Close to 2,000 visitors went to PATS Sandown, a record in the show’s 11-year history.
The show, which moved to February and for the first time was held on a Sunday-Monday slot, attracted 1,993 visitors, marking an 11% increase on last year’s March event, which saw 1,801 visitors.
There was a buzz throughout the Surrey and Esher Halls as buyers and exhibitors discussed the innovative stands and new products on show at the Sandown Park venue in Esher, Surrey.
The New Product Showcase, sponsored by pbwnews, was a busy area throughout the event.
Exhibitors said the quality of visitors to their stands was exceptional, and there was a great degree of confidence being shown despite economic uncertainty caused by Brexit.
Grooming demonstrations and workshops returned to the Sandown exhibition after a two-year absence and they were a hive of activity throughout the show. The series of seminars also proved popular with visitors.
Tom Neish, founder of Yora Pet Foods, said: “This has been my first ever trade show and I can’t quite take in the fabulous response to our trailblazing new dog food. We’ve had a really good mix of people coming on to the stand, which has been busy on both days of the event.”
Laura Redstone, For All DogKind, said: “This show was important to us because it provided the ideal time and place to launch our new range of supplements, and we have been really pleased with the response – in fact it has been non-stop for us since the doors opened.”
It was a similar story for Aquamat Chiller. Alison Roberts said: “We haven’t stopped since we arrived at the show and what’s more the interest has come from independent retailers, which is the market we were aiming at. The show has been amazing.”
More than 40 exhibitors were new to PATS Sandown and among them was Coucour, whose sales manager Jorge Aguilera said: “Congratulations to PATS. Your show is fantastic – we were just at a Paris exhibition a month ago and in comparison the organisation here is so smooth. We’ve had a very enjoyable two days.”
Paul Mercer, UK sales manager of Tropiclean Pet Products, added: “We’ve been very impressed with the outcome. The set-up was very straightforward, everything has worked well and it was great to see such a full house in terms of visitors.”
There was a strong international presence at the show, including wild bird care specialists Bon from Bulgaria. Petar Yordanov said: “It’s our first PATS show and we have been impressed with the quality of visitors. We wanted to raise awareness of our wild bird foods and treats and the reaction has been great.”
Peter Radonyi, from Hunagrian company TICKLESS, added: “I’ve been amazed at the quality of retailers and buyers attending PATS. It’s our first time at Sandown and we couldn’t be happier. It has been well worth the trip and we’ll certainly exhibit again.”
Tina Quest, a senior buyer at Redpaw Pet Supplies in Plymouth, said: “This show has everything – a great selection of exciting new products and a wide variety of exhibitors. As retailers we are spoiled for choice. We have spent far too much money on new stock for our shop but the investment is well worthwhile. It has been a brilliant show.”
Jacqui Thompson, owner of Wag & Bone boutique, Aldborough, Suffolk, said: “We’re opening up shop next month and it’s really important for us to be able to see, touch and feel the products we want to stock. Coming here has been great because ordering over the internet or the phone is just not the same.”
And Laura van der Wee, a buyer at Brick Kiln Garden Centre, Chichester, Sussex, said: “What a great show. We’re here looking for stock to add something to our repertoire – additional items that people don’t know they need until they see them – and we’ve had a few ideas. We come here to order all our new pet stock that will sell really well over the next few weeks and months.”
Organiser Gordon Thomas said: “We’re so pleased the move of dates to a Sunday and Monday in February has been a huge success. We love running this exhibition and it’s great to hear that exhibitors and visitors have experienced a brilliant show, demonstrating that PATS is the show for serious buyers of pet products.”
Date for the diary:
PATS Telford takes place on September 22-23, 2019.