The opening day of PATS Telford was hailed a huge success by both exhibitors and visitors, as an amazing array of new products were unveiled at the Telford International Centre.
Exhibitors were particularly pleased with the quality of enquiries and orders generated on Sunday from the many visitors who flocked to the show.
Martyn Barklett-Judge of Pet Remedy said: “Wow, we’ve been mobbed by visitors. There’s been a constant stream and we’ve done a lot of business. What a great show and it’s only the first day.”
It was a similar story on the Pet Munchies stand with Suzanne Rothman stating: “We chose to launch our new Buffalo Chews at the show and it has proved to be an inspired move. We’ve been busy throughout the day and we can’t wait for tomorrow.”
Emily Cannon, of Naturediet, said: “We are on a mission to ditch single use plastics and are exhibiting our new eco-friendly packaging at PATS Telford. The response from visitors so far has been amazing.”
Marriages injected a bit of fun to the show with their garden-party themed stand – pink party gear, cakes and lemonade. Lisa Osborne, Marketing Manager, said: “The garden party theme was an obvious one for us because we are delighted to be welcoming the RSPB to the Marriages party. They are a natural fit for us because they’re environmentally friendly and care about wildlife just like us.”
New exhibitors were also impressed with the reaction they got on the first day of PATS.
Victoria Rough, of treat company Four Legged Fancies, said: “We’ve been amazed by the number of visitors to our stand, and the standard of enquiries has been extremely high. This is our first ever trade show so we are extremely happy with the response so far.”
As well as hundreds of new products being unveiled at the show, one of the highlights was the Grooming Workshop.
The grooming programme, in association with the British Dog Groomers’ Association (BDGA) and The Welsh Grooming Academy, has involved some of the country’s leading groomers.
The demonstrations highlighted the knowledge and expertise required to successfully complete all traditional grooming techniques.
Mathew Spry, acting chairman of BDGA, said: “There has been a buzz around the demonstration area all day and it’s great to see so many people joining in.”
Chelsea Doyle, of Simba’s Shed dog groomers in Manchester, was delighted with her first visit to PATS: “It’s well good,” she said. “I came for the grooming demonstrations and to look for new things to offer my clients and I’ve come away with loads of ideas and new products to try.”
The first day of the show also got the thumbs-up from visiting retailers.
Mary Gately, of Bowwows Pet Shop, said: “This is the second PATS we’ve visited and it’s been very worthwhile. We’ve been able to touch and feel a lot of new products that we are likely to stock. We are based to Torquay and we are glad we made the trip.”
Wez Hollin-Teale and Simon Teale, retailers and doggy day care managers from Blackburn in Lancashire, came along looking for ideas and innovation to offer their customers.
“It’s our first time here and it’s a fabulous show – really surpassed our expectations. We’re heading home tired but inspired by what we’ve seen.”
It was also a first visit for Helen Bedford of Bedford Inns, who was looking for something different to sell from her gift shops and dog-friendly bar. “I wasn’t disappointed,” she said. “I go to all the gift fairs up and down the country but I felt there was a big section of the market uncatered for, and that was dogs and pets. Now I’ve found it at PATS and placed several orders. I’ll definitely be back next year.”
PATS also attracted lots of international interest. Henrik Siig, of Whesco Trading, Denmark, said: “PATS is a great event because it gives us access to all the new products from UK suppliers. The show is easy to get around and has a nice intimate feel to it.”
And Michel Carbone, who travelled from Italy, commented: “UK pet companies launch some of the most innovative products and PATS is the best place to see them.”