‘Pet-demic’ positions popular pet lovers shows for major bounce back

After a long hiatus and tough couple of years, Event Management International's hugely popular Cat Lovers Show is returning to Melbourne with record-breaking ticket sales.

Australia’s largest feline festival is returning to Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) in June, treating cat owners and enthusiasts to an array of attractions, exhibits and activities.

The two-day Cat Lovers Show will run 4-5 June, offering visitors the chance to meet and interact with more than 300 cats across 30 different breeds and get the best expert tips on feline behaviour, nutrition, enrichment and breed selection.

With the number of pet ownership recently surging thanks to the pandemic, Event Management International (EMI) founder and chief executive officer Jason Humphris said the timing was ideal to provide new ‘cat parents’ with trusted advice and pre-sale tickets have sold out in record time.

“Since 2019, the ‘pet-demic’ has boomed, with around 30.4 million pets now living with us, with 69 percent of Australian households owning a pet, up from 61 percent just two years ago,” Humphris said.

Humphris also runs the incredibly popular Dog Lovers Show, which is also returning to both Melbourne and Sydney this year. After a long hiatus, both shows are now poised to bounce back better than Humphris could have expected, thanks to the unprecedented rise in pet ownership.

“Combined with the spike in pet-parents and a pent-up demand for people to attend their favourite live events, we are in a very strong position to bounce back. If someone had told me two years ago that all our 2022 shows would be on track to sell-out and break all previous ticket records, I’d never have believed them!”

Jason and Sally Humphris.

This year, both pet shows will be held at MCEC for the first time, with the purpose-built space allowing for a more seamless, weather-protected events on one level. Combined, the Melbourne Cat and Dog lovers show will occupy nearly 25,000 square metres and bring together more than 1,500 animals, over 450 exhibitors and other delegates, and an expected 70,000 visitors.

“We have worked closely with MCEC to develop a layout that incorporates around 12 to 14 dog and cat-inspired attractions within a major exhibition, whilst still delivering a world class animal management plan to ensure the safety and welfare of all pets and people.

“The large space and flexible capabilities at MCEC have enabled us to construct an indoor 100,000-litre swimming pool for the Dock Dogs diving feature, plus two massive 500 square metre indoor arenas to present a huge array of live dog events.”

The future is looking bright for EMI which is currently focusing on the growth of its new digital business, including the launch of a leading online platform for pet owners later this year. The company is also developing a major trade event for the pet sector that will bring together local and international industry leaders every two to three years, as well as introducing a new format for its hugely popular pet lovers shows.

“By 2025, our plan is to combine the Dog and Cat Lovers Show in a format where they would still be staged as very separate events but held concurrently,” Humphris said.

“The new format will mean our stakeholders only need to do two to three major events a year rather than six, and we can take advantage of the huge cross-promotional opportunities given that 30 percent of our audiences own both a dog and a cat.”

The new format will be launched next year at the Sydney Showground, followed by Brisbane, Melbourne and Auckland.

“Our team is just so thrilled to be running events again, and whilst it’s been a tough couple of years for us and the event industry, the challenges we confronted have made us a much smarter business.”

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required


Sign up now

Join our mailing list to keep up to date with the latest event industry news direct to your inbox

The A-Z guide for organising events