Grooming Fest – ‘Oscar’ for groomers

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Text: Alexander Kolchin

The 9th Grooming Festival GroomingFest® was held on September, 11–12, and attracted a record number of participants this year.

Denis Vasiliev, the festival organizer and the CEO of Milord company, told us about the keys to the success of the event and its future plans.

GroomingFest has a long history and good tradition. What is its place in the pet event industry?
GroomingFest® is an original brand that hosts professional events for groomers all over the country. Usually, they are held together with regional pet exhibitions to which they add value and fun. Now the program of Grooming Fest includes the all-Russian grooming competition, the final of which is held in Moscow at ParkZoo pet industry fair. The other is a closed event in January, where we award groomers with the highest rating in competitions — it’s a kind of grooming “Oscar”.

– What made Grooming Fest 2020 so different, what new challenges it had to its participants and guests?
– We hardly believed that the event would take place and people would come. But we found a perfect platform Dog Space Club and just did our best. As a result, almost 200 groomers from 42 cities participated in the competition, and with the audience and fans there were more than 500 people! There were a lot of newcomers who came to talk, try their hand, and learn at grooming seminars.

GroomingFest has become not only a meeting place, but also a marketing platform. People from different regions are willing to participate as participation in a festival of such a high level increases their status and competitive advantage.

This encourages us to develop as well. This year, guests of the event could buy almost everything they need for grooming, as well as sharpen scissors, adjust hair clippers and get an opinion from specialists — all in one place.

– It is exceptional that you were able to hold such a large-scale event during the restrictions of mass events. Hasn’t corona crisis affected the world of grooming?
– Grooming as an industry which turned out to be quite resistant to crisis, as the demand for service is quite stable. But at the same time people realized pretty quickly that a groomer is a profession, or business, that can be quickly learned and mastered, they can start making money if they lose their main source of income. For example, this time at the seminars, apart from groomers, there were people who came to take a closer look and assess the market perspectives to open their own salons.

– What are your plans for 2021?
– In September, 2021, at ParkZoo International Pet Industry Exhibition we will organize the 10th GroomingFest. But before, we plan to hold about ten grooming festivals all over the country, including the one in March in St. Petersburg and the one in April in Moscow again at Dog Space.

The 10th Festival will be a real feast. This will be a great challenge for us. We plan to invite the best experts from all over the world to judge the international grooming competition. We will try to bring show elements so that the participants immerse themselves in the festive atmosphere, feel inspired, and go home, taking with them incredible energy of GroomingFest.

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