“A day of networking with your peers is an experience unlike any you’ve ever had before,” says nail tech Debbie Doerrlamm, who presents a checklist of planning tips on her Beauty Tech.com website for those contemplating hosting their own networking event. Doerlamm’s advice comes from experience. The event she hosted for nail techs and educators in November at a Long Island school went off without a hitch, with the minor exception of a few participants who had trouble finding their way there. “I could not have asked for a more wonderful group of people to spend the day with. The education was fabulous and the giveaways were unbelievable,” says attendee Monica Pugh, a Virginia Beach, Va., nail tech.

How to Coordinate Your Own Networking Day

Prior to the event:

  • Pick your date
  • Pick your location
  • Decide how many people you have room for
  • Post your event information on Beauty Tech’s message boards. Network Event page, and Nail Tech mailing list (e-mail Doerrlamm if you do not subscribe) Also, hang flyers in your local supply houses and e-mail NAILS and other trade publications if you have 2-3 months lead time.
  • Contact local educators to attend
  • Contact companies for samples (you’ll need bags for all the samples)
  • Lunch ask everyone to bring something for a potluck or have it catered in (divvy up the cost with the attendees)
  • Supply soda, coffee, tea, and water
  • Ask techs to bring a mini-kit of the products they use every day
  • Remind techs to bring plenty of business cards to hand out
  • Make name badges
  • Confirm with attendees to reduce no-shows
  • Provide directions and public transportation phone numbers/websites
  • Stuff bags with samples and brochures
  • Make sure everyone has a phone number to contact you the day of the event (cell phone and/or salon phone) for last-minute problems and directions

On the day of the event:

  • Arrive early
  • Set up work/talk/food areas
  • Have an intro/roll call after everyone arrives
  • Get down to business
  • Hands on (each other)
  • Educator demons
  • Rap session

Above all make every effort to keep the cost at zero- or very minimal, recommends Doerrlamm. “Let me know if you need help and definitely send pictures afterwards,” she adds

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