a2z Helps World Pet Association With Legacy of Continuous Improvement
The World Pet Association (WPA) produces SuperZoo, America’s Family Pet Expo, Aquatic Experience, and Atlanta Pet Fair and Conference. The largest of the four, SuperZoo, serves 1,198 exhibiting companies and between 12,000 and 14,000 visitors in 254,000 net square feet of exhibition space. It’s taken WPA’s president, Doug Poindexter, 26 years to get the association where it is today. a2z is delivering a cutting-edge event management solution to WPA to keep the momentum going.
Poindexter has always invested in smart technology. After he bought a pet store in 1980, it only took him two years to install barcodes on every product. When he arrived at WPA in 1990, the association had one computer in the office and the staff used IBM Selectric typewriters to create badges for registration. Today, there is automation at every level, and Poindexter is always on the lookout for more effective ways to streamline operations.
While Poindexter is, he says, “a firm believer in technology making life a little easier and more efficient,” it was a necessity—addressing the needs of 1,700+ exhibitors—that drew him to a2z’s exposition management solution. He wanted exhibitors to be able to easily view available space, select booth locations, and execute contracts online. He also needed up-to-the-minute access to the floor plan status, a capability that is only available through a real-time platform.
WPA has used a variety of exposition management alternatives over the years. The a2z solution helped it overcome the shortcomings of earlier solutions:
- Using a manual process to associate the floor plan with the Association Management System (AMS)
- Updating product listings and other databases by hand
- Working through a website that was not responsive
a2z not only eliminated those obstacles, but also helped WPA enjoy important additional benefits:
- a2z’s solution is cloud-based, so exhibitors can access the floor plan anytime, anywhere and manage their own directory listings
- Multiple users can access the platform at the same time
- The a2z solution is synchronized with WPA’s association management system
A Path To The Future
WPA has come a long way. During his tenure, the association staff has grown from 4 to 20 employees and from one tiny show to four. After two-and-a-half decades with his finger on the pulse of the operation, Poindexter will move away from his role as the face of the shows to become the face of the industry. a2z will help with that transition by allowing his managers to “stay on top of the show floor” and using technology to continuously deliver the future.