A week of learning, networking, and fun was had at IndePet’s 2023 Level Up Conference in Fiji last week.

The event, which ran from 21-24 May, provided retailers and suppliers with the opportunity to learn more about IndePet, the new initiatives it is launching, how it is supporting independent retailers, as well as plenty of opportunities to network, mingle, and enjoy Fiji.

Todd Clarkson, CEO of IndePet, said the conference was a huge success.

“The feedback from our members and supplier partners has been overwhelming positive with one supplier claiming it was the ‘best industry event they have ever been to’ which I think sums up the sentiment from many of our delegates.”

Brian Walker, CEO of the Retail Doctor Group.

Speakers included Brian Walker, CEO of the Retail Doctor Group, Ben Dessen and Richard Sheen from Kellyville Pets, James Prendergast from Central Pet Australia, Britney Westaway from Pet Destination, Darren Dempsey from Royal Canin, Matthew Ma from Hills Pet Nutrition, Adam Heeley from Boehringer Ingelheim, and Michelle Le Long from PD Insurance.

“The business sessions are always a strong part of our program, and we give a lot of time and thought to preparing a relevant and insightful business program for our delegates – but the highlight is always seeing the personal interactions between our members and our supplier partners.

“We work in a relationship industry and many of these long-term relationships are built and reinforced during these events,” explained Clarkson.

Ensuring the balance between business and play is also an important factor and IndePet nailed it by ensuring that each day or night there was an enjoyable event that provided delegates the chance to network and let their hair down.

Matthew Ma showing off his paddle boarding skills.

Events included a trivia night, mud springs, golf, cultural tour, watersports, and on the final night a boat to Malamala island, a private island with plenty of activities and a beautiful pool to sit and drink cocktails in.

Clarkson said there is a long list of people who helped make the conference a success and that it really is a team effort to ensure the whole conference ran smoothly.

“Firstly, without our IndePet members being engaged and taking time out of their businesses these events don’t exist, so we are thankful for their ongoing commitment to their group. Secondly, our supplier partners are the foundation of these events, and their support is fundamental into making these things come to life. Third, to the team at Pet Industry News for covering the event and always helping us in our efforts. Lastly, the team at IndePet support office and their months and months of planning and tireless effort to pull off such a large event in such a professional way.”

Also announced was next year’s event to be held in Rotorua.

“The 2023 conference theme was LEVEL UP and I think we did that with this event, and we look forward to taking up a notch again in 2024 – see you in Rotorua!”

To stay up to date on the latest industry headlines, sign up to the Pet Industry News e-newsletter.