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March 28, 2018

Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference held its annual event March 8-11, 2018, welcoming professional pet stylists and service professionals to the Southeast’s largest trade show, conference and competition. Produced by World Pet Association (WPA), this specialty event saw a nearly 5 percent increase in attendance. The growing show provided grooming professionals with access to the latest products, education, pet and employee safety training, and networking to ensure they have the tools and insights to operate successful businesses.

“As the pet product and grooming industry continues to grow, WPA is leading the charge of introducing the community to the latest trends, techniques and products,” WPA President Jacinthe Moreau said. “We’re excited and encouraged by the growth of Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference. The expansion of the show floor offerings, the advanced education content, the globally recognized grooming contests and superior networking opportunities make this a must attend industry event for grooming professionals.”

This event boasts the biggest grooming competition in the Southeast United States and included all competitors on the 2017 GroomTeam USA. Groomers and stylists from around the world go to Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference to participate in the more than 10 contests spread over four days at the show. Contestants competed for a purse of $27,000 in cash and prizes. Nearly 40 dogs were groomed in the Rescue Rodeo contest in an effort to support local shelters in placing pets in forever homes. C complete list of winners in all competition categories is available at atlantapetfair.org. A few key category winners are included below:

Best All Around Winner – Mackensie Murphy

Best In Show Winner – Michelle Breen

Kenchii Kup: 1st Place Winner – Jackie Boulton

Rescue Rodeo: 1st Place Winner – Erica Kellett

GroomTeam USA: Top Ten Stylist of 2017

Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference offered nearly 70 seminars and sessions ensuring attendees had access to a comprehensive lineup of expert-led education. Sessions ranged from thought-leading and in-depth presentations to hands-on workshops and live demonstrations designed to help attendees improve technique, gain insight on industry best practices and boost overall business savvy.

Onsite training and certification for groomers provided additional value to registered attendees; sessions included the new Löwchen trim technique led by industry expert Shannon Moore, the new LolliPups demonstration by Dawn Omboy and a flea and tick session hosted by Dale Sanson. The comprehensive education schedule also included certification classes in color and in salon safety, as well as onsite certification testing organized by nationally- and internationally-recognized grooming organizations.

Show attendees had the opportunity to explore more than 100 exhibitors on the expo floor, giving them a glimpse at the new gear, emerging trends, tools and equipment suppliers in the industry. As an added benefit, the show provided discounts from the industry’s top suppliers, providing an affordable way for attending expert groomers to test new tools.

First-time show attendees and first-time grooming competitors were recognized this year through an exciting “First Timer” program sponsored by ConairPro. Best First Time Competitor Winner – Izaiah Sullivan from Two Mutts and a Poodle.

Attendees gathered at the industry networking event to share ideas and enjoy conversation with fellow pet-service professionals. The Runway Abstract Design Challenge, sponsored by Glo-Marr Pet Products crowned Milena Kon from DMK as the first-place winner.

Next year’s show will be hosted March 7-10, 2019, at the Georgia International Convention Center.

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