Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference Experiences Attendance Growth at 2018 Show
Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference, which was held March 8-11 at the Georgia International Convention Center, saw a nearly 5 percent increase in attendance this year. Produced by World Pet Association (WPA), the specialty event is a trade show and conference for professional pet stylists and service professionals. The growing show provided grooming professionals with access to the latest products, education, pets and employee safety training, and networking to ensure they have the tools and insights to operate successful businesses, said show organizers.
“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,” said Jacinthe Moreau, WPA president. “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.”
The event boasts the biggest grooming competition in the Southeast United States, according to show organizers, and included all competitors on the 2017 GroomTeam USA. Groomers and stylists from around the world come 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 and an effort to support local shelters in placing pets in forever homes.
A few key category winners include:
- 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
A complete list of winners in all competition categories is available at atlantapetfair.org.
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, WPA officials said.
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 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 helpful discounts from the industry’s top suppliers, providing an affordable way for attending expert groomers to test new tools, WPA officials added.
First-time show attendees and first-time grooming competitors were recognized this year through an exciting “First Timer” program sponsored by ConairPro. The Best First Time Competitor winner was 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, was the highlight of the evening, crowning Milena Kon from DMK as the first-place winner.