PATS Telford has broken all records with the number of visitors attending the two-day show breaking the 2,000 mark for the first time in the event’s seven-year history.
A total of 2,036 visitors came through the doors at the impressive Telford International Centre, which was 6% higher than PATS Harrogate last year.
The pet trade has given the event a massive thumbs-up with exhibitors and visitors agreeing it has been one of the best ever staged.
Retailers from both the UK and overseas filled the venue to create a surge of activity over two days of business.
The show took on a real international presence with buyers travelling from all around the globe. Mainland Europe was well represented and there were also visitors from Australia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Japan.
The mood amongst visitors was summed up by Sandra Sharpe, of Pets Korner in Stamford, Lincolnshire, who said: “We love the venue and the layout of the show. PATS is very important to us because it’s the place to find new products that help us to stay ahead of the competition.”
Steve Charman, co-owner of Pets Corner, flew straight in from China to make sure he could get to see the show. He commented: “I always find a visit to PATS uplifting and the move to Telford seems to have taken the show on to the next level. The layout is fantastic, making it easy for visitors to get around. There is a fantastic buzz about the exhibition hall, and it makes me feel happy to be a part of an industry that produces so many good and innovative products.”
And Gina Wilden, of HG Gladwell & Sons Ltd, commented: “I have been here for two days and there has been so much to see. The venue makes getting round easy. There has been a great atmosphere in the halls.”
The number of overseas visitors has elevated the show on an international scale, and one of the busiest areas at the show was the International Buyers’ Lounge hosted by PetQuip.
Amanda Sizer Barrett MBE, director general of PetQuip, said: “There’s been a tremendous amount of interest from our overseas buyers. We know from their feedback that they are finding products that are very different from elsewhere. PATS is a very exciting place for them to be.”
Exhibitors were quick to give their approval of the Telford venue.
Robert Nicklas of VIP Engravers said after day one: “We’ve just experienced our best-ever day at a trade show. It has been fantastic. There were lots of new faces and the quality of the visitors to our stand was of a high standard.”
Tim Darmanin, the Australian owner of K9 Dogwash, said: “Compared to shows we have in Australia this one is pretty good! The venue, the layout and the access have been great and we particularly love that everyone is so friendly and easy-going. The organization is at least as good as any of the major international shows I have been to, including Interzoo in Germany and Superzoo in Vegas – I am very impressed!”
Adam Dodkins of Tricktreat was at PATS for the very first time and admitted he didn’t know what to expect. “I’ve been very impressed and it has definitely been worth my while. It all runs very smoothly and the visitors know why they are here – to do business. I’ll be back at the next one in Sandown!”
One of the biggest attractions at the show was the New Product Showcase and Awards. And those companies who entered their new products were eager to report that people had visited their stand after spotting an item in the Showcase.
Wagner’s Premium Pet Products won the Best Cat Product Award for their Cat Igloo and Thomas Dreessen said: “We are really honoured to get this prize. I didn’t ever dream that we would win. Obviously we really like this product or we would not sell it – but to get an award for best cat product is really such an honour.”
“We are really enjoyed it here. Everyone was very friendly and the venuewas good. It is our first time here in England and we have had a really good reception. We are hoping to do a lot of business here!”
Organiser Annie Foord said: “We love running this show for the pet industry so it is fantastic to hear that exhibitors and visitors have experienced a brilliant show. It’s great to hear so many positive comments about our new venue.”