While attending the industry trade show circuit, I’m always amazed at the lengthy lineups at the cash-and-carry booths. I often stop and ask the beauty professionals what they’re lining up for—most don’t really know, saying, casually, “I heard there were good deals.” Maybe it’s also an opportunity for a little socializing…God knows they’re in the line long enough.
Here’s how I see it, though. The average show ticket price is $50. Add parking costs, lunch and not to mention, a hairstylist’s valuable time being spent at a show, and it adds up to at least $100 to $150 per day.
If trade show time is spent buying a few discounted tools and products, rather than picking up new techniques and ideas from the stage presentations, how much is that savings really worth? Especially when you consider that you’re often able to get those same “good deals” through distributors prior to the show.
I also marvel at the busloads of students—the future of our industry—who come to these shows. They, too, seem to beeline to the cash-and-carry and line up like lemmings, having no real idea why they’re there. Come on, teachers! Is this really the best way for students to learn?
From the many years of going to shows, I know where the best deals are. The real deals are on stage and at the booths. And don’t forget the educational classes and seminars—that’s hundreds of dollars in value, all for a $50 ticket.
It’s easy to get seduced by the opportunity to bargain shop. But when you spend a day off in exchange for bags of product instead of education, how does that benefit your career? Being inspired and motivated helps beauty pros make more money. How much is that worth?
This article was originally published in the July/August 2011 issue of Salon Magazine.
Photo by BABAK for America’s Beauty Show.