BARK YOUR BIZ! Going live at “Pet Connections Expo”


The pet industry is a favorite focus of big hit television reality programs like Shark Tank and The Profit.  Viewers can’t seem to get enough of entrepreneurs pitching their business ideas and facing the challenge of being grilled by the ‘Sharks’ and other hosts.


Pet Connections Expo is pleased to announce a collaboration with Bark Your Biz, bringing a new twist to the entrepreneur pitch genre by producing a live “elevator pitch” competition that is not about begging investors for funding, but instead gives participating entrepreneurs the experience of pitching before an expert panel and live audience.


Bark Your Biz will take place on Wednesday, October 3, 2018 as a live on- stage competition among five entrepreneur “Barkers”, each of whom will give a three-minute timed elevator pitch, followed by questions from the panel and hosts.  The panel will give advice and score the pitches and products presented.  Winners will receive valuable business intelligence in the form of expert consults provided by the hosts and panelists offering advice on branding, website evaluations, digital marketing support and retail marketing strategies. 


Bark Your Biz was created by Anthony and Amanda Bennie, the hosts of Bennie & The Pets, a podcast radio show known for its irreverent insider take on the pet industry.  Anthony is a frequent contributor to pet industry trade and consumer magazines.  The hosts are also co-founders of Clear Conscience Pet, an award-winning pet nutrition company.  “Bark Your Biz is like Shark Tank, American Idol and Jeopardy all in one exciting and fast-moving program”, said Anthony Bennie.  “We are psyched to take it to the next level at Pet Connections Expo, the newest and by far the most innovative tradeshow in the pet products industry.”


Expert panelists for the Pet Connections Expo live show will include:


  • Phil Chang, retailing expert and Founder of Retail Phil

  • Tazz Latifi, holistic pet retailer and pet nutrition and wellness expert and  Founder and CEO of New York City’s Petropolis

  • BC Henschen, pioneering independent pet specialty retailer and popular monthly contributor to Pet Product News.  BC is the Founder and CEO of Platinum Paws, an independent retail store in Carmel, Indiana

Booming Market Opportunities in the Hemp Industry for Pets and Pet Retailers


Hemp and CBD products for pets are hottest topics in the pet industry today.  Pet Connections Expo will present a lively interactive panel discussion on this topic on Wednesday, October 3, 2018.  The panel of experts will include Hunter Buffington, Executive Director, Colorado Hemp Industries Association; Bill Bookout, Founding Member, National Animal Supplement Council and Greg Tilford, CEO, Animal Essentials.  They explore the topic and encourage audience members’ participation on the question “Is the Opportunity Real or Risky?”


The Cannabis movement has grown dramatically across the United States and Hemp is now available for both human and pet consumption.  This panel will explore the past, present and potential future legal issues surrounding the use of Hemp and CBD in animal feeds and as health products. The discussion will include a forecast of the future of hemp in the animal retail industry and the development of a feed additive petition to be submitted to the FDA-CVM.  Independent retailers will learn about the potential industrial hemp has to influence the pet industry and what this means for the Hemp products already on your shelves.


“The only time I have seen anything similar in terms of excitement for Hemp and CBD products is when the first soft chew delivery products were introduced in the mid-2000s.  However, with all the excitement, the potential regulatory and legal issues surrounding these products create both uncertainty and also business risk.  This panel will try and give stakeholders accurate information in a very dynamic and fluid environment so people can make informed business decisions while acting responsibly for the health of the animals we love.”  Says Bill Bookout, NASC.


Independent retailers that attend the Expo will walk away understanding what industrial hemp is as well as the legal ramifications of CBS.  Participants will learn what products are made from industrial hemp and discover how these products are made, who regulates their production and how to find quality products you can trust.  This session will provide a better understanding of how the recognition of hemp products can be supported as feed or health products for animals.


This session is scheduled to be held on Wednesday, October 3 at 11:00am.  All conference sessions are free to qualified pet retailers. 

Marketing is a State of Mind

By Vicki Lynne Morgan
President, Animal Brands


Marketing comes before selling.  It’s quite simple: No Marketing, No Sales.  Even if you have the most incredible product or service in the world, you might as well ‘fold your tent’ if you don’t market first.  According to the American Marketing Association Board, “Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large”.


So what exactly is marketing? 


Marketing is a cheerful attitude and voice on the phone.  Marketing is energy, passion and vision.  It’s your appearance, body language, professionalism, and communication skills.  Marketing is attitude and empathy.  Marketing is a clean store where you create a memorable experience.  Marketing is your logo, website, messaging, brochures, press releases, newsletters and editorials.  Marketing is networking locally and participating in your industry.  Marketing is knowing your target market and their habits, personalities, and buying motives.  Marketing acknowledges and solves customers’ needs and wants, pain and urgency. Marketing is delivering on time, keeping commitments, and optimum customer service.  Marketing is maximizing your core competencies Marketing is ethics.  Marketing is differentiating your business from the competition.  Marketing is developing relationships and partnering with customers.  Marketing includes quality, value, and service – whatever is most important to the customer.   Marketing builds trust that gets customers ‘knocking on your door’.


So, where does the responsibility for implementing a company’s marketing and selling program start?  AT THE TOP!  Who EXACTLY is responsible for carrying out the marketing plan?  EVERYONE!  That includes owners and managers, office staff, marketing department, manufacturing, shipping and receiving staff; and, of course, the sales and customer service staffs. Everyone must march to the same beat. 


BOTTOM LINE:  Marketing is attracting and keeping customers.  Marketing reminds customers that they made the right decision to do business with you.   Marketing is turning ‘satisfied customers’…into ‘delighted’ customers…into ‘loyal’ customers for a lifetime.  


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For more information contact Laura Ames   Phone: 781-603-6965 - Email:

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