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Full Version: So this is your first [big] trade show..
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Expect to be carrying your purchases, there are usually shopping bags available on the floor given out by one company or another, a small back pack is a good idea also.. yes it is booths set up with demos and products for sale. You should go with at least one hand free of product to get demo nails put on.

If you want to see what a show floor looks like go to http://www.beautytech.com/nailtech/photos.htm and go to the Trade Show Photos then look for Premiere_Orlando_2005_DebbieD Anyway here you will see not only pictures from the BBQ & in the condos last year but many shots from various places around the floor and some classrooms as well.. This should give you a much better idea of what you will expect to see..

The Midwest show is very big, I'm not sure which is bigger floor space wise, Premiere Orlando or Midwest, but they are close.. If you are ONLY doing the nail booths, you still will need 2 days, part of each day actually on the floor, and part in the classes, you will learn tons. Not only is there nails at Midwest (and Orlando, NY, LA, Vegas), but hair, tanning, and skin care. There are also, at the larger shows, usually there are many booths with sundry items that would make good retail items in the salon; hand bags, jewelry, hair accessories, sunglasses, etc..

I always suggest to wear light clothing.. it can get warm in there, bring a sweater if you are the always chilly type like me Smile and wear VERY comfortable shoes, it is a lot of walking. I think it was Midwest last year that spread the nails out around the floor.. many were not pleased about this, but I guess they figured it would force the nail techs to walk more of the floor and buy more stuff and vise versa for the hair and skin people.

There is always a book at the door with the list of companies and a floor map, sometimes this is available at the web site for the show before hand (check the links area here @ beautytech, trade show section).. in either case that is your first job. Grab it and sit down with a pen and mark the map as to which booths you MUST see.. which you'd like to get to.. Now go through the classes and make a list of "must do" classes, then the "like to do" classes and if you have an alarm setting on your cell phone set it 15 minutes prior to each class so you don't lose track of time and get there promptly, sometimes it is difficult to get a seat in the more popular classes.. again it is a lot of walking from the floor to the classes sometimes, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time.

Make sure you keep your wallet in a safe place there has always been a problem with pick pockets at the crowded shows.

If your cell has a vibe setting, learn how to use it, because you probably won't hear it on the floor.. the hair booths especially have huge extravaganzas with loud music and add in all the people talking, the demo people doing their thing with microphones etc.. it's LOUD!!

A note on the show floor demos.. I have said this MANY times before and it bears repeating..

The nails at the show are not always these techs best efforts. They are working in poor lighting, standing up, non-stop, 12-14 hour days after flying in, a full day of set up with either no heat or air conditioning, and break down of the booth to look forward to then traveling home to catch up and do it all over again. They do this every weekend for 40+ weeks a year in most cases.. sometimes they simply are not the best techs in the world, sometimes they never ate breakfast and there is no one to break them for lunch either. They repeat themselves all day long over and over answering the same questions goodness knows how many times over a 2 or 3 day show Smile They sleep in hotels with not the greatest beds sometimes so they slept poorly.. in other words not on their best game all the time Smile So.. with that said.. here is my rule of thumb as to what you are looking for when you get a demo..

NOT - how long they stay on
NOT - the shape or length
YES - the color of the enhancement
YES - if it yellows before you remove it or it breaks or whatever
YES - the specific techniques used in application

At one show I had a art decorated tip applied.. this girl filed the %$*# out of my nail with a hand file.. she left a ring of fire AND cut me not once but twice!!

Now as far as bargains.. you used to be able to get great bargains at shows, now you can find good deals, but rarely bargains.. the cost of the shows for the companies is outrageous (on that note don't be too disappointed if there is a specific company you want to check out and they are not there - don't discount the company because they chose not to attend the show. Booth space costs thousands of dollars for a "single" booth and astronomical prices for larger booths. The displays and products have to be shipped in, the staff has to be flown in or cars rented to drive them, the company pays for their hotel and all their food (usually) while there, they also usually pay the booth workers a daily fee. The average small company can not afford this, sometimes they will join up with another company and share a booth, but more usually opt out of such expense. The companies rarely make any profit from a show weekend, of they are lucky they break even between sales and the cost of being there.

