Research in Hickory, N.C, said the show went exceptionally well for the company and that its brand, Urine Off,
was well received by the grooming industry participants
“We were able to interact with a whole new channel—
found out what they like, dislike and need,” Forgette said.
“We are currently working to meet the needs [attendees
expressed] and develop products and programs from the
While the ability to buy or sell the latest grooming
supplies and tools is a key component of the event,
“The value in attending
industry shows for me really
comes from the education as-
pect, and I’m not talking just
about the seminars that are
offered,” said B.C. Henschen,
a WPA board member and
co-owner of Platinum Paws
pet salon and pet food store
in Carmel, Ind., with his wife,
Kathie, a groomer.
“I stay current on the prod-
ucts that we both use and sell
in our salon by sitting down
with the manufacturers at
industry shows. It gives me
some face-to-face opportu-
nities to really ask questions
about new products or formu-
For many, however, the
centerpiece of the event is
its comprehensive offering
of grooming contests, which
kicked off the day before the
trade show floor opened and
ran through the duration of
According to WPA, the
APF&C boasts the biggest
grooming competition in
the Southeast United States
and included all competitors on the 2017 Groom Team
USA. Groomers and stylists
from around the world competed for cash and prizes totaling $27,000 in 10 contests.
A few key category winners
include Mackensie Murphy,
winner of Best All Around;
Michelle Breen, winner of Best
In Show; and Rescue Rodeo
first-place winner Erica Kellett.
While winning is always
a plus, contestants need not
walk away with a trophy to
benefit from the experience.
Kathie Henschen said she
competes at all the shows that
she attends with her standard
poodle, Cosette, and her goal
is to do her best and be happy
no matter whether she brings
home a trophy or something
that might be even more
“My goal is to always pick
something up that makes me a little better—sometimes
it’s as a groomer and sometimes it’s as a person,” she said.
The event also offered Kathie the opportunity to
network, learn from and simply have fun with others
in her field.
“I wanted to focus more on being a groomer amongst
groomers and connect more with the other competitors, as well as judges, instead of being in my own little
world,” she said.
In addition, APF&C offered groomers in attendance
nearly 70 expert-led seminars and sessions. Sessions
ranged from in-depth presentations to hands-on work-
shops and live demonstrations designed to help attend-
ees improve technique, gain insight on industry best
practices and boost overall business savvy.
Campanella, whose company sponsored presentations at the show, gave high marks to the event.
“The meeting rooms and AV [audio visual] is fantas-
tic for presenting our sponsored educational seminars, as
well as all the amenities the Georgia International Con-
vention Center has to offer.”
Next year’s show will be held March 7-10 at the Geor-
gia International Convention Center.
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