Noel, Don, Soni and I have been to several different beauty expos throughout the world, and the one we have visited the most times has been the Sydney Beauty Expo, held around August each year at the Convention Centre in Darling Harbour.
This year, Don and Soni made the decision to visit the New Zealand Beauty Expo at the ASB Showgrounds in Auckland to compare the expos and see what our New Zealand equivalent was like. After finding out from Judy West that Noel and Don were nominated for an award, I convinced Noel that we should go as well.
None of us was disappointed.
The New Zealand Beauty Expo was excellent.
We registered on-line with a very easy, very straight-forward process. Entry to the expo cost $10 a person, but it was worth every penny. (As a matter of fact, I was surprised it only cost $10!) Once at the expo, there were stands where we could take the email we received, push the barcode against a scanner, and a name badge was issued right away. No waiting in line, no hassle, just quick results. Within 30 seconds of arriving, I had our name badges and we were on our way in to the expo.
The expo was well laid-out, with wide, spacious aisles, and despite all the people around, it never felt cramped or confining like other expos can feel. There was sufficient room to go to the side of the aisle and talk to someone you bumped into without feeling like you were holding others up or getting in their way.
One of the great things, for me, was being able to catch up with NaSA graduates and industry contacts and friends in a neutral setting. It’s always great to see our graduates and find out what they are up to, if they’ve heard anything from their classmates, and so on. Speaking with industry contacts, such as friends and colleagues working at different training establishments, from suppliers, from the Association and from the TRoQ, is a big highlight of mine because we get to compare notes about various aspects of the National School of Aesthetics, like education or industry feedback or new innovations. And the expo was intimate enough that we could talk for any number of these people for a while, which was an excellent experience that is not available as much in an expo like Sydney or Melbourne.
Another great thing was the ability to speak with exhibitors or people we hadn’t met before (or maybe didn’t know that well) at length about products, industry trends, and so on. This was very insightful, and we made some excellent industry contacts that we hope to work with closer in the future. There are so many opportunities out there for not only us as an education provider but also for our team, students and graduates; it’s just finding the time and way to best present these to them.
I personally believe one of the best things for qualified beauty therapists, especially those who work by themselves or in a smaller community, is to attend these expos with an open mind, a smile on their face, and talk to as many people as possible. Making those industry contacts, even with other clinics or suppliers that may have equipment or products you won’t use now or ever, has a flow-on effect, because you may come up in conversation (and vice versa) at one time or another.
For example: Maybe you met a clinic owner who operates out of Tekapo, and you two hit it off, promising to keep in touch. The clinic owner in Tekapo meets a lot of tourists, and when these tourists say, “Oh, I’m going to Christchurch next” or “Can you recommend a therapist in Christchurch?”, your name may pop to the top of the list. That’s always a good position to be in.
Word-of-mouth is very strong in our industry; we know because that’s one of the most popular ways we have students referred to us.
Two of the cool things I learned during this expo about the work I do:
- Quite a few people in the industry commented on this blog, especially my plain-English entries on the Targeted Review of Qualifications. I even found out other providers are passing this