Professionals of every ilk have conventions. These gatherings of like minded people allow for everyone to grow in their chosen field, exchanging new ideas and techniques that allow them to do a better job for their clients.
Dog groomers are no exception. Winnipeg hosted Groomerpalooza recently, with 50 professional pet stylists in attendance. Most from Winnipeg, there were groomers from Brandon, and even from AB, SK and ON.
Groomers that attend these events learn tips and tricks that make them more efficient, and allow them to give the customer a better finished product. Groomperpalooza featured two exceptionally talented master groomers, Jay Scruggs and Sue Zecco. Jay and Sue headlined the event, certified Master Groomers that have starred in many videos and are widely known for their talents, both as groomers and as judges. Yes, groomers have competitions, and someone has to judge those, and these are two of the best, quite a coup to get them up here to share with our local groomers.
This event included seminars on the latest techniques for grooming: West Highland, Bedlington and SealyhamTerriers, English Springer and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Poodles, ShihTzus and Bichons. Demos on mixed breed dogs, and "what to do with a doodle" helping give insight into what to do when there is no pattern or book to go by.
There were also presentations on equipment maintenance, sharpening, shampoos, conditioners and treatments, as well as ergonomics. The 2 day event wrapped up with an interactive Q&A with of Jay and Sue. These events also have breaks and meals where the groomers can talk amongst themselves, sharing stories about the great dogs/owners they have, and commiserating about the not so great experiences they have had.
Another important part of this education forum is to emphasize techniques and procedures to enhance safety for both the dogs, and the people working with them. All through the seminars and demonstrations, proper techniques are shown that improve the levels of safety during the grooming experience.
Professional development is essential in every line of work. Events like this help recharge a groomers batteries, gets them excited again for the career they have chosen. Having worked with a number of groomers that attend these events, I can attest to the fact that when they come back to work, they are reinvigorated, raring to go and use the new tips and techniques they have learned.
I still remember an event years ago that I was fortunate enough to attend, where the presenter showed a technique for grooming a perfect poodle foot in seconds. It was a simple technique, and once you saw it, it made total sense. Watching groomers that had years of experience learn one simple thing, and seeing how their faces lit up and listening to them comment on the hours of time they wasted over the years fiddling with making a perfect foot, that tip alone paid for the event.
If you are lucky enough to have a groomer that attended this event, its OK to let them bend your ear for a bit about how much fun they had. They earned it.