Interview with Nigel Baker, PIF CEO, on PETINDEX

Petindex Logo Date CMYK




Why have you launched Petindex?

The Pet Industry Federation (PIF) represents over 2000 businesses from manufacturers and retailers to pet service companies such as boarding, grooming, day-care and dog walking. All of these businesses make up our industry and all of these businesses are talking regularly to the UK’s 20 million households that own 49 million pets. Today’s pet industry show needs to encapsulate the whole industry so that pet ownership continues to grow on as responsible basis and that standards in our industry are raised.

Why is it different to other trade shows in the pet industry?

Bringing out another trade show that is similar to the ones already in existence is not our aim. Petindex will have vision and provide many different platforms to educate, sell and promote the best of our industry to the people involved in it. You can expect to find many different activities and seminars at Petindex to promote our ethos of providing an event that works for today’s businesses involved in our industry.

Why has PIF decided to resurrect the show now?

Our marketplace is changing. The number of pets we keep has remained fairly static, yet the way products are distributed and how pet services are delivered has changed dramatically. In 2018, we saw the first change in animal licensing legislation for 55 years. In 1963, when the Boarding Establishments Act came out day care businesses, home boarders and cat hotels did not exist. In 1951 when the Pet Animals Act came out, the internet did not exist nor did pet superstores or grocery and discount outlets selling pet products. What has fundamentally changed is the route to market. Social media and influencers now play a large role in how we communicate with today’s pet owner. Independent retail still plays a vital role and needs to be helped and encouraged. As a trade association representing the industry, we need to give industry members the tools to cope with these changes and Petindex is geared to help do just that.

Who is it aimed at?

PIF’s membership is a very broad church, and as such we believe that if you operate as a pet business you should attend Petindex. There will be something for everyone from trade stands and seminars; to competition and awards. Petindex is geared to helping businesses succeed with products and services, and is looking to join the dots between the various types of business in our industry. You could attend as a retailer and find new and exciting products, as well as learn from the various seminar streams happening on both days; or you could attend as a dog walker who could recommend products to their clients; or you could attend as a dog groomer who can both use and sell products to their clients; or as a kennel or cattery that is looking for supply and new products that will fit in with the new legislation on enrichment toys. There really will be something for everyone and no two days will be the same!

What can exhibitors expect?

We expect to give exhibitors a very different experience at Petindex. As PIF is a ‘not for profit’ company we do not need to make thousands of pounds out of our event. We already employ staff across all of our projects, so Petindex will only utilise additional staff as needed on the day. We can therefore keep stand costs to a minimum and provide discounts on prices to our members. Petindex will take place at the centrally located Milton Keynes Arena next to the MK Dons football stadium. A hotel (Double Tree Hilton) is on site and we have negotiated extremely keen hotel prices. Exhibitors are not only seeking good attendance at a show, but great networking opportunities. Be prepared for some different activities during set up day on the Saturday, during the show to bring visitors to your stand and of course in the evening for our fantastic Awards evening on the Sunday night. Petindex will be different. You can view who has booked stands, book your own space (shell scheme or just space) at And if you want more space that our floor plan indicates then just ask our event organiser Daniel Everett

What can visitors expect?

If you can’t be bothered to go to trade shows or think you already know everything, then think again! Petindex is not only about seeing new products and learning new things, our key objective is to help visitors grow their businesses. We will achieve this through a range of education seminars, a business zone, green room and some fantastic displays but also through helping you “join the dots” together to make your business more successful. Today’s consumer is more discerning than ever and you need to know exactly how you can both gain new customers, co-operate with others to help you reach out to today’s pet owner, as well understand how today’s market is changing. Petindex is easy to reach both by car (just off the M1), by train from London, Birmingham or Manchester, by air from Luton or Birmingham International. Why not bring the family and let them enjoy some great shopping and events in Milton Keynes Centre whilst you visit the show? No two days will be the same at Petindex and that we promise! Why not keep up to date with what is planned by registering at

How are the plans going?

With over 40% of stand space already booked and with six months still to go until the event, we will shortly be releasing information about the Pet Industry Federation Awards and the British Dog Grooming Championships. News about everything that is happening at Petindex can be found at as we release it. You won’t be disappointed about this new great show.

Not another trade show?

We know how many people have recently said that, which is why Petindex is definitely not just another trade show. With changing consumer habits, the high street under pressure, it’s time the industry got together to help each other. It’s interesting to see how all businesses in this industry are reliant each other in some way. Wholesalers need retailers; manufacturers need customers, kennels need dogs, catteries need cats and pet magazines need retailers, manufacturers and pet services. The Pet Industry Federation understands all of these businesses, as many are our members! We believe there is an enormous opportunity for people to work together in a different way than a traditional trade show. Retailers, wholesalers and kennels are traditional large purchasers of product but what about all the other pet service businesses? Could they be consumer influencers for your business? We think the answer is ‘yes’ and if you agree you cant afford to miss the event that sets itself out to help pet businesses thrive.


Stadium MK

26-27 April 2020





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