Signs of Life: Super Pet Expo, Chantilly Virginia
This weekend I took a ride to Virginia to see check out the Super Pet Expo in Chantilly Virginia. This was the first show that I know of on the east coast that took place since the corona virus shut everything down. I was trying to get a reading of how much of an effect COVID-19 was going to have on the thousands of pet parents and families that usually attend. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.
Dogdad Approved was lucky enough to complete 4 of our 5 tour stops before the heavy restrictions kicked in but this Super Pet Expo was the first on the east coast to open after re-scheduling from their original March date. To be completely honest I’m one of those people that say “just wear the mask so we can get through this already!” I don’t think it’s a lot to ask that we all be concerned about each other's health. But that's me.
Many of my peers think I’m being over-cautious but understand. I also adhere to the notion that what they may or may not be doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is none of my business unless they are around me. If I don’t feel comfortable I don't lecture, I move. It’s really that simple. Nobody should judge. This has been a hard nut to crack for everyone.
The Super Pet Expo management staff made it very clear that nobody without face covering would be allowed in the building. They took the temperature of the staff each day. They also took extra measures to allow people to maintain a safe distance as well as having extra hand sanitizing stations on hand. I was told there was even an incident of someone not wearing a mask after entering and they were removed right away. Kudos to the show managers. This extra care for safety made me feel much more comfortable as I walked inside.
Just as I had anticipated the crowd was not as big as it usually is thank to Mr. COVID. That particular day we also had the remnants of Hurricane Laura rolling through which I suspect kept folks away until later. Nonetheless, people came out and they came with their dogs both big and small. Vendors there told me that despite the aisles not being jam-packed, business was still better than expected. The lookers may have stayed home but the real pet parents came out and spent their hard-earned dollars on their furry-kids.
I also spoke with show management about the prospects of 2021. They are very optimistic that the consumer pet expos will rebound quickly once restrictions are safely lifted and/or a vaccine becomes available. This particular expo was cancelled in March and re-scheduled to August which is still in what I feel is contagious prime-time. Despite this they still managed a smaller but still enthusiastic crowd that behaved safely and took the proper precautions. This gives me optimism as well. We're looking forward to bringing you better pet products by responsible companies at each of the Dogdad Approved Road Show stops throughout 2021. This year look for the Dogdad Approved Little Book of Big Savings. This pocket-guide will contain information and exclusive discount codes on the products exhibited in our booth.