The recently-concluded Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference—the Southeast’s largest trade show, conference and competition for professional pet stylists and service professionals—saw a 9 percent spike in attendance in its second year at the Georgia International Convention Center.
Produced by World Pet Association (WPA), Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference featured more than 70 education sessions on everything from grooming techniques to social media, the Southeast’s largest grooming competition—with 10 contests spread over three days—and an exhibit floor filled with the latest products, tools and supplies from more than 100 exhibitors.
“We’re ecstatic about the growth Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference has experienced over the past couple of years,” says Doug Poindexter, president of WPA. “It’s important that we continue to provide groomers and pet service professionals—whether they’re well-established or just starting their career—with the resources they need through education and actionable solutions to better care for their clients.”
The popular grooming contests—including the new Kenchii Kup, which awarded $5,000 in prize money—took center stage, with best in show winners including:
Overall Best in Show: Michelle Breen
Kenchii Kup: Amanda Zeller, Amanda’s Tegal Canine
Rescue Rodeo: Pamela Martin, All Pro Grooming
For a complete list of winners: www.atlantapetfair.org/2017-winners
Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference 2017 was the first show to adopt new grooming contest 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.
Attendees sharpened their skills at more than 70 seminars covering on-trend grooming and pet service subjects ranging from mobile grooming and cat grooming to treating skin and coat problems to marketing and social media.
As a part of WPA’s continuing initiative to provide groomers and service providers with education and resources to advance their careers, WPA held the #APFC17Dreamer social media contest to award a $400 scholarship for use on education sessions at Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference. The winner, Natalie Shortlidge, was nominated by Bark Avenue in Deland, Florida, and selected for her enthusiasm and dedication in starting her grooming career as a bather and working hard to become a full time groomer.
This year’s sponsors included: 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, Purina, ShowSeason Animals Products, Wag’n Tails Mobile Conversions and Wahl Clipper Corporation.