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Breaking Down SalonTrade Shows

August 19, 2011

Trade Shows

One important facet of education is the industry tradeshow. All the top salons I know are regular trade show attendees, and they go there with a mission: research and education. Spending time at your preferred distributor booth or the stage of your main brand is important, but it is not the only place you should stop. All too often I hear, “I only come to this booth, this is my only line and I’m not really interested in the rest.” Even if you are entirely satisfied with your current vendor(s), the performance of their products and the quality of their education program, how will you know how they fare against the competition, what the new buzz is in the industry, or what trends and new looks from other players would work well in your market if you’re not looking around?

To determine which trade shows will give you the most bang for your buck (regional, national or international), do your research, go on-line to review their website, see who is presenting, read past attendee reviews, research blogs and ask other salon owners and distributors for their comments and input. Then to ensure you get the most out of your experience, plan ahead, go on-line to download the show program and floor plan, research the stage artists and brand education calendars and create a plan for yourself and your staff. Meet at the entrance, pick-up the show program, reconfirm your plan and get going. Your goal is to work the floor and soak up as much information as you can! Ensure your team meets periodically during the day to update everyone on their findings and make amendments to your plan if needed. Bring a notepad, take pictures if you can, and before the day is over meet again to have a quick review to ensure that if something very interesting was found the whole group has the opportunity to have a look. Finally, attendees should prepare a show review and, at their next staff meeting, present it to those people who were not able to attend.

  1. Great insight! It clearly demonstrates this should be a team effort!

    • Thanks for your comments, I appreciate the fact that you read the article.

  2. Very interesting and organised way to approach them, nearly made me reconsider going this year. I have decided not to go to one particular trade show as I am fed up with the suppliers (not all of them but most) spending more time retailing to the hoards of students and employed therapists rather than concentrating on a potenital new stockist.

    • Thanks, at least next time you do decide to attend a trade show you will have a different approach and the show may be more productive for you.

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