Orlando, Chicago, Massachusettes, Gatlinburg, Pennsylvania, Birmingham, Las Vegas, Oregon. This list goes on and on.
It's a difficult choice in deciding which one will be the most beneficial. It's difficult to know, should you attend 1-2-3? Should you attend them all?
I'm going to share with you my perspective from both angles. Attendance as a Distributor and what WE hope for, as well as my perspective as an attendee and what YOU should look for.
One thing for sure.....attending at least one trade show a year.....is a must!
I don't want to spend too much time talking about what a trade show means to a Distributor. I've shared with you (you can find in our archive of blogs), the work, the time, the monies involved for us Distributors to present.
What I do want to share is what is it we are looking for? I don't want to speak for all Distributors, however for myself it's pretty cut and dry.
- Meet clients I've never personally met. It's always such a great thing to put a name to a face.
- Obtain new clients.
- Share specials which we may not be able to offer throughout the year.
- Introduce the amazing brands we offer through demo's and/or classes.
- Network with other vendors
As a Distributor, deciding which trade show to present at, can be just as difficult, if not more as YOU deciding which trade show you want to attend. We have to;
- Determine logistics.
- What expense is involved in getting there. Travel, team, products, shipping, hotel etc.
- Will the ROI be worth it?
- What competitive Mfg's will be there.
- What will attendance be?
It's truly grueling. Not only from the standpoint of the work involved. Just the process of deciding can add a few grey hairs.
I know there are a different set of factors which need to be determined as a Salon owner and/or Nail Technician.
When I grew up in this industry, we had one(1) yes, one trade show. It was held in Orlando Florida, it was nails only and it was short of amazing. I'm not really sure what happened with it or why it closed down, it was shocking. I'm sure many of you veterans, know which show I'm referring to.
It was replaced eventually by the Premiere Group beauty show. An all inclusive show presenting Hair, Skin and very little for Nails.
Eventually, the Nail section grew and with that, so did the Premiere Group which now, offers show's in Orlando, Birmingham and Pennsylvania
Getting to the guts of what I would consider and what I think is important when deciding which show to attend.
- Budget - First and foremost. SAVE SAVE SAVE. In your Salon budget, it is a must to have an educational expense. This expense should be carefully thought out and designed for one reason only. Education in an effort to learn, grow and be successful because of it.
- Objective - This is important because if your only objective is to meet up with your industry friends.....there are much less expensive ways to do this.
- Are you looking for new products
- Are you looking to learn more about the product you know carry
- Are you looking for Business education
- Location - location is important from a budget and time standpoint, but it's also important because many times, a family vacation can be managed around the same time and location.
Once you have decided which show(s) might be beneficial to you, it's also important to do some homework before you attend. Attending a show "willy nilly" is the absolute worst thing you can do. Not only is it a waste of time, it's not cost productive at all.
- Plan your agenda - check out ahead of time which classes you wish to attend....and why? Yes, why? What is your objective in attending this class?
- Plan your visits - which booth do you want to visit and yes, why? Demo, information, specials, meet etc.
- Know your pricing - I caution this all the time. If you don't know your pricing, how do you know if you are getting a good "show" deal. Not all presenters offer show deals. This is very important to note. If wanting a show deal is all you are attending for, you may very well be disappointed.
Lastly, decide who of your team you would like to take with you. Sorry to say, sometimes our husbands are more valuable and helpful than a team member.
Don't use this time to bond. This is Business. It is a costly one. If you think someone on your team can offer valuable insight, is there for the same reason....bring them. Otherwise, leave them home.
It can be costly both financially and mentally to be around the wrong people at a trade show.
Trade shows are a lot of work. They are loud, crowded and everyone is mostly out for themselves. I personally experienced this the "1" year I attended a show as an attendee. I vowed I would never do it again. LOL
A VERY PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION
As a Distributor in our world today, we find ourselves competing with the very same people who's Business we are spending countless hours and monies growing.
If you use a product and wish to purchase that product at a show....please know who you are buying from. If you support a Distributor and that Distributor is at the show....go to THAT booth and NOT the booth of the Mfg.
Do your homework and know who is presenting and where you should go.
MY LAST BIT OF ADVICE
Attending a trade show or an educational event is a signal to your clients about who you are and what you want to do for them.
I know again, from personal experience, if you don't stay educated you WILL be left behind. Since my team at my Salon were independent. I could suggest they go to a trade show, but I couldn't make them. Those that attended have grown leaps and bounds. Those that did not, are no longer in this Industry.
I can relate too many challenges we have in getting there, and the expense involved. All I would say is prioritize and save accordingly. It WILL benefit you in the long run.
HOPE TO SEE YOU
"possibly" Rhode Island