Whats the secret to getting the most out of a trade show experience?

Personally I say students should go to shows but lock up that Visa card please. You need more to focus on education, getting demos, talking to everyone at every booth. If you can't control your spending then pick up the little demo kits and play with them all.

Some shows are sponsored by your local distributor, they willusually be smaller with less companies represented. The products at that show will only be the products which that distributor carries in their stores. Manufacturers come and go at distributors, so your best bet is to see if you can get a show brochure to see what lines will be there. If your state requires CEU hours, there should be some classes available. And nine times out of ten the show deals are usually also available for that week in the stores. You can see if the manufacturers have trial kits available to purchase, that would probably be your best bet rather than investing in a huge Pro kit or larger products. My advice since your just starting out, get the trial kits, you'll go through many before you find the products or product line that's right for you.

Here are some tips on how to attend a trade show:

  1. Go to the shows web site and get the class schedule, read it carefully and mark the *do not miss* classes Look over the floor layout and mark the booths you want to visit and work your way around the floor according to your marks
  2. Dress comfortable professional, wear comfortable shoes or sneakers. Bring a jacket or sweater, some floors are very cold, some very hot.
  3. Go with naked nails, get a demo at each booth that you can. Watch the procedure, ask questions. Note which company dif which finger, so you can compare them later. Try not to judge the quality of the finished product as far as length, crooked, lumpy etc.. the techs who work the booths have been on their feet every weekend for months and probably work full time in a salon when not traveling to shows, the light stinks, the table is not "their table". What you want to judge is the system, the application method, the clarity, color.. that sort of thing.
  4. Get lots of brochures and read them all over, not just the price lists :) But the tech support the descriptions etc.. Ask the representative about classes.. where when how much, what's included.
  5. Plan on getting to the show floor when it opens, and plan on staying until they throw you out :)
  6. Try and hook up with a more experienced tech to walk the floor with you. Your first show will be a bit overwhelming, but if you are prepared you will have a great experience :)

Thanks to Alice Wallace who's words of wisodn contributed to this information.


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I need help ADDing a class
How do I submit a class or trade show for the calendars?