To create an exciting, sparkling colorfully kaleidoscopic trade show takes the right combination of people, products, activities and incentives. Just such a package is now being finalized for the WINBA Show.
To create an exciting, sparkling colorfully kaleidoscopic trade show takes the right combination of people, products, activities and incentives. Just such a package is now being finalized for the WINBA Show, June 8 and 9, at the Marriott Convention Center in Anaheim, California.
The World international Nail and Beauty Association, under the direction of Jim George, WINBA president, has applied lofty principles in organizing the elements of this year’s show, emphasizing substance, professional standards and quality, specifically:
- Exhibitors with products specifically of interest to nail, technicians, estheticians, make-up artists and salon owners;
- Attendees who are industry professional only;
- Workshops and seminars with real educational value;
- A world class competition that includes top contenders from regional and preliminary competitions around the world;
- Judging that’s based on exacting criteria;
- Prizes worth competing for;
- Recognition worthy of national and world champions, and honoring everyone who vies for those achievements.
While the WINBA Show has become bigger and bigger each year, the number of exhibitors has intentionally been limited, creating a well-balanced show.
“Because of the number of attendees we except to draw, we think it’s to the advantage of all exhibitors and attendees to keep the show within a range of 200 exhibitors.” Jim George explained.
For a show this size, the association staff, headed by Marzena Barbara Sobozak, WINBA’s executive secretary and director of the show, decided the Marriott Convention Center would be ideal. “Rather than a huge exhibit hall with concrete floors and high ceilings with steel and concrete beams, we chose the Marriott’s facilities. The carpeting, low ceilings and chandeliers create an atmosphere that’s more conducive to buying and selling.”
In addition, a deliberate effort has been made by WINBA to keep the show balanced: the number of exhibitors will be in proportion to the number of attendees expected; the exhibitors will be balanced so there is no overabundance of one type of product; some vendors have been excluded to maintain the emphasis on nail, skin and beauty products, and other supplies necessary for the salon.
An important point regarding the attendance at the WINBA Show, is that 90 percent are nail technicians, salon owners or managers. The remaining 10 percent are students and other professionals, and that adds up to a successful nail and beauty show from WINBA’s perspective.
“Attendance is by professional only,” Jim George emphasized. “We advertise the show to the trade only, and not on radio or television, because we don’t want to attract people off the street. WINBA is dedicated to protecting the professional’s buying power, and is strongly opposed to allowing non-professionals to cut into the professional’s pocketbook by diluting their resale ability. We don’t want the public to be able to buy salon products at show prices because that leaves salons at a disadvantage with their customers.
“The fact that WINBA is an association of industry professionals is what makes WINBA strong and unique, and that level of professionalism among exhibitors’ and attendees is what makes the show a success,” he said.
While exhibitors on the floor showcase their new products and innovations, some manufacturers will be in classrooms, educating technicians on the practical use and application of products.
“WINBA has often been the first to bring many new products to the industry, and because of this, the shows are strongly oriented to education,” he stated, “Creative and informative classes in nail care, sculptured nails, wraps, the new gels and skin care are some of the topics for seminars this year.”
Five classrooms have been set side for the seminars, scheduled for Sunday. Monday, Tuesday, and possible continuing even after the show has closed, according to Jim George.
Running concurrently with the floor show and seminars will be WINBA’s nail competition, recognized by many in the industry as the most innovative and influential competitive event in the world.
The first day of the competition will be devoted to WINBA’s U.S. National Championship, in which nail technicians from all over the country compete in four events: 1) sculptured nails, 2) nail fantasy, 3) flat nail art, and 4) tip overlays and nail wraps.
The latter is a category that had been dropped last year but is now reinstated with very stringent rules, Jim explained. “this event has been fine-tuned so that people who specialize in tip overlays and nail wraps will be able to compete in this world showcase.”
Winners in these four events will receive WINBA medallions and World champions will be announced for the flat art and fantasy art divisions. From the sculptured nail category, the outstanding competitor will be crowned as the U.S. National Champion, with prizes also going to the second and third place winners.
The top 50 percent of the contestants from the first day’s sculptured nail division will be eligible to compete the second day for the prestigious World Championship title and second through fifth place prizes. Also on the second day, the World Champion, second and third place winners of the tip overlays and nail wrap division will be announced along with the World Champion and five place-winners among the student division. To make this dramatic event truly international and the ultimate championship competition, WINBA has also included as finalists technicians from other countries and winners of titles in other show competitions.
