Hyperbole notwithstanding, one professional pet grooming event is living up to its name. The Groomer SuperShow, a key element of the SuperZoo trade show in Las Vegas Nevada, is attracting enthusiastic international attention with its impressive combination of competitions, celebrity speakers, educational opportunities, awards, entertainment and product exhibitions.
Pet professionals from around the world make the trip to Las Vegas every year to participate in the event’s many attractions and professional competitions. This year, there’s plenty to see and compete for, with groomers from as far away as Italy, India and Japan vying for titles in contests that run the gamut from classic to “high-fashion” to philanthropic.
GroomTeam USA-sanctioned contests cover six purebred classes and award cash prizes in three skill divisions. The Creative Styling Competition takes “cutting edge” to the extreme with an entertaining mix of props, music, staging and imaginatively groomed dogs. Sponsored by Ryan’s Pet Supplies and Wahl Clipper Corporation, the Rescue Rodeo pits groomers against each other as they “make over” would-be pets from local rescue groups and ready them for adoption. Cash awards for the first five-place Rodeo is matched by the World Pet Association (WPA), producer of the Groomer SuperShow, and donated to the winning dogs’ rescue organization. This year, Rescue Rodeo will feature guest judge Mijo Klein, renowned French grooming expert and producer of the largest grooming competition in France.
Competition culminates with a first-place jackpot prize of $10,000, the largest one-time purse in any competition. The contest was recently renamed the Tom McLaughlin Super Jackpot to honor the former WPA president, who passed away earlier this year. McLaughlin was a strong supporter of groomers and was instrumental in creating the Companion Animal Hygienist (CAH) groomer certification program.
With total prize money of $45,000 and the recognition that comes with competing at the international level, these contests are considered serious business for those who compete. They’re also a source of inspiration and “how-to” magic for trade show attendees who want to model themselves after the best in the business.
They certainly won’t be disappointed, because there’s no shortage of “best in the business” at the SuperShow. At the front of the pack: this year’s winners of the prestigious Crystal Grooming Achievement Awards, presented by Grooming Business magazine and WPA. Created to establish standards of grooming excellence and recognizing professional skills in the competitive grooming industry, this year’s awards will honor the industry’s top groomers in eight grooming categories at an award ceremony Wednesday evening, September 12.
Skill improvement and career advancement is, in fact, a big part of the Groomer SuperShow. Along with the object lessons that can be taken away from the competitions and award winners, professional groomers can avail themselves of a full schedule of education and training sessions that include business seminars, advanced grooming instruction and animal health and wellness classes. The education program is, according to Judy Breton, director of Grooming and Special Services, top-notch and industry leading. ”We bring in the best to share their expertise and techniques, because we want to make sure our attendees take home what they need to become better, more successful groomers.” Among the noteworthy presenters at this year’s conference are Animal Planet Network celebrities Sherri Shinsky and Lisa Leady, and Melissa Verplank, bestselling author of the groomer’s go-to guide Theory of 5.
To further advance their businesses and professional standing, groomers will have the opportunity to acquire official certifications from five different professional grooming associations. And when they’re not busy learning, competing or acquiring certifications, groomers can take a stroll through “Groomer’s Court,” where they’ll be able to preview and compare the latest grooming products and meet directly with top grooming suppliers.
Members of WPA will want to take advantage of new pricing this year to save on day passes and seminar fees. Complete details are available at www.superzoo.org/groomersupershow. Some sessions fill up quickly, so participants are encouraged to register early online for the seminars they want to attend.
The World Pet Association (WPA) is the oldest industry organization promoting responsibly growth and development of the companion pet and related products and services. WPA works to inform and educate the general public in order to ensure safe and healthy lifestyles for our animal friends. WPA is the host of America’s Family Pet Expo, the world’s largest consumer pet and pet products expo, held annually in Costa Mesa, California and Puyallup, Washington. The organization also produces SuperZoo, an annual pet industry trade show that showcases a comprehensive collection of exhibits and offers a variety of informative educational seminars. SuperZoo 2012 will be held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada September 11-13.