I recently attended the International Beauty Show (IBS) in Las Vegas. This particular show offers hair, esthetics and nails all under one roof at the Las Vegas Convention Center. According to IBS, there are over 350 exhibitors, if you LOVE the beauty industry you are in luck because anything and everything you ever wanted will be at this show. With 20,000 salon savvy professionals walking through the convention doors with credit cards in hand you will be sure to find something you cannot live without. The size of this show is almost overwhelming, and you really need a good 2-3 days to see the entire floor. Aside from purchases, you have the opportunity to watch demos, talk with educators, and sit in on some great classes.
There is cost of admission to attend any trade show, however the good news is you can save a few bucks by purchasing your tickets in advance during early bird deals. This is helpful considering you will need to factor transportation, lodging and food. When you are at the show, many vendors offer show deals, so I suggest walking in with a shopping list of products you need. Don’t fret, there are plenty of vendors selling everything you have ever wanted like implements, forms, gel polishes and blingiest of glitters you can’t live without. You will find that it’s worth the dent you will put in your plastic, and you will leave the show feeling inspired and ready to create some kick ass nails.
Many of us are spending so much time behind the nail desk servicing clients that we often forget there is an another world to explore in the nail industry. When you attend a trade show, nail competitions are something you don’t want to miss (this topic deserves its own post). The skill set needed as a competitor, is entirely different then what is needed as a salon professional. As an example, competition nails need to be as thin as a business card. I know that sounds scary, imagine filing a nail that thin and watching the clock, hoping to make time and praying to the nail gods that the perfect nail you just created doesn’t break while filing. No stress! The more popular categories include 3D nail art, extreme stiletto, and all About the bling. Watching a competition is really fascinating and I encourage all of you to participate in a competition at least once in your career. After each category, nails are judged on skill and creativity and later awarded with trophies, certificates, publicity, roses, and love from your colleagues.
One of the benefits to purchasing a ticket to this show is there are many classes you can attend that is part of your ticket price (others may have a charge). I would highly encourage you to see what classes are available and grab a seat. When I was looking at what classes were scheduled, I saw a class called Microsalon 101 from Tina Alberino and Jaime Schrabeck, these are the ladies who bring us, http://www.nailtechrealitycheck.com If you have an opportunity to sit in any class they offer, you will be guaranteed to walk away with valuable information about running a beauty business, truly a great class!
Although I left the show feeling excited about new innovative products for my salon and felt inspired to share my experience on my blog and Facebook group with all of you. I can’t help to feel like in the world of beauty, hair and esthetics seem to dominate the trade shows promoting products and education yet the nail portion of the industry continues to get smaller at trade shows. This saddens me! I was really surprised that there were some BIG named nail companies not in attendance. As nail professionals, we need to SPEAK UP and tell these nail companies that although there is a cost involved for them to attend these shows, we need their support by attending these shows and provide education. Many of us live in states where there are no classes offered and only a few brick and mortar supply houses they carry maybe an aisle of nail products to purchase. This leaves us to shop at these awesome trade shows or blindly order products online. If you are a nail company, we THANK YOU for attending these trade shows, Please keep coming. We need you there, just as you need us there.