“There are shows popping up all over the country,” Jim commented. “The more, the better, as far as I’m concerned. It gives the technicians a chance to prepare for the main event – this fantastic World Championship – and gives them the recognition they so well deserve.
“When the winners of all those other regional shows come to the WINBA World Championship, it’s the ultimate opportunity for the very best to compete against each other, against outstanding newcomers, and against professional from other countries.
“and because WINBA’s standards are higher and the rules are more stringent, the achievement is that much greater.”
The actual number of contestants is uncertain at this time, Jim George explained, because technicians are allowed to sign up at the show until shortly before the competition begins. The hectic eleventh-hour opportunity for manicurists to decide whether of not to enter contrasts sharply with the careful, deliberate process of choosing qualified judges.
For WINBA, the procedure for selecting competition judges is as important as the judging itself. WINBA staff members begin screening potential judges almost immediately after a show is over because the process takes virtually a full year.
During the year intensive written exams are given to specialists to ensure that they know nails and know how to judge nails as well. Based on results of the exams, the field is narrowed down and remaining candidates are then given oral exams.
“WINBA has set very high standards for selecting judges, and we enforce very stringent rules that they must follow,” Jim stressed. “We will not tolerate broken rules and we will not hesitate to disqualify judges who do not maintain these standards.”
Once chosen, the judges elect a head judge to supervise and advise the panel of certain points to be considered during the review process. “The purpose of this is to ensure that all contestants are appraised by similar standards. All the judges look for the same things: shape of the nails, curvature, creativity and consistency,” he said.
In addition, he explained: “WINBA’s competition was the first to have judges behind curtains so that they see the model’s hands only. They don’t see anything else, such as the model’s hair or dress, to influence their decisions.”
The standards are high because the stakes are high. Generous cash prizes accompany trophies and medallions for the winners, including WINBA’s famous spectacular five-foot trophy and crown for the World Champion. One contestant will win a trip for two (round-trip) to any place in the world served by Eastern Airlines.
Also on the list of prizes is a three-week expense-paid trip to New Zealand. The first two weeks will be devoted to giving demonstrations and seminars while touring the country; during the third week the winner will be free to enjoy New Zealand’s sights.
“More important than the prizes themselves,” Jim George pointed out, “is the recognition that comes from winning in the midst of intense competition and extremely high standards.”
On hand to present the prizes and to crown the new World Champions at the awars ceremonies will be the World Champions from last year’s competitions, who are also serving as judges this year.
“Each year the competition winners from the previous year becomes judges,” he explained. “We do this because we believe it’s important for the competitors to be judged by their peers.”
And because it’s a world championship competition, WINBA has recruited experts from other countries, as well as from the United States, who will serve as judges. The International panel includes Maggie Smith of Holland, Francine Sherman and Sharon Connelly of Australia, and Yoshio Mizyno of Japan. U.S. judges are John Bynum who is serving as the competition chairman, Sissy McQuinn who is known for her affiliation with GINBA in Georgia, for her successful efforts to start licensing in Georgia, and for her International Institute of Nail Technology.
As in previous years, WINBA is also sponsoring competitions for make-up artists, which should add considerably to the air to excitement and friendly rivalry at the show.
The World Championship Make-Up Competition for 1986 will center around the theme “Fairy Tales, Fables and Folklore” and will feature three categories: Fantasy Bal Masque. Prosthetics, and High Tech Fashion and Beauty. All three events are open to both professionals and students.
Experts in the industry will judge the competition, including Marvin Westmore, chairman of the event. Westmore is known for his work in television and motion pictures, and recently his family won an Academy Award for make-up in “The Mask.” He is also an educator and founder of the M.G. Westmore Academy of Cosmetic Arts.
Other well-known professionals who have judged in the past and may do so again this year include Robert Diemer, Beverly Sassoon, Jerome Alexander, Robert Doucette, Jane Braa, Margie Stage. Mark Traynor and Kathy Condon.
The price of general admission at the door is $15 per person per day for professionals and $10 per student per day. Advance discount tickets are $10. The ticket price includes the exhibits, seminars and competition viewing – but that’s not all. Special events will be announced at the show, and the activities will culminate Sunday with an evening of entertainment, live music and dancing.