Nail Show Time
  • Maggie Franklin
  • September 28, 2012
As soon as I can shoo my last client out the door tomorrow, the BF and I will be hitting the road for Sacramento for the nail show this weekend.
 
OK, mostly for the nail show — the BF is worried there will be a “no hugging” policy for the trains on display at the train museum for the exhibit celebrating the Union Pacific Railroad’s 150th anniversary. I’m not sure why he would want to hug a train, but I’m prepared to bail him out if need be.
 
I did not get around to entering any of the competitions for this show. I promised myself at the Vegas show that I was going to start competing — particularly in the nail art competitions — again this year. But somehow I got sidetracked and I don’t think I can get a good art entry done in the next 24 hours. So, once more, I am slacking on my competition plans.
 
I’m also thoroughly prepared to find that I won’t be able to purchase everything on my “to-get” list. This has been a recurring motif for the last several tradeshows I’ve attended: I make up a shopping list, only to find that several of the products I was hoping to pick up aren’t represented at the show. I’ve lost faith at this point. I made my list, but I expect I’ll be placing orders online when I get home on Monday.
 
Then there’s the education. It has been far too long since I have taken a class or seminar or attended a networking event. Part of the problem is lack of availability. Part of the problem is that I work on Mondays. Part of the problem is the cost of attending once you take into account the additional time off, travel, and food required when attending events that are less than local. But part of the problem is what I’ve chalked up to years in the business.
 
I have been a wide-eyed, anxious newbie, and Tuesday (October 2) I celebrate the 20th anniversary of taking my state board exam and receiving my manicurist’s license — and I have been taking classes the whole time.
 
As I look through the list of classes that will be offered at the show this weekend, I realize that most classes in our business are really best suited for the intermediate tech. Every time I sit in on a class, the instructor gets overwhelmed with questions from eager newbies about everything from preventing no-shows to enforcing policies, but rarely about what the class is about.
 
I’m trying so hard not to be one of those veteran nail hags who never goes to classes because “I already know everything,” but I’m finding that to be exceedingly challenging when all the classes I see are of little to no use to me.
 
Most of the classes offered at tradeshows — particularly the free ones — are really just infomercials for products. They assume a certain amount of experience, so they don’t really address the issues that newbies are facing. And, as a veteran tech, I don’t need to sit through an hour-and-a-half company spiel on why their product is going to be the best thing I’ve ever used. Especially since I can get that same spiel on a more one-on-one basis at the company’s vendor booth on the show floor.
 
All this is further complicated by the fact that manufacturers and their educators are now competing with the Internet for my attention.
 
I know I’m not merely burned-out. I am, in fact, at one of my most enthusiastic-about-my-career phases of my career! And every day I see examples of AMAZING being accomplished in the industry — then I go to a tradeshow all hyped up, and walk away disappointed because the show didn’t, couldn’t, or wouldn’t, hold up to that same level of AMAZING.
 
Nevertheless. I am looking forward to the show this weekend. I’m just trying to go into it with low expectations. Hopefully I’ll pick up some new product, meet up with a few friends, and prevent the BF from hugging a train.
 
And maybe ... just maybe ... I’ll catch a glimpse of something AMAZING.
 

Keywords:   competitions     tradeshows  

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