Chances are you’ve been to at least one trade show (probably more) in your career. And if you have hit the trade show circuit over the years, then you’ve most likely witnessed some of the changes shows have undergone. Some may gripe that there are fewer trade shows to choose from; others may go on and on about the loud music and tons of specials to be had at shows. One thing is certain, however, trade shows have something for almost everyone. We asked a salon owner, distributor, and manufacturer for their perspectives.
"When I got into the industry in 1992 trade shows were enormous, filling an entire floor. There were endless exhibitors. Competitions took up a significant percentage of the show floor with hundreds of spectators gathered round.
Over the years there has been a significant decrease in vendor presence. Shows have shrunk in size especially nails-only shows. The classes that are offered are stale and uninspiring. It seems manufacturers are offering the same classes on the same products on the same techniques at every show.
I’d really like to see the powers that be put more energy and enthusiasm into making shows more exciting. Make it worth it for me to attend multiple shows a year. It’s too expensive to see and do the same things over and over just to meet up with a nail tech from another state and have lunch. I can go visit her on my own."--Maggie Franklin, Salon Owner, Laughing Lady Salon Visalia, Calif.
Trade shows have shrunk over the past few years, with exhibitors taking up less booth space and fewer attendees. It seems as though education takes a backseat to show specials, and many ultimately come for the deals.
However, the level of education has gone up. There is a better focus on how to actually use what you’ve learned to increase your business. The exclusive nail “academy” show that The Nailco Group offers focuses on business elements, along with product demonstrations and an exhibitor’s floor.
We feel that nail techs leave the show with not only information about new techniques or products, but the knowledge to increase their revenue through added services, boosted retail sales, and new business tactics.
This combination of technique and business savvy is really where the industry is heading, and we aim to make everyone a star by providing the essential elements needed for success.--Larry Gaynor, Distributor, The Nailco Group Farmington Hills, Mich.
C osmetology shows have long been in existence, but nails-only shows have been through some changes. I have seen cosmetology shows that offer good nail education attract nail exhibitors and technicians, making it well worth attending. Cosmetology shows that do not focus on nail exhibitors and classes tend to be uninteresting to the nail tech. This makes smaller nails-only shows much more focused and beneficial.
Many attendees do not realize that a distributor show only features products they carry and because of that, they can be limiting. I believe that’s part of the demise of distributor shows.
Trade shows are not as sophisticated as they can be, but are a necessary evil if you want to stay on top of your game.
Instead of trade shows, we need more conferences, seminars, business training, and motivational speaking, in addition to technical information from fresh educators outside of our industry.--Vicki Peters, Manufacturer, Kupa Inc./Vicki Peters Signature Series Buena Park, Calif.