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Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference Adds Onsite Training to 2018 Show


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The Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference—a conference and competition for professional pet stylists and service professionals—will return to the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park, Ga., March 8-11, providing the industry with access to the latest products, education and networking, according to officials for the World Pet Association (WPA), producer of the specialty event.

Based on the 2017 WPA Retail Operating Performance Report, growth of the overall pet industry is projected to grow 5.8 percent. The pet grooming and boarding industry is an $8 billion business and growing. The Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference provides an opportunity for this segment of the industry to convene to explore cutting-edge information and techniques to grow their business and expand their reach.

Groomers and stylists from around the world come to the Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference to participate in the more than 10 contests spread over four days. This event boasts the biggest grooming competition in the Southeast, said WPA officials. Contestants will be competing for a bigger total purse at this year’s show—$27,000 in cash and prizes.

Show attendees will have the opportunity to explore a bustling expo floor of more than 100 exhibitors. Filled with new gear and emerging trends, attendees will be able to shop top products, tools and equipment suppliers in the industry. As an added benefit, the show will provide discounts from select suppliers so business owners can test the latest tools at reduced prices.

Education is one of the flagship offerings of the Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference, WPA officials said. Nearly 70 seminars and sessions will provide attendees with a comprehensive lineup of expert-led education. Sessions will range from thought-leading and in-depth seminars to hands-on workshops and live demonstrations designed to support attendees in their efforts to improve technique, gain insight on industry best practices and boost overall business savvy.

New onsite training for groomers will provide additional value to registered attendees, WPA officials added, and sessions include:

  • A demo on the new Löwchen trim technique, presented by industry expert, Shannon Moore. This is a new variety of grooming to the industry and isn’t frequently covered in other education programs, said WPA officials. Moore will teach attendees how to execute a Löwchen breed profile trim to bring a fresh new trim into groomer’s salons; this new trim technique is an option for any matted dog no matter the breed. Attendees will not want to miss this session.
  • A LolliPups demonstration by Dawn Omboy. Omboy will explain how to create different head designs on her doggie dolls that attendees can later have fun practicing at home. The Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference is the first shows to provide programming featuring this fun new style, according to the WPA.
  • Flea and ticks are always a concern to pet owners and the grooming community. At this year’s show, a session unique to the industry that focuses solely on ways groomers can help manage this problem. Dale Sanson will be on hand to host this one of a kind seminar on flea products—synthetic, natural and Neem products.

Adding to the comprehensive education schedule are certification classes in color and in salon safety, as well as onsite certification testing organized by nationally- and internationally-recognized grooming organizations. As an additional value-add, CPR classes will also be offered—and are filling up fast. Visit atlantapetfair.org to view the entire conference schedule.

Industry networking events provide an opportunity for knowledge share and relationship building. At the 2018 event, attendees are invited to share drinks, hors d’oeuvres and conversations with fellow pet-service professionals from 6-8 p.m. on March 9. The evening will kick off with a Runway Abstract Design Challenge sponsored by Glo-Marr Pet Products, open to all competitors and created to underscore the beauty of a “simple abstract design,” strategically sculpted with minimal color and accessories. Judges will be looking for stunning quality and artistry that likes of which would be appropriate for a client’s dog. First, second and third place winners will receive cash prizes.

First-time show attendees and first-time grooming competitors will be recognized this year through a new “First Timer,” program sponsored by ConairPro. All first-time competitors will be gifted ConairPro products. Additionally, eligible first-time attendees will be entered into drawings held at the end of each Entry Level Grooming Contest. A first-time groomer will be awarded at the “Best in Show First Timer” awards on March 10 at 4 p.m. The deadline to register as a first-time attendee and participate in the drawings is Feb. 22. Visit atlantapetfair.org/registration for prize and giveaway details, participation information and to register.

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