to possibly do more of these. Then, it was sidelined with so many exciting changes and updates to BlogPaws, as a whole, and our paid membership, the PetBiz Collaborative.

However, an important conversation has been repeatedly coming up in the pet industry that we feel demands attention…

two people standing among shelves of pet products while holding dogs | Letter to the BlogPaws Community: Trade Shows and Our Role as Creators

In the last couple of years, many negative comments have been made about the attendance of influencers, content creators, and the press (for simplicity, I will say “content creators” moving forward) at shows like SuperZoo and Global Pet Expo. Retailers and brands are concerned that allowing content creators to walk the show floor during the show interferes with the show’s primary purpose – connecting brands, distributors, and retailers to make sales and create working relationships.   

So, what IS the purpose of content creators at these shows?

To begin, let’s look at this statement on the SuperZoo website relating to Press, Digital Content Creators, and Media Affiliates:

“The pet industry is continually evolving, fueling potential stories about consumer trends, government regulation, new product launches, and more. We invite qualified editorial press and influencers/bloggers to cover these issues and more with a complimentary press badge that provides:

  • Exhibit floor access
  • Use of the Press Room
  • Access to education seminars and demonstrations
  • Access to networking and special events
  • Assistance in coordinating interviews with experts”

As the statement suggests, we, as content creators, are given access to the show for a specific purpose – to cover the show and all it entails.

While this is an excellent opportunity to meet brands and make connections, we need to do so while respecting the show’s main purpose – and it’s not for us to make money!

The updated SuperZoo 2024 Content Creator Credential Policy states: “No solicitation will be permitted under this registration type and will result in immediate removal from the Show.

In short, we are there to cover the show and share the latest news from the pet industry with our community. We get to find out about the newest products and launches before the general public, allowing us to bring the exciting news to our followers before they find out about it anywhere else.

But we are not there to sell ourselves or our services…

This doesn’t mean we can’t make connections and network with brands, possibly opening the door to future collaboration. Networking is one of the great benefits of attending. But we must approach these meetings with the right focus and state of mind. Otherwise, we risk losing the right for content creators to attend these shows in the future. In fact, SuperZoo just announced that they are implementing new requirements moving into 2024, which will include limiting the number of content creators given access to the show.

two people standing among shelves of pet products while holding dogs pin | Letter to the BlogPaws Community: Trade Shows and Our Role as Creators

Here are a few basic rules to follow that will help you get the most out of attending a major trade show while still respecting the show and its purpose:

  1.       As we already addressed, we’re not there to sell. Don’t spend your time pitching deals and selling your services. Instead, focus on creating relationships. Introduce yourself, bring your business cards, and meet the movers and shakers with your favorite businesses – deals and collaborations can be reached when following up after the show.
  2.       Always keep the purpose of the show at the forefront of your mind. Give priority to the business deals the show is designed to facilitate. If you are speaking with a brand and see a retailer approach, step back and allow them to conduct their business. You can always continue the conversation if there is still more to discuss.
  3.       Make sure you’re actually COVERING the show. After all, that’s the reason you’re there! SuperZoo has strict requirements for content creators to meet. Global Pet Expo is more flexible, but that doesn’t mean you are off the hook entirely! Whether you’re posting to social media or creating a blog post, the show organizers fulfilled their end of the deal by giving you a free pass; make sure you also hold up your end.

Retailers and brands pay big money to attend these shows. When you look at it from their point of view, the frustration directed at content creators getting in the way of their purpose for attending is warranted!

WE (the BlogPaws Team) know that all members of the BlogPaws Community have journalist integrity and respect the industry. Let’s show everyone else and represent our community proudly!

All the Best,


P.S. Are you planning on attending Global Pet Expo? If so, we’d love to know!

About the Author: Britt Kascjak is a freelance writer and content creator with a background in digital and social media marketing. In addition to being the BlogPaws Director of Content & SEO, she also runs her own personal blogs, including Shed Happens and The Kas Pack. When she’s not working, she can be found volunteering in the rescue space, camping, hiking, canoeing, or spending time with her 2 dogs and 2 cats. Read more…

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