A week of learning, networking, and fun was had at the 2022 Indepet Conference, held at Sea World Resort on the Gold Coast.

The Indepet Conference featured a range of knowledgeable speakers and provided the opportunity for retail members to connect directly with suppliers.

Clarkson also revealed Fiji as the location of the 2023 Indepet Conference.

“One of our values here at Indepet is to ‘Enjoy the Ride’ and after a few years of being stuck behind closed borders we feel confident that we can expand our horizons a little bit more and provide a great event that will be the perfect mix of work and play… and what better way than with the white sandy beaches and clear oceans of Fiji!”

John Counihan, Mt Barker Pet Centre in Adelaide, said the conference was invigorating given the recent lockdowns and it was great to catch up with old acquaintances and make new connections.

“I’d absolutely recommend it. I think going forward, it protects an independent model, not only financially but also in networking and collaboration, and it’s also a lot of fun.”

Michael Strike and Kailee Smith from Elanco.

Michael Strike, Elanco, said it’s been great to be able to connect with stores but to also learn more about Indepet and their plans.

“It’s been really well setup with a good balance of work and connecting. An aim for us here is to understand how we can support the stores better. Find out what they need, what will work for them, and just make sure we’re looking after them in the right way.”

Alira Willcocks, Prestige Pet, enjoyed being able to catch up with people she hasn’t seen in a long time and to see all the new products in different industries.

“I’d definitely recommend coming along in the future. The orders coming through have been amazing so far, so its going to be good to see a lot of our new ranges in most of the stores.”

Katie Parker, Gold Coast Pet Centre, said the conference was really enjoyable with lots of information and learning and of course lots to do at Sea World.

“It’s good to be part of a group and have support from other stores. We lean on a lot of the other stores, and also offer them help too, so it’s really good.”

Gene Maurice, Royal Canin, said the conference was productive and it was good to catch up and understand what the strategy of Indepet’s longer term goals under Todd Clarkson’s new team.

“Independents are a big part of our business overall, they’re really important to us. So Indepet is a great support network that brings us all together and puts it one place. Also, from Indepet’s back-end and administration point of view, for them to be able to support our brand is really beneficial and creates awareness right across the country.”

Paul Cosier, Virbac, said it was their first time at the conference and it has been really good and engaging, and a great opportunity to get their products out there.

“If you’re not at these things, retailers don’t get to see all your products and what you have to offer, so I’d definitely encourage coming along. We’ve got some good orders, and we have a few new products so we’re getting those out into the market.”

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