Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference—the Southeast’s largest trade show, conference and competition for professional pet stylists and service professionals—returns to the Georgia International Convention Center, March 9-12.
Produced by World Pet Association (WPA), this marks the second year at the Georgia International Convention Center, allowing attendees to enjoy North America’s largest grooming competitions—with 10 contests spread over three days—right on the bigger show floor, while browsing the latest products, tools and supplies from more than 100 exhibitors.
New for 2017, competitions will be held Friday through Sunday, to allow for attendees to get a full day dedicated to education on Thursday. Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference will offer more than 70 seminars in on-trend grooming and pet services subjects ranging from mobile grooming and cat grooming to treating skin and coat problems to marketing and social media. Lynn Switanowski returns and will present a complimentary 90-minute session spotlighting social media and how it can improve your business on Friday, March 10.
For a new twist, Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference will make a future pet grooming or pet services professional’s dream come true with the #APFC17Dreamer contest. Pet groomers and service professionals can nominate a junior colleague doing excellent work to receive a $400 scholarship to use on education sessions to help them grow into their career. The deadline for nominations is February 20, for more information: bit.ly/APFC17Dreamer.
“Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference prides itself on constantly offering attendees new and exciting ways to further their grooming education and find products and solutions that will boost their business,” WPA President Doug Poindexter said. “It’s important to provide groomers and pet professionals the valuable knowledge and resources needed to succeed.”
The 10 grooming contests, including the crowd favorite Rescue Rodeo, will take place along with popular competitions such as Creative Styling and First Timers. New for 2017 is the Kenchii Kup, which will award $5,000 to the first-place winner. The deadline to enter any of the contests is Friday, February 24 at 5 p.m. Pacific.
Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference is the first show to adopt new rules spelled out by GroomTeam USA, with the organization’s Sanctioned Classes for competitions in the Open Division: Wire Coat Handstripped, Other Purebred Scissoring, Sporting Spaniels and Setters, Poodles. The Intermediate and Entry competitions will still take place, but no longer count toward GroomTeam points.
“The change in GroomTeam rules will allow contestants to abide by widely accepted international rules,” says Judy Breton, CMG, CKO, director of Grooming & Special Services for WPA. “This ensures everyone is on a level playing field and GroomTeam will award points to the very best in their field.”
In addition, Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference will host a Cartoon Party where attendees are encouraged to dress as their favorite cartoon characters. It will be held at the Hilton Atlanta Airport in the Chattahoochee Ballroom on Saturday, March 11, from 9 p.m. to midnight. Complimentary food and fun will be served, along with music.
2017 sponsors include: Andis Company, Electric Cleaner Company, Espree Animal Products, Evolution Shears, Fresh ‘n Clean Products, Kenchii Professional Grooming, Learn2GroomDogs.com, Nature’s Specialties, Oster Professional Products, ShowSeason Animals Products, Wag’n Tails Mobile Conversions and Wahl Clipper Corporation.