Pet grooming distributor Christies Global, with customers in more than 40 countries, has run a virtual event to ‘meet’ buyers around the world during the covid pandemic.
Key company brands such as Groom Professional and DezynaDog are staples in professional pet grooming salons worldwide and Christies has added two pet-owner focused brands to its portfolio this year. Alongside expansion into new territories, the Northern Ireland business has seen 47% growth (YTD) in profit since 2017.
In a normal year, Christies Global attends the top pet trade shows across Europe, America and UAE. These shows give the account managers a chance to meet with current customers to strengthen relationships but also an opportunity to introduce brands to new customers and extend the company’s reach into new markets. This year, however, with the blanket postponement of trade events until at least 2021 and restrictions on travel changing so frequently, the company’s plans have had to change significantly.
“Through discussions with our partners we were acutely aware of the struggle pet industry buyers were facing during this pandemic, not only to order current product lines, but more so to find new and exciting grooming brands and products to share with their customers,” said Amy Donaghey, event manager at Christies Global.
“With the increased use of video call platforms, we knew this would be a great way to reach out to our customers but we wanted to augment the experience and create the feeling of being at a trade show and really connecting – something we’ve all been missing during lockdowns and with social distancing.
“We invited our customers and top pet industry buyers to book private appointments with the team and had an overwhelming response, so we had to open up a further week of appointments.”
After booking, potential new customers received product sample boxes in the post to review, which enabled them to feel and smell the products during the calls.
Deborah McIntyre, key accounts manager said: “At Christies Global customers are more than just customers, they are partners, and the focus is on supporting them to grow their business.
“This virtual event gave us the opportunity to have positive discussions with partners about plans for 2021 and beyond. We met with 23 industry buyers, 40% of which were potential new customers, from 19 different countries including France, Singapore, New Zealand and America.
“We would never had been able to reach customers from so many different countries at one individual trade show.”
Amy added: “Christies Global have successfully pivoted from physical to virtual contact with customers and going forward we feel a hybrid of these will not only be a practical way to communicate with customers and reach new buyers, but will also be extremely efficient.”
With more than 28 years’ experience in the animal grooming industry, Christies Global says it is ‘constantly pushing boundaries and developing innovative new products to solve groomers’ needs’. This virtual trade show enabled the company to launch two new pet owner focused brands into the global market.