APPA Year in Review: Celebrating Milestones in 2023

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December 13, 2023

2023 has been a year of many milestones for the American Pet Products Association (APPA). Our renewed focus on member success has led to reimagining how we support our members and engage with the broader pet industry. As we look to advance our member offerings and diversify the association’s services, here’s a closer look at what we’ve been up to this year.

Global Pet Expo

Global Pet Expo 2023 was a resounding success, with more than 16,000 attendees from 86 countries across all categories of the pet industry coming together to celebrate our collective achievements and drive business success. New and exciting offerings for exhibitors at the show included the Exhibitor Success & ROI Center, which offers expert guidance and resources to achieve their business objectives, and a new influencer program to build the show’s influencer network and help exhibitors establish their own influencer partnerships.

Exciting milestones included unprecedented media interest in the show, with nearly 280 members of the media and influencers attending the event. Global Pet Expo 2023 also brought in over $41 million in local economic impact to the Orlando Metropolitan area. 

Global Pet Expo 2024 will feature numerous additions to the show that will elevate and enhance the attendee and exhibitor experience, including:

  • New specialty sections, including the Supplier Pavilion and The Modern Pet (formally known as The Boutique)

  • Expanded New Products Showcase categories to accommodate the rapidly growing amount of innovation on display at the show, including Pet Sustainability, Pet Tech Innovation, Farm and Feed and The Modern Pet. The Dog category will break out into two new categories: dog products and dog food/treats.

  • Refreshed Global Learning Series topic areas to include sessions on topics driving business decisions in 2024, including innovation and technology; digital marketing; labeling; wellness; diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and more.

Member Offerings & Association Services

Data & Insights

In Q4 of this year, APPA launched the new Strategic Insights for the Pet Industry, Pet Owners 2023 & Beyond. The report covers important themes for pet industry leaders and stakeholders with data and analysis from APPA’s National Pet Owners Survey in an accessible and digestible format. The release marks the first of an ongoing series of new, quarterly reports to provide APPA members and the broader pet industry access to the latest data and insights on a regular basis. 

The Pet Summit

This year’s acquisition of The Pet Summit marked the latest addition to APPA’s programming. The Pet Summit offers more than 150 educational classes, workshops, live panels and more for pet influencers, social media managers, brand owners and bloggers, allowing APPA to extend its educational resources and opportunities to APPA members and the broader pet industry. We kicked off the new partnership with an event held at AKC’s Museum of the Dog, which gathered APPA members, pet influencers, APPA board members and staff from each organization to raise money for the GALS Foundation, providing food pantries, vaccinations, health care and spay/neuter clinics for dogs in underserved rural communities.

Growing the APPA Team

To achieve these new milestones came with the growing need to expand our team. As a result, we’ve welcomed 11 new members to the APPA team over the course of the year, including the addition of our new Insights Department, a larger Marketing team and more. We were also pleased to welcome two new members of APPA’s Board of Directors, Terry Anderton of Wagsz® Inc. and Steve Clark of Petmate. Tommy Baroody of Nestle Purina PetCare North America was also named the new chair, with Todd Regan of Central Garden and Pet taking on the role of Secretary/Treasurer. 

As we enter the new year, our team feels excited and reinvigorated to harness the collective experience of APPA’s newest additions to staff and the board during this exciting and transformational time for the association.

Sustainability Commitment 

During Global Pet Expo 2023, APPA kicked off numerous sustainability initiatives that we aim to grow for subsequent years, with the goal of minimizing Global Pet Expo’s environmental impact on the Orange County Convention Center and Orlando Metropolitan area. The first initiative included partnering with O-Town Compost and the Convention Center’s on-site recycling ambassadors to compost over 234 pounds of food and beverage waste into 75 pounds of nutrient-rich compost.

2024: A Year of Exciting Enhancements

We look forward to bringing you more insights and updates to APPA’s offerings and services in the coming year to support the continued growth of the pet industry.