ParkZoo and Pet Business Summit. Experience 2020 and expectations 2021

The year 2020 has changed our lives and business. This is also true about major events in the Russian pet industry Pet Business Summit and the ParkZoo trade fair.

Challenges stimulate the search for new solutions. And Natalia Morgunova, CEO of ARTIS Expo, the organizer of both events, told Zooinform about 2020 results and plans for the future.

– Natalia, what were the most important and valuable things in 2020 for you and your team?
– First of all, this is a new experience. Networking of pet community has always been our paramount priority, but in 2020 the life dictated its own rules. We had to adjust, change tactics, learn crisis planning: we had to change the dates of the Summit twice, and we realized that it’s not sufficient to have Plan A only and we should always have Plans B and C. We appreciate that the market players understood the situation, were extremely supportive, and re-signed contracts for payments offset. I want to thank them all for their support.

And we did our best to remain relevant for the pet industry. We mastered new technologies: we broadcasted the Summit live for those attendees who could not come in person. As a result, the quantitative reach of the audience increased. The recording was available for all attendees, which added value.

There were doubts and worries in the beginning, whether it would work or not, but we managed and I’m proud of our professional IT team. In the end, the broadcast became a great addition to the offline event.

We were unable to hold ParkZoo fair in September offline though. All exhibition sites — let me remind you that the exhibition’s area is 13.000 sq m — were occupied by temporary hospitals.

– Nevertheless, ParkZoo Digital exhibition was held in an online format. Share your insights regarding it.
– Another completely new experience. More successful than not. It was absolutely new and challenging for the organizers and participants, who are used to personal and friendly offline, to plunge abruptly into the cold online. We faced rejection of this new format by some people, fear of new technologies. Moreover, despite the demand, the platforms for online exhibitions available in Russia are not yet perfect.

One of the insights — the pet business turned out to be very demanding on quality. The exhibitors and visitors of ParkZoo and the Summit are used to high-quality service, they are aware that issues, if any, are promptly solved. Having an external service provider it was not always so. There were minor issues with the technical support speed, the capacity of servers, and the platform speed.

Frankly speaking, we’ve got various feedback – from disappointment of those exhibitors who didn’t manage to master new format to absolute appreciation of the opportunities online format provided to present and promote brands and get new contacts.

But we all gained valuable experience useful in the future. In 2021, we plan to combine the traditional offline and the online formats. It will be a great improvement for those who is not able to come to Moscow.

– What will the Summit and ParkZoo be like in 2021?
– Now we are working on organizing the Summit – it will take place in Sochi in April and it will be as usually the major networking event for business owners.

Technical work on the ParkZoo exhibition is also underway. It’s planned for September, 22–24. They promised to release information about the timing of hospitals dismantling in exhibition centers in February 2021, but until then, it will be wrong to give promises. As an optimist, I hope that there will definitely be an exhibition, but as a realist who has survived 2020, I am waiting for more information.

The 2021 ParkZoo exhibition is a landmark for us – it will be the 10th edition. And we would like to celebrate this anniversary together with our exhibitors and visitors, who enabled this small project to grow into the main exhibition of the Russian pet industry.

If the restrictions continue, we won’t be deterred. We will go online: with a more advanced platform. Today, we know how to deal with rescheduling events, we are able to make quick decisions, we are capable of transformation and flexibility — we learned all this last year, and I have no doubts we will cope with the challenges of 2021.

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