I’ve really wanted to talk about the HRTE (High Road to Education) event I attended in San Jose, Calif., last weekend — except now I think it’s two weekends ago? *sigh*
In case you have been living under a rock somewhere, the HRTE is a two-day educational event comprised of a handful of fabulous techs who are all educators for various products. Nevertheless, they got together to create this awesome new educational forum as a non-product-specific event. Pretty cool. Not to mention, they don’t make much money off of it — as The BF realized on our way home when he asked how much the tuition for the class was. He then started doing math in his head (I hate that he can do that!), tallying up the expenses of flying from the East Coast, the cost of the hotel, the cost of renting the conference room (and apparently the projection screen — what a racket!), and how many people attended, and he wrinkles up his forehead and says, “They aren’t making any money off of this!”
Which, of course, is what Akzentz educator and HRTE founder Tammy Warner has already mentioned. This is a labor of love for these folks. Greatly appreciated love, btw guys! (Hmmm, I wonder if Jaime Schrabeck gave the HRTE team a lecture on giving away their services?)
The thing about HRTE that I think is interesting and appealing is that it’s more of a networking gig than a class or tradeshow of any sort. Yeah, I mean, sure, you have this panel of incredible talent that you just want to watch and fawn over, and it’s also hands-on. But it’s really set up so that everyone meets each other and gets to interact with each other — not just sit quietly in your seat and ooh and aah appropriately at the platform artist of the moment. That rocks, and I’ve noticed a lot of this type of “networking event” lately — like the New England Nail Tech Event and the Smokey Mountain Networking Event — that offers a more personal and less formal atmosphere for techs to meet and greet and rub elbows and learn from each other, not just from the educator with top billing. The thing that sets HRTE apart from other events is their willingness to take it on the road. All you have to do is let Tammy know where you want them and the team will work to schedule an event.
Meanwhile, of course, it was great to meet everyone involved with the project up close and personal. I’ve been eager to meet Joseph Pham in person for a long time. His sense of humor comes through so well in his posts to BeautyTech, and he did not disappoint in person! And I really should go down the list and mention each educator personally and thank them for their involvement, not to mention gush over how talented they are. OMG! Gina Silvestro can do things with gel that people think aren’t possible with that medium. But let’s face it, the star of this show was Viv Simmonds (those are her roses on Gina Silvestro's gel nail). We all just wanted to touch her, hoping some of that talent would rub off!
Not only is Viv awesome with a sculpting brush, but she’s a great teacher with patience, a sense of humor, and that super-cool Australian accent. (Did I ever mention how I was almost born in Australia? Missed out on the accent by THAT much!)
See? This is why I don’t want to listen to you smacking your gum through these things. I’m trying to absorb as much information as I can, and so are a lot of other people in that room. This was a great event; I hope I can make it to more of them in the future. The BF does have family in Buffalo. Hmmm...