Show Skills: Navigating Trade Show Season
Industry leaders give you their tips for successfully navigating this year’s show season.
“I want to be a platform artist or educator. How can I connect with a manufacturer at a trade show?
Hair shows are a magical place and you never know who is walking the show floor that can catapult you onto the stage. Appearance is everything, put on your best outfit, make-up and, of course, make sure your hair is colored and styled in a cut that suites your personal style. Be prepared. Have your resume ready and images or even a video of you presenting or doing hair. Manufactures are always looking for stylists that want to join an educational team. Don’t be discouraged. Everyone who is at a hair show, no matter how hard they are working, wants to network. Talk to as many people as you can. Look enthusiastic, smile and ask for a show director at the booth. Once you find a show director, ask if they have time to talk and make sure to have a list of questions prepared. Most show directors are extremely busy and will like that you are respecting their time. If you are interested in working for a manufacturer get their contact information and follow up after the show. Be patient, be nice, and don't give up if your dream is to become a platform artist for the manufacture of your choice. – Shawna Parvin, Platform Artist for Aquage
“Why should a student or new stylist attend a trade show? What are the opportunities for me to be as successful as possible?”
Any young stylist or student intent on success in the hairdressing industry should attend a few different trade shows. At a typical show, a series of platform artists will appear on the main stage to present what they consider to be the latest and coolest trends and techniques in modern hairdressing, so it’s a great way to stay on the vanguard of fashion, beauty and style. Many of these platform artists also facilitate education in the classrooms, helping stylists strengthen their technique, feel inspired and motivated. The classes are free to attend with entry to the trade show, which means these trade shows also make getting education with our industry’s leaders more affordable. Another valuable facet of trade shows is the chance to meet, mingle and connect. Most major manufacturers and top independents have trade booths on the show floor, giving you a chance to introduce yourself to the people you respect and admire; and who knows what can happen from there. I have met several young stylists at trade shows who have impressed me so much with their passion and enthusiasm that I ended up offering them a job in my salon in New York City. We say, to be successful, hang out with successful, like-minded people––the trade shows create an amazing opportunity to circulate with your peers. –Nick Arrojo, Arrojo Celebrity Hairstylist