If there is a competition at the show (there is at Midwest and Orlando) make sure you note the time of the comps and wander over for a bit and check that out.. attendance at the awards also if you have the time, all of the competitors are thrilled to show off their work up close and personal just before the awards begin.

OK I think I'm done now Smile Oh wait.. no I'm not.. hook up with some of the girls from the boards.. doing the show floor with another tech (or 2 or 3 or 4!) is so much better.. the other(s) might have heard or seen something you missed.. and over lunch or dinner the discussion of the day will give you even more info to process! Even just walking the floor.. you are so focused on that booth over there.. the other techs eyes are wandering and spys just what you were looking for.. 4 eyes and 4 ears are always better than 2 Smile
What a great post Debbie. That was very informative. Thanks for all of your knowledge and experiences u share with us.
hey deb, thanks for the info. i really appreciate it.. i am surprised at the pickpocket part though. i thought they only allowed professionals in the cnovention.. i guess "pros" covers a wide scope. call me naive but contending with pickpockets was never on my mind what a bummer. now imgonna be having to try getting me a demo and trying to monitor my pocketbook at the same time. not good :cry:
Thats alot of info to take in but I'm glad you posted this. When I go next year I'll be more prepared. Thanks so much Big Grin .
Thanks Debbie, This is a Great Post.
Great tips Deb!!

And as for Premiere 2007.....anyone who is interested....there will be a group of us planning out our day (Sunday) early and you are welcome to join us!! We will also be having a "mini party" in our room Sat night after the BBQ. Basicaly BYOB....and doing nails, playing games, etc.

Sunday night.....NO PARTY in our room!!! I am competing Monday morning at 8am (report time 7am) which means I have to get up around 5:30!!
Thanks Debbie,
I found this very informative as this will be my first show.
thanks for the info! to avoid the pickpocket problem does anyone carry their stuff in your badge holder? Or do you just go ahead and carry a purse?
I think the best is a small purse worn sash style so you are always aware of where it is.. I often will put a few $$ in my badge holder and leave my purse at my home base (NAILS Mag booth), but regular attendees don't have that opportunity..

I would think the next best option is a shoulder purse so you can hold it between your arm and body..
Just re-reading this, Deb. Thanks! First time to Orlando and I'm getting excited!
thanks for preparing me Big Grin
I found you also have to be careful with theft when you are working at a booth. I was a demonstrator for the Gigi wax comapny for a few shows years ago. When I had a break one year I ran around and picked some good deals with supplies and stored them right by me under my wax table. At the end of the day my bag of goodies was gone. It would have been someone who was crowded around the wax table while I was doing a demonstration and answering questions. So I found that year I worked for free. :x

I pay attention now when I go to trade shows or take classes. But they are bead and gems shows and jewellery making classes mostly now as I am also a jewellery designer as well as an esthetician. Those tiny gemstones sure do cost a lot and it would be terrible to loose any to theft.

I have found the two businesses go really well together as customers like to buy artisan made jewellery when they are getting esthetics done. Big Grin Big Grin Sheila.
As someone who has attended many trade shows; (home & garden, cooking, bridal, quilting, craft, etc) I recommend getting something like an ID window wallet that is about 2 1/2x3. This will fit in your front pants pocket, carries your id, cc's, hotel key & cash. Vera Bradly has super cute ones!! Another almost pick pocket proof place to carry is under your bra strap - yes it is white trashy but hey, it keeps your money and id safe!!

Another great thing for trade shows are the travel neck wallets that are kept under your shirt.
Does anyone know of large and worth wile trade shows involving the nail industry in the New england Area? We are located in New Hampshire,
an willing to travel to New York, Jersey if needed...

Any websites with info, or date information would be great...

Thanks
The IBS NY show is in March or April in Manhattan. In August there is a full day networking event on Long Island and another in late Sept/early Oct in Manchester NH

Check the calendar here (link above) for specifics - which might or might not yet be posted..

FYI many from the NE area come down to my networking event on the island..
ok. thanks. we will keep an eye out for the dates for the long island and NH dates.........