2021 saw a return to trade shows despite a few awkward moments with elbow bumps and reluctant handshakes. But good news– 2022 is the comeback year for in person events!
Whether it is your first time attending a hair show or you are a seasoned pro, it’s good to get a little guidance. AHP consultant Tracy Donley, is the trade show guru and shares what you should know about beauty trade shows.
How do I choose which shows to attend?
Make a list of your priorities and what you hope to achieve by attending the show. Do you want to network with other barbers and stylists? Are you looking to get a specific education on a certain product line or new hair trend? How much product can you afford to buy? Once your list is done, narrow it down. If a particular trade show doesn’t meet your top goals, then it’s probably not the right show for you.
What kind of costs can I expect to pay?
Admission fees can range anywhere from free to upwards of $900. This cost seems high, but consider you’re paying for the exhibition floor pass, which averages $250, and then continuing education tracks, which average $500. You’ll also have travel, lodging, and meal expenses.
Should I come to the show ready to buy?
Being ready to buy allows you to take advantage of big discounts. But do a little research on the company you are interested in prior to going to the show and have specific questions written down so that when you get that face time in front of the company, you know the questions you want to ask and are able to determine how much you can afford, and if you really need this color line, these hair extensions, or these shears in your business.
All the education tracts look great! How do I prioritize my time and decide which are best?
It can be overwhelming. Here's the good news: You can view all tracks online prior to going to the show. Maybe there are two competing classes you wish to attend, but you can't be in two places. Guess what? Sometimes they will repeat that exact education class later in the day. Like I said before, establish your priorities and goals and write them down. And it can be really exhausting or challenging if you spend time in classes, then change that energy to then hit the show floor and fight the crowds.
What are some of the biggest mistakes trade show attendees make?
Not having a plan. If you don't have a plan, you're not going to get what you want out of the event. And you're going to feel overwhelmed, disillusioned, disenchanted, discouraged, all the disses. You're going to feel dissed.
How do trade shows work?
A trade show is an event held to bring together members of a particular industry for manufacturers and business partners to display, demonstrate, and discuss their latest products and services. Large trade shows usually take place in a convention center.
Why should I go to a trade show?
Attending at a trade show allows you to network with people in your industry and develop professional relationships that grow your personal and professional brand. Attending a trade show should be a fun process, providing new business and increasing your brand awareness.
How do I decide which trade shows will have the most value?
Consider the location, the demographics, number of attendees, and the exhibiting manufacturers. Most trade shows have websites that provide all this information.
For a list of upcoming industry events across the country, get started with trade shows and events.