The Hershey Lodge and Convention Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania, will once again welcome nearly 5,000 groomers and pet care professionals through its doors for Groom Expo, the world’s largest grooming show. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Groom Expo will feature a bustling trade show, world class education, and GroomTeam-sanctioned grooming competitions in addition to special events like the Barkleigh Honors Awards. Save the date for this silver anniversary: September 19-22, 2013.
In celebration of Groom Expo’s anniversary, this year’s show features “The Legends of Grooming: Business Success Summit,” a special seminar series that features industry icons from the past 25 years. Judy Bremer-Taxman, Melissa Verplank, Karla Addington-Smith, Dina Perry, Marlene Romani, Teri DiMarino, and Kathy Rose will share their business tips and tricks with seminar attendees on Saturday and Sunday.
For the first time ever, Alison Rogers, Head Groomer at Harrods Pet Spa in the UK, will share her seminar, “Grooming with European Flair.” Learn how to apply a European style to your clients in this four-hour seminar series, which includes demonstrations on four popular breeds, including the Poodle and Bichon Frise. Groom Expo will also feature the world debut of “Reality Grooming” with Kendra Otto. Included in this four-hour series are demonstrations on the Shih Tzu, Scottish Terrier, Poodle, and Doodle. This seminar focuses on the lessons Kendra learned in the competition ring and how she applied them to the grooming table in her salon.
For the first time at Groom Expo, champion groomer Irina Pinkusevich will demonstrate the techniques of Japanese Freestyle, which she learned during her travels to Japan. Also making its Groom Expo debut is “Dogfather Knows Best” with Joey Villani. In this four-hour seminar series, Joey shares the business knowledge he gained from decades in the grooming industry. Ben Gonzales of StoreVantage will also be on hand for the eMarketing Symposium, a four-hour seminar series that will help you improve your business marketing strategies. Symposium topics include growing a successful business, smart email marketing, referrals and customer retention, and online advertising.
Those interested in animal behavior topics will be excited to see Robin Bennett at Groom Expo. She will present a four-hour animal behavior seminar on Friday in addition to one-hour sessions throughout the weekend. Groomers who offer daycare services or are looking to expand into the daycare market should check out Friday’s seminar with Chris Murphy, the world’s leading expert on doggie daycare.
Aside from the incredible educational opportunities, one of the main attractions at Groom Expo is the contest ring, where groomers compete for trophies and cash prizes. For the first time in several years, competitors at Groom Expo will also compete for GroomTeam points. Contestants can enter in the entry, intermediate, or open level for the five breed classes: Poodles, Terriers, Sporting, All Other Purebreds, and Salon Freestyle. Breed classes compete on Friday and Saturday, and the Best in Show winner will be announced Saturday evening prior to the Barkleigh Honors Awards.
Groomers can also compete Sunday morning in the Rescue Round-Up contest, where local animal shelters provide contestants with dogs that are currently looking for a home. Each local rescue group that provides a dog for the Rescue Round-Up will receive a monetary donation from Barkleigh Productions.
Sunday afternoon features the most colorful grooming competition of the entire weekend. During the creative styling contest, groomers use color and styling to transform their dogs into artistic displays that resemble underwater scenes, spaceships, cartoon characters, and more. Winners receive trophies and cash prizes, and the winner of the coveted People’s Choice Award gets to appear on the cover of Groomer to Groomer magazine.
Groomers also have the opportunity to showcase their artistic talents in the abstract creative runway contest, which returns to Groom Expo for a second year. For this competition, groomers rely not on color or props but on the abstract designs they have cut and carved into the hair of their dog or cat. This elegant and breathtaking competition follows Saturday’s Best in Show awards prior to the Barkleigh Honors Awards.
The Third Annual Barkleigh Honors Awards is a prestigious event that recognizes groomers’ accomplishments from the past year. With categories like Blog, Speaker, and Judge of the Year, the awards honor groomers who go above and beyond with their contributions to the industry. While some winners will be determined by popular vote, other categories, like Competitive Groomer of the Year, will use a point system based on contest wins. This exciting event is a celebration of grooming and the people who bring out the best in the industry.
From the trade show and seminars to grooming contests and special events, there is a lot to see and do at this year’s show. Mark September 19-22 on your calendar and help us celebrate the 25th anniversary of Groom Expo. For registration and additional information, visit GroomExpo.com or call (717) 691-3388.