Get Your Groom On
Judy Breton, CMG, CKO, World Pet Association’s director of
grooming and special services, shares how continual improvements
to Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference make it the place to go for
continued education, networking, business-building ideas and more.
Pet Product News: Last year, the Atlanta Pet
Fair & Conference saw a good deal of growth in
attendance, which has been on a steady incline
as evidenced by the show’s move to the Georgia
International Convention Center. Do you have any
predictions yet as to what you are expecting in
terms of attendance and exhibitor booths at this
Judy Breton: Last year’s Atlanta Pet Fair
& Conference enjoyed a fantastic showing from the industry, with a 9 percent
increase in attendance. It is very early in
the show cycle and too soon to predict
where this year’s event will net out. That
said, we are working diligently to add
new features to the show and enhance
current offerings that will combine to
make the show a robust marketplace for
both groomers and service providers.
PPN: Whatdoexhibitors sayaboutthevalueof
this show for them? What types of opportunities
does it offer them?
Breton: The Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference
provides a unique platform that allows
exhibitors to spend quality face-to-face
time with regional pet service providers
to place new orders, refine existing orders and to have in-depth conversations
about marketing strategies to help drive
sell-through. This type of detail-oriented
discussion is much easier in a setting that
is focused on conducting business and
is away from the interruptions that are
a part of running a business. This show
is special, as it is more intimate and focused, offering brands the opportunity to
showcase their products to an enthusiastic audience of pet professionals.
PPN: Educationis clearlyahugepartof what
makes this show stand out, with last year’s event
having boasted more than 70 education seminars. What do you have in store for attendees in
the way of education this year?
Breton: Education is one of the flagship offerings of the Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference. This year, we are taking a strategic
approach to the type of education seminars we’ll be hosting. We’re focused on
providing attendees resources that they
can use to grow and strengthen their
business the minute they leave the event.
With that in mind, we will be presenting
seminars to highlight two key areas. The
first are emerging trends to be mindful of
and shop for during the event to ensure
their shops are on the leading edge, such
as Asian fusion grooming. Second is a
rally around business tools and best practices for independent service professionals, teaching them the latest techniques
to employ to ensure their businesses are
lean, efficient and successful. I encourage attendees to attend seminars on social media marketing or growing mobile
Requested by show-goers, the show
will feature some of the classics like
Certified Master Groomer Chris Pawlosky demonstrating breed standards in
PPN: Howhas thegroomingcontests portion
of the show evolved, and what can attendees
expect this year?
Breton: The grooming contests are always an exciting feature of the show.
Artists from around the world come to
share their unique talents and display
their latest creations. You will see a rainbow of colors, unique cuts and bejeweled
masterpieces. This year, groomers stand
to win money and prizes up to $27,000,
which is an increase over last year’s prize
package. We are thrilled to continue and
grow this great event.
PPN: Has WPAmade any changestothisyear’s
event? Are there any particular highlights people
should know about?
Breton: After listening and taking action
on the responses we received on our industry listening survey, we have changed
the format of our networking reception.
This reception will bring the grooming
and pet services community together in
a relaxed atmosphere to connect with old
friends and colleagues, make new connections, share best practices and gain
insights from their peers. We hope they
go home with a little more knowledge,
creative ideas, and a new network of
friends and business advisors.
We are always looking for ways to
improve the education offerings at the
show. This year, we are pleased to offer on-site certification for groomers,
providing additional value-add to their
attendance. Education and certification
are important to groomers as it provides
them with an opportunity for continual
learning, allowing them to hone their
skills and stay ahead of their competition.
Shannon Moore will offer a demo on
the new Löwchen trim technique. This is
a new variety of grooming to the industry
and isn’t frequently covered in other education programs. Shannon will teach you
how to execute a Löwchen breed profile
trim to bring a fresh new trim into grooming salons. This new trim technique is an
option for any matted dog, no matter the
breed. Attendees will not want to miss
We are pleased to offer the new LolliPups demonstration by Dawn Omboy.
Dawn will explain how to create different
head designs on her doggie dolls that attendees can later have fun practicing with
at home. The Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference is the first show to provide programming featuring this fun new style.
Flea and ticks are always a concern
to pet owners and the grooming commu-