BREAKING GROUND IN 2021 - FITZ ALL MEDIA, THE COMPANY BEHIND DOGFEST, CELEBRATES A BRAND REFRESH WITH THE LAUNCH OF A DEDICATED EVENTS COMPANY AND NEW LAUNCHES
Fitz All Media, well-known for running the successful DogFest events, has officially announced the rebranding of its consumer events portfolio to Touchpoint Live Media.
Alongside the new name, the dedicated events company will be spearheading its way into 2021 as it announces 14 events throughout the year ahead.
Nicole Cooper, Managing Director of Touchpoint Live Media commented; ‘2020 has been an extremely difficult year for the events industry but it has also allowed us the opportunity to explore new opportunities and re-evaluate our proposition so that we not only stay relevant but lead the way in producing first class events. We are fortunate to run outdoor events and have come out stronger and more agile with 14 events scheduled for 2021 including the launch of the Naturo SuperDog Awards as well as our online platform, DogLife360’.
“We are launching a fourth DogFest event at Ragley Hall, brand new to the Midlands, as well as eight Big Dog Walk events across the UK. Plus, the launch of the Big Dog Run series – all sponsored by leading pet insurance brand, Bought By Many. As an events team, we are committed to delivering first class events serving the industry and bringing the whole community of dog lovers together.”
During lockdown last year, Touchpoint Live Media created the virtual event World Big Dog Walk Challenge. The virtual activation aimed to raise funds for charity as a sign of unity between the events and charity sectors, as both have seen significant financial losses due to the pandemic. The challenge saw dog owners pledge over £36,000 to animal charities and walkers clocked up over 48,000 miles, surpassing the event’s target two-fold.
Touchpoint Live Media is also proud to announce the launch of DogLife360, a new independent content resource for dog lovers. The platform has been created to provide information on all things dog, trustworthy advice and useful resources to promote a positive relationship and a healthy lifestyle for dogs and people. Its aim is to be the UK’s number one digital lifestyle platform for all things dog. The website launched in December with a highly anticipated interview with TV presenter, Clare Balding and a variety of video training guides from experts. Anyone who has a dog, is a dog lover, or is interested in getting a dog will find the website the one stop shop for all the information and products they could want.
Lastly, the jewel in the crown for Touchpoint Live Media - the launch of the Naturo SuperDog Awards, sponsored by Naturo Pet Food. The Naturo SuperDog Awards are certain to grab the hearts of the nation, with a star-studded ceremony held in London scheduled for November 2021. With the support of The Sun, the awards have been set up to recognise and celebrate the nation’s exceptional dogs. Those who help make people’s lives and the world we live in more caring, richer and fun. The Naturo SuperDog Awards celebrate the power of unconditional love and the bond between people and dogs, which has become ever more important in the challenging year we have had.
FITZ ALL MEDIA 2020: NEW LAUNCHES, CONTINUED GROWTH, ONGOING SUCCESS
2019 saw outstanding times for Fitz All Media, a year of growth with a successful new launch along with triumphs in exceeding visitor target numbers. The UK Petcare sector is now valued at close to £6bn. This is due to a fundamental shift in human attitudes towards our pets, research also shows that most pet owners now view their pets as a member of their family, which has increased the demand and grown the sector.
2020 is set to be an even stronger year for Fitz All Media, increasing from seven events in 2019 to eleven this year, with the hugely successful launch of a dog walking series.
Over the past 6 years over 125,000 people and their dogs have taken part in The Great Dog Walk each summer at Dogfest – the UK’s biggest festival for dogs. The Great Dog Walks at DogFest are hugely popular and routinely celebrated as an inspiring shared experience between dog lovers with thousands of walkers and their animals coming together for a fun and sociable walk within a stunning countryside setting.
Due to this success, Fitz All Media decided to roll out a dog walking series of events around the UK, with the aim of bringing people and their animals together as part of the biggest communal dog walking series in the country with the opportunity for people to raise money for charity.
The two launch events in 2019 at Loseley Park, Surrey and Ragley Hall, Warwickshire included a festival village with interactive activities for walkers along a 2k, 5k and 10k routes. Due to the resounding success of the two events in 2019, six events will now take place across the UK in 2020, including new venues in Scotland, Yorkshire, Essex and Lincolnshire from September this year.
VET Festival breaks the conference mould
In June 2019, VET Festival celebrated its fourth year in the beautiful grounds of Loseley Park (Surrey), seeing veterinary professionals come together to experience the invigorating and inspirational CPD event. The two-day outdoor conference, which core value signifies ‘Veterinary Education for Tomorrow’, delivered over 100 CPD lectures of the highest standard to a record number of 1968 delegates. As the only event of its kind in an outdoor setting, with ten CPD marquee structures, the event continues to attract professionals who love the relaxed and experiential learning experience. The event also saw a 20% increase in exhibitor stands & sponsorship resulting in an increase in revenue of 18% overall. “We attended VET Festival for the first time in 2019, enabling us to showcase our internal CPD offerings. We were delighted with the uptake and interest not only in our seminars but also the work of PDSA. We will be delighted to return as a sponsor in 2020”.
DogFest partnership revenues increase by 74% YOY
The DogFest brand has grown from strength to strength, starting as a one-day event in 2014 with three two-day events across the country attracting over 70,000 visitors.
DogFest, sponsored by Bought by Many, takes place in the grounds of three stunning stately homes: Knebworth House in Hertfordshire, Tatton Park in Cheshire and Ashton Court Estate in Bristol. Last year DogFest saw a 41% increase in visitor ticket sales from 2018 to 2019 with 70,944 total visitors making it the largest DogFest to date, along with a 76% increase YOY of sponsorship sales. The 2019 show attracted sponsorship from leading pet industry names and over 540 exhibitors.
DogFest offers an amazing full day out, packed with dog friendly attractions, entertainment and activities with plenty of opportunities for dogs to get involved. Show highlights include Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick and TV Broadcaster Clare Balding. Wellbeing and education is at the heart of DogFest, with much of the show content focusing on health and the emotional wellbeing of dogs and their humans. With everything from first aid training, nutrition advice through to the mental health benefits of getting outdoors with your dog as well as offering a fun day out for all family members.
25% increase in visitors to the National Pet Show, NEC Birmingham
The National Pet Show is the largest consumer general pet show in the UK held annually at the NEC Birmingham in November. The show attracts sponsorship from leading pet industry names and attracts over 200 exhibitors each year. This year saw a 25% increase in visitor ticket sales from 2018 to 2019 with 26,321 total visitors making it the largest National Pet Show to date.
Animal lovers can learn about a myriad of species and breeds through educational talks from leading experts plus see an action-packed line up of animal demonstrations and can buy the latest gifts for their pet or pet lover in their life. TV personalities Michaela Strachan, Noel Fitzpatrick, Rory Cowlam, James Bowan and A Street Cat Named Bob were all in presence at this year’s event. There were an impressive 120 cat and dog breeds at the show for visitors to meet.
At the heart of the event is responsible pet ownership and animal welfare.
THE NATIONAL PET SHOW – EXCITING NEW ACTIVITIES AND SPECIAL GUESTS ANNOUNCED FOR THE ULTIMATE FAMILY DAY OUT THIS WINTER!
The National Pet Show has just announced a raft of fantastic new animal-mad features for next month’s show, together with more special guests and organisations added to the bill…
Guinness World Records Editor-in-Chief, Craig Glenday will be hosting a show-stopping parade of four-legged record breakers and their owners. They include Lynne Land and her poodle, Mojo (Most rotations by a dog on the hind legs in 30 seconds), Rachael Grylls and her skipping Jack Russell, Jessica (Most skips by a dog and person in one minute-single rope), plus Hagrid the giant shaggy Leonberger (Fastest time to catch 10 items by a dog)!
Also new on the 2018 VIP list is Doug the Pug Therapy Dog whose owner, Cate, will be speaking about his vital role in transforming people’s lives in hospitals, schools and care homes. Doug will feature in the ‘Hound Hangout’ alongside a cast of social media’s brightest doggy celebrities and Insta-pooches who can’t wait to meet their two-legged fans!
Other highlights include Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick who will inspire young visitors at his specially built ‘Noel’s Ark’. He will also be doing a book signing at the show, following the release of his brand new book Listening to the Animals: Becoming the Supervet. Wildlife fanatic and TV presenter Michaela Strachan will host SuperDogs Live (a jaw-dropping live extravaganza celebrating the nation’s love of dogs) and signing copies of her wonderful book Michaela Strachan's Really Wild Adventures.
ONE SIZE FITZ ALL – AND IT’S GROWING
2018 has seen outstanding times for Fitz All Media, a year of growth, consolidation and triumphs – and a potential setback, which was turned into a massive PR victory.
The events division of TV ‘Supervet’ Professor Noel Fitzpatrick’s world-class pioneering veterinary hospital Fitzpatrick Referrals, Fitz All Media now owns and operates no less than six events for veterinary professionals, animal lovers and pet owners across the UK. The Fitzpatrick Referrals vision is to move medical science forward by providing excellence in veterinary care, and is already renowned for its cutting-edge treatments in orthopaedic, oncological, neurological and soft tissue animal surgery. Fitz All Media events reflect and promote this ethos, and work with the same underlying commitment of Professor Fitzpatrick himself to compassionate care and medical excellence for companion animals.
VET FESTIVAL in partnership with MWI Animal Health
Innovation and humane invention, the watchwords of Professor Fitzpatrick’s professional life, are at the heart of VET Festival, which celebrated its fourth triumphant edition in the beautiful grounds of Loseley Park in Surrey in the balmy days of early summer. The two-day outdoor conference, with is watchword of ‘Veterinary Education for Tomorrow’, and its theme of Wellness, delivered the very highest standard of CPD information to a record number of over 1700 delegates, who love the fun, festive atmosphere of the event. With its sustainability credentials fully covered, not least by Fitz All Media signing a pledge on site to vet-initiated charity Learning Without Landfill, and 35-plus speakers from around the world sharing their expertise in no less than 14 sectors of companion animal medicine, VET Festival did indeed set a new and inspiring paradigm of what CPD can be to veterinary professionals.
DogFest launches its third event in Bristol
DogFest, with its variety of attractions for dog owners centred around the now iconic ‘Great Dog Walk’, attracts over 75,000 visitors over three summer weekends, at Knebworth House in Hertfordshire, Cholmondeley Castle in Cheshire and – a first for 2018 - Ashton Court Estate in Bristol, where the visitor numbers came in at a hugely impressive 18,193 over the 2 days.
The story about DogFest South at Knebworth House came to be a cause célèbre in the pet events industry, because after much agonised deliberation and constant consultation with the Met Office, the management team made the extraordinarily difficult decision to cancel the event because of the fiercely hot weather. With the forecast reading a minimum of 27deg Celsius for the weekend, and possibly more, it was decided that it would be madness in animal welfare terms to go ahead. ‘It is with regret that we have taken the very difficult decision to cancel DogFest at Knebworth House this weekend,’ said Managing Director Nicole Cooper in a statement. ‘We have worked in close consultation with the Met Office, Animal Welfare and vets to make this decision, and ultimately our main concern is for the welfare of all our visitors. As DogFest is a dogs’ day out, we think it’s important that visitors can bring their dogs to the show and in this instance the temperature is forecast at over 27 degrees Celsius which is not suitable for hosting this event. We thank all our visitors, exhibitors and sponsors for their support and understanding.’
The risk was that outrage and public outcry from many disappointed and disgruntled visitors and exhibitors would compromise the event’s reputation, but to its credit the industry stood resolutely behind the brave decision. It was a very upsetting time for the team who had worked so hard, but their honesty and transparency paid off. Social media was flooded with positive comments from visitors, exhibitors and sponsors applauding the brave decision to cancel the event and commending them on putting the welfare of the animals and humans before financial benefits. Regular updates and total transparency humanised the brand to a much deeper level, and people and the press all responded positively to the fact that Fitz All Media were not afraid to say how sorry they were to not be able to run the event.
Special guests for DogFest North and West included Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick, TV presenter Michaela Strachan and naturalist and tv personality Chris Packham. Broadcaster Clare Balding is already signed up for DogFest 2019; new branding, new features and a new home for DogFest North, which is moving to Tatton Park in Cheshire, all represent growth and consolidation for the pet industry’s favourite dog-specific event – where the humans have as much fun as the animals!
National Pet Show, NEC Birmingham
If the three DogFests are the favourite vertical events on the pet industry calendar, there is no arguing with the fact that the National Pet Show dominates the horizontal market, bringing together creatures great and small of all species and their owners, keepers, fans and followers. In partnership with PDSA as the headline sponsor, the 2018 edition had already outgrown Hall 1 at the NEC before the selling season was halfway done, and the show moved to Hall 4 where it could expand by nearly 25 per cent. Visitor numbers too were way up, hitting a record-breaking 24,000-plus.
Highlights included Michaela Strachan and TV ‘Supervet’ Professor Noel Fitzpatrick signing their new book ‘Listening to Animals’, and Noel Fitzpatrick’s media interviews with junior reporters on ‘Noel’s Ark’. Another major draw was new for the 2018 show, the presence of the Animal Rescue Barn. Local charities brought a selection of dogs looking for new homes with the aim of matchmaking owner and pet, and the Greyhound Trust happily rehomed many dogs while actually on site and since the show.
ANIMAL CRACKERS: DOGS, CATS AND A WHOLE MENAGERIE RETURN TO BIRMINGHAM
Now in its fifth year, the National Pet Show comes back to Birmingham’s NEC on 3rd and 4th November bigger and better than ever. Far from simply showcasing gorgeous dogs and adorable cats, there’ll be a dizzying array of species, from ponies to pythons, chickens to chinchillas and far, far more, all under one roof. Supported by headline sponsor PDSA Petsurance, it’ll be pet heaven for animal lovers of all ages to get up close and personal with them - and learn all about them. There’ll be fascinating talks from experts, interactive demonstrations and jaw-dropping animal displays.
Each day Professor Noel Fitzpatrick, The Supervet, will inspire young visitors at his specially built ‘Noel’s Ark’, Autumnwatch TV presenter Michaela Strachan will host SuperDogs Live, a fantastic live show celebrating the nation's love of dogs and Britain’s Got Talent finalist Lucy Heath and little furry superstar Trip Hazard will enthral visitors with their dancing routines. In School 4 Dogs Lucy will also showcase her astounding training skills. Further celebrity appearances will be announced shortly.
With a focus this year on the rehoming of pets from rescue charities (last year 250,000 dogs and cats alone were taken in by them*) the show’s Animal Rescue Barn aims to ‘matchmake’ as many animals and new owners as possible during the weekend. Pet experts will help to ‘find the perfect pet for you’, taking in lifestyle and psychological factors to give them their ‘forever home’.