Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Main Stage  
9:00 am - 9:30 am  

Propel Storefront Pet Business Growth by Adding Services to your Operations

Paul Allen, President and CEO, Woof Gang Bakery

In 2009, Woof Gang Bakery groomed their first dog.  In 2019, the company will groom more than 1,000,000 pets. Expanding with services such as grooming creates market share that online retailers cannot touch. Services allow independent pet stores to compete with and outshine national chains and online retailers by cultivating the customer experience.


Providing pet owners with a personalized in-store experience, with a focus on quality, has distinguished Woof Gang Bakery from its competitors. Grooming is a major point of differentiation and a factor in the company’s continued growth. For Woof Gang Bakery, the mantra of success is service.  Many independent stores shy away from offering services. This talk is a case study in readiness to adapt a business model in response to customer demands and a rapidly changing industry landscape.

Main Stage  9:30 am - 10:00 am  

Build Your Retail Business by Finding and Keeping Good Groomers
Grooming can be manageable.  Grooming can be profitable.  Grooming can be worth it!

Joe Zuccarello, Vice President, Paragon School of Pet Grooming


Do you want to build your grooming services business but have some reservations?  Are these reservations based upon:

  • Previous experiences?

  • What you have heard from others about professional pet groomers?

  • The lack of information, planning, and know-how?

It’s time to put all of that behind you and start growing your business based on loyal client relationships, frequency, and a perfect complement to your retail business…Professional Pet Grooming.  If you are not offering grooming, then you are inviting your customers to find their professional services elsewhere.  You are putting yourself in a position to be compared to and lose to the online shopping experience…Stop the apprehension typically associated with skill based services! 
Industry veteran, Joe Zuccarello will begin a conversation that exposes the realities of this endeavor and will peak your interest to learn more of what he knows so you can forge ahead and start profiting by adding this necessary service and reducing the headaches that can be associated with it.  This presentation will touch on the realities of offering grooming services such as staffing, managing, and creating a culture that can make immediate and long term fiscal improvements to your business.


Main Stage  Town Hall Panel  10:00 am - 11:00 am  

Half the Bark… Twice The Bite!

Moderated by:  Antoine Seailles, Market Strategist, Pet Food Experts



Opening Panel Discusses Ways To Successfully Compete with Big Retail & Online, Despite Limited Budgets & Resources.

Join us as we kick off Pet Connections, 2019 with a lively discussion on the strengths of Independent Retailers and opportunities to stand out.  Bring your questions and hear what Industry visionaries and your peers have to say! 

11:00 am - Show Floor Opens

Pets Plus Campfire 11:30 am - 11:50 am  

Public Relations in the Pet Industry: What you Need to Know 

Dana Humphrey, Whitegate PR 

In this campfire session you will learn some easy and cost effective tips on doing your own PR. Get advice on the ins and outs of writing a press release and learn who to send it to... and who not to send it to!  Understand what to include and how to make your events more newsworthy in order to generate the most news media coverage.  Also, get the insider scoop on a few free locations where you can post your press release to benefit your search-ability online. 

Pets Boss Nation Campfire  12:00 pm - 12:20 pm  

2019 Trends: Making the Most of your Marketing
Matt Aldrich, Founder, Pet Engine Marketing

Join us to gain a handful of trends to notice as a marketer, as a pet store owner, and as a retailer. You'll leave with ideas on how to combine all three to become a store that takes advantage of what's happening in these industries right now.

Pets Boss Nation Campfire  12:30 pm - 12:50 pm  

Pricing for Profit: Increase Your Sales Without Spending Any Money

Candace D’Agnolo, Pet Boss Nation

Focus a lot of time and energy getting new customers into your store? Tired of spending money on marketing and not seeing results at your cash register? What if there was a way to increase your sales, improve your margins and it doesn’t relate to marketing or buying at a discount? Well it’s possible! In this session, learn the best kept secret in retail… the psychology of pricing. Walk away with a clear plan on how to make more money in your shop immediately.

Pets Plus Campfire  12:30 pm - 12:50 pm  

CBD Supplements for Dogs and Cats: Truth vs. Fiction
Dr. Stephen Katz, Founder, Therabis

CBD is one of the most talked about supplements in the pet world, yet one of the least understood. Come join Dr. Stephen Katz for a discussion of common misconceptions about this highly beneficial supplement. Learn about regulatory issues, why CBD works so well for pets, the science behind its success, and most importantly- how to educate your customers about the benefits of CBD. Bring your questions and get answers from the expert.

12:30 pm - 12:50 pm   

Getting the Most Profit out of your Grooming Services (Paragon Booth #302)

Main Stage  1:00 pm - 1:30 pm 

Get More Customers Who Will Pay You More Money, More Often
Jim Ackerman, President, Ascend Marketing


There are only three ways to grow any business or professional practice. You can 1) get more customers, 2) get your customers to spend more with you each time they buy, and 3) get your existing customers to buy from you more frequently. The trick is to “leverage” your marketing efforts to maximize your results in each of these three areas. 

  • Discover the four “cornerstone principles” that will govern all of your marketing effort

  • Leave with an action plan for implanting these four principles in your businesses

  • Empower yourself to be able to make better decisions about what to spend your marketing dollars on and how


Pets Plus Campfire  1:30 pm - 1:50 pm  

Grow Your Business With Photography
Mindy Dutka, Chief Storyteller, dogs I meet

Content is king has never been more true than in this age of social media and eye catching photo content is more important than ever. Quality photos can make your website infinitely more engaging. Striking photos can build your brand on social media. Beautiful photos enable you to show your clients and customers what you have to offer rather than tell them.

Learn some tips on how to take better pet photos, discuss why professional photography is a worthwhile investment and discover a well-kept secret of where you can purchase affordable stock pet photos.

Pets Boss Nation Campfire 1:30 pm - 1:50 pm 

Advice from the Pet Influencer Perspective:  Learn How to Work Strategically with Influencers to Grow Your Brand & Customer Base
N.G. Gordon, Dear Mishu's Dad


Influencer Marketing is hot and retailers want to know how to make it work for their businesses. However, all we hear is advice from agencies, B2B brands and analysts. This is great, but without understanding the Influencer perspective, it's impossible to understand how to attain brand awareness, consideration, and sales from influencer marketing. In this campfire, N.G. Gordon will answer why influence marketing can help drive business and how to find and work with influencers.


  • Identify which Influencers will bring best return for your brand (hint: it has nothing to do with 'being authentic') 

  • Define priorities and how to protect your brand when working with influencer marketing (hint: you need to think outside the box)

  • Prepare your brand for this new kind of campaign (hint: it’s easy, but does take some thought)

Main Stage  2:00 pm - 2:45 pm  

Creating Customer Love:  How to Get and Keep LOYAL Customers

Dave Ratner, Owner, Dave’s Soda and Pet City and Dave’s Pet Food


Due to the overwhelming response we received last year, we are inviting Dave Ratner back to Pet Connections Expo, 2019.  This year, he will focus his presentation on making sure your existing customers not only come back but also tell their friends to shop in your stores.  Don’t dig a hole with your customers. Creating rich customer experience and cultivating fierce customer loyalty. Based on Dave’s critically acclaimed book, Customer Love: Make Your Customers Love You So Much They’ll Never Go Anyplace Else!

  • ​Discover cost effective ways to get your message to the folks you want as customers

  • Understand how to keep your customers coming back

  • Learn tips for getting existing customers not only to come back but tell their friends

  • Hear how Dave does it and how each practice can be customized to your business

2:30 pm - 2:50 pm  How Do I Find Groomers (Paragon Booth #302)


3:00 pm - 3:20 pm Creating a Culture Employees Don't Want to Leave (Paragon Booth #302)

Pets Boss Nation Campfire   3:10 pm - 3:30 pm  

How Independents Win with Differentiation and Speed to Market

Chris Avery, CEO, Wholesalepet.com


This campfire focuses on tactics some of the best Independents across the US are using to thrive.  Discover how and why you should quickly test new products without over investing in inventory?  Understand what are ways to present merchandise that looks and feels ‘exclusive’ to your store/channel?  Learn how to find the right brands succeeding in brick and mortar, not online?Determine what services should be added to be unique…and which should you avoid? 

Pets Plus Campfire  3:30 pm - 3:50 pm  

The Shocking, Low-Tech Secret to Generating Maximum Customers in Minimum Time
Jim Ackerman, President, Ascend Marketing

You can use this marketing “secret weapon” with any medium to make sure you maximize response, sales and profits. This profit-proven principle utilized by smart direct response marketers all over the world and in virtually every industry is the single biggest determiner of whether your marketing efforts will be a success or a failure. Miss this campfire session at your own risk. Tens of thousands of dollars may be at stake.

  • Gain a new perspective on how to make compelling offers that sell, and why you should do so

  • Recognize alternatives to standard discounts in crafting creative offers your customers will respond to

Pets Plus Campfire  4:00 pm - 4:20 pm  

Diet-Associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) with Grain free foods: Truth or Fiction?

Dr. Judy Morgan, Best-Selling Author

What do we really know?  How do you avoid losing sales.

4:30 pm   Pet Tech Challenge Awards

6:00 pm  Show Floor Closes

Proudly Produced by:

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For more information contact Laura Ames   Phone: 781-603-6965 - Email: lames@icdevents.com

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