It has been no secret I have been eagerly awaiting our last trade show of the year. I am happy to report, we are done and this is my first weekend home in I don’t even know how long.
We had a plan. We planned on doubling the amount of trade shows we showcase in, in an effort to introduce sa’SHá to the Beauty Industry. I am happy to report, it worked.
My plant seeding of 2022 was very difficult. By this I mean, it was challenging to know what to plan for 2023. Since covid, there has been no sense of normal. The only normal is that “we will never be back to normal, as we know it….again”.
My initial plan for 2023 was to bring as many classes to our new classroom as humanly possible. That didn’t work. I found, and still do find, the mentality on learning has taken a curve I will never be able to understand.
So what is the State of our Industry?
After many trade shows, big and small and many conversations with my fellow Distributor peers I’ve come to the understanding, I am not alone in my concerns. In fact, one of the biggest differences witnessed at our trade shows, is the absence of the major players of our field. Everyone is feeling the pinch regardless what size Company you have.
- I am seeing and hearing more and more Technicians thinking they are “educators” and sharing information which is false or not within the limits of our license.
- This may not seem like a big deal to you, however it is. The more false information put out there, the more of a risk our industry is in. In addition, the more “private” educators there are, the less attendance there is at classes from people who actually have the education, the knowledge, the experience to teach. This includes trade shows.
- I’ve noticed a lot less attendance at our trade shows.
- Why is this concerning? Trade shows are popping up all over the place. How do you choose? And now, we are having this influx of “nail camps or retreats”. How do us a vendors choose? And how do you as Technicians choose? Because you can basically attend a trade show/camp in any State of the United States, the population is more spread out. Hence less attendance.
- In addition, from a Vendor standpoint…the cost to participate has just gone freaking out of control. It’s very difficult to meet that break even point at any show. We basically have to go in with the mindset of taking a loss. And, I’m NOT a negative person. Therefore, less Vendors, less attendees.
- Average sale per trade show. This number has decreased significantly in the past 2-3 years. However, this year was the absolute worse. We are hurting. Rent, utilities, food, gas….it all has increased at a rate we just can’t keep up with. Our monies first goes to survival, then it goes to our Businesses. I feel for those with more than one child. I feel for the elderly. I feel for everyone. Because of this, we notice the average sales $ at a show is getting smaller and smaller .
- One day participant. These shows use to be about a big beauty industry family. Spending a couple of days with our beauty peers, getting a hotel and attending the Nail Tech mixer….that was all the thing. Anymore though, it’s costly just to travel to a show, never mind hotel and food for two days. Consequently, the attendees come for 1 day. They have to scrutinize and pick which class they want to attend. And, because they want to walk the whole show they are in a hurry and/or don’t even stop to say hi.
- Students. I asked the other day “what happened to the day when the students were required to spend time stopping at booths and asking questions. If they did so, they had to get a ticket punched. We took this seriously, this was a way for them to learn outside of their school environment. The only booths busy on student day (Monday) now, were the nail art booths.
- Outside cost. Not to age myself yet, I do remember when we could get plane tickets for under $200 and hotel rooms for under $100. Anymore, I’m thrilled to see a plane ticket under $400.00. Hotel rooms are grossly out of control. Hotels we’ve stayed at for years doubled in price. It forced us to look outside the box. And, to add insult to injury. Hotel prices used to include maid service. Not anymore unless you request it.
- The cost of fuel. Our shippers don’t go down in price. However, they always go up. Say our shippers are out of control is an understatement. We are talking just downright highway robbery. Every day there is a fuel adjustment.
- Unions. These larger shows are union based. Look, I’m all for the union and it’s cause. What I don’t like is the thought that because they are union they can stick it to us you know where. We paid $254.00 to have 2 pallets sent from Florida to San Antonio. We spent $980.00 to have 2 pallets brought from the door to our booth. INSANE!
I can literally go on and on. There however, has to be an ending.
What is the State of our Industry?
- It’s going to hell in a hand basket. The fast influx of anyone under a millennial is far bigger and faster than those who want to get involved and fight. We need highly professional Business Owners and Nail Techs to rally together. We need to make the public know, we are a Professional Group and this is what we look like. Take away the vision of stomach bearing Technicians with 3″ long nails. Take away the vision of the low cut tops. The sloppiness in an Industry which is supposed to be about beauty….and is far from it.
- Regulation. This industry is either going to highly regulated or they are going to get rid of regulation all together. Neither is good. We have so many Technicians going out of the limits of their license…it’s going to ruin the future of the Industry.
The great thing is, we have a chance to save it. What are YOU going to do about it?
Stay within the boundaries of your license
Centre for Beauty is going to continue on the same path we always have. Looking for ways in helping our Technicians work smarter and stay educated. If you are reading this, you WILL be kept abreast of anything new and exciting forth coming….and believe me, we will have plenty. Please share our blogs with your fellow peers. Staying informed is crucial….and you can help.
CJ Murray, President