With the 2013 Pet Industry’s Top2Top conference less than 6-months away, registration for the event is now live!
What better way to kick-off registration–and the industry’s newest blog–than to look back on the successes of last year’s Top2Top conference. Check out this recap from a PIJAC press release to learn what made the 2012 Top2Top a must-attend event for the Pet Industry:
First Annual Pet Industry’s Top to Top Conference Receives Rave Reviews
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The first annual Pet Industry’s Top to Top Conference received rave reviews from attendees. Of note were the outstanding speakers, the networking functions, and the overall benefits achieved for individual companies and the industry as a whole. “We are very pleased with the feedback we’ve received about the first Pet Industry’s Top to Top Conference,” says Mike Canning, President & CEO of PIJAC. “The survey results are in, and we’re pleased to announce that 85% of attendees said they found the conference worthwhile,” added Canning.
Opening remarks by Jim Heim, PIJAC Chairman and President of Central Garden, expressed the importance of a united industry to confront the 33% increase in pet legislation since the last legislative session. “What shocked me the most is the growth in legislation and regulation that is popping up all across the country,” stated Justin Jones, President of Espree Animal Products. Bob Ashley, Owner of ECO added, “I can’t believe the amount of legislation that we’ve been fighting against for years.” Mr. Heim addressed the need for industry involvement to turn the tide of anti-pet legislation, and uniting and acting together to protect the industry we have all worked so hard to build.
The State of the Industry and Town Hall Meeting featured speakers Robert Moran, Chairman & CEO of PetSmart; Bob Shipley, President & CEO of Hartz Mountain Corporation; and Peter Weinstein, Executive Director for the Southern California Veterinary Medical Association. The presenters provided a variety of viewpoints from the retail, manufacturing, and veterinary segments of the pet industry. A lively open forum discussion followed, allowing participants to add their own experiences to the conversation.
The widely opposing viewpoints presented by Wesley J. Smith and Dr. Bernard Rollin created a buzz among attendees throughout the conference. “I enjoyed the presentation by Wesley Smith (who spoke) about the true agenda of the animal rights movement and why it’s important that we come together to oppose that movement,” stated Sandy Moore, Vice President of Segrest Farms. Carol Frank, Managing Director of SDR Ventures commented on Dr. Bernard Rollin’s presentation by saying “He captivated the audience…we were all just riveted…”
Bruce Cook, President of General Cage, found the session on Future Forces That Will Change the Pet Industry to be one of the most interesting sessions at the conference, saying “It allowed for interaction at the table with other people in the industry…you could gain insight, not only for what is good for the industry, (but also) how to apply it to your own company.” Lisa Alley-Zarkades, Vice President, Animal Wellness for E.T. Horn agreed saying, “I was blown away by the speaker (Bob Johansen) and the topic. I left that (session) more energized than at any other event I’ve been to.”
The session on Changing Retail Channels, presented by Karen Lowe of IBM and Brad Weston of Petco was very well received. Ms. Lowe highlighted trends in retail channels, and provided helpful information on which trends are here to stay. Mr. Weston addressed the issues we are facing in the pet industry. Bud Wright, the President and CEO of Texas Farm Products Company noted, “I was not aware that the industry is outnumbered to the extent that it was, that it was outspent to the extent that it was, and that the people that are against pet ownership are so incredibly well-funded.”
We hope by using feedback from attendees and building on the successes of 2012 this year’s conference will surpass expectations. What did you like most about last year’s Top2Top? What do you hope to see at the 2013 Top2Top? Leave a comment below to join the conversation!