Go, But Not into Debt

Last year, when I broke my wrist, I conceded that I was going to benched for the season. But the “season” runs from the Sacramento show to IBS Las Vegas. (You know, I once Tweeted about IBS Las Vegas and had someone comment about how much “irritable bowel syndrome” sucked... maybe the show people want to rethink their initials?)
I knew I would be pushing my luck by planning to pick up the show reigns again in time for the Sacramento show, especially since it falls in September this year, but it was so hard to sit out an entire season!
Alas, tis not to be. Hospital bills are not yet paid off and those dang things have really eaten up a healthy portion of my discretionary income.
Shows just cost a lot of money. No matter how well budgeted you are. There are no shows that I can attend without spending at least one night in a hotel. There’s the cost of gas to drive or tickets to fly, the cost to eat, and at least one day off work for most of us. 
Show tickets are notoriously pricey — the “why aren’t you making your money off your vendor booth rent” debate makes the rounds of the forums regularly — so I can go inside and SHOP. Shop for things I can buy online and have delivered to my door by the super cutie UPS guy for less than the cost of the trip to go buy them at the show.
Wanna talk about competitions? The cost of entering a competition is more than twice the cost of the ticket to the show.
No. I’m not down on the tradeshow circuit or the competition thing. I think these are valuable experiences available to our industry and I think you should take advantage of those opportunities and I’m bummed about missing an entire year of them. But these things are pricey.
Yes, tradeshows and competitions are a valuable resource and an exciting experience. They are worth the cost involved and you should save your pennies and make the effort to attend and participate. But it’s OK to sit them out too. You are not a “bad” nail tech for not going to a show. It doesn’t mean you don’t know what you’re doing. It doesn’t mean you are stagnating in a shallow pool of yesteryear’s products and techniques.
And believe me, there are some people in the industry who will try to tell you that not going to tradeshows makes you a terrible, irresponsible, unprofessional, nailtech. I know those people, I’ve been rolling my eyes at them for years now. Let them stew. They don’t pay your bills.
Do the math, stick to the budget, go to the show when it’s financially feasible. Maybe by then I’ll see you there — the medical bills should be paid by November. Looks like we’re making plans for Long Beach. Cross your fingers for me.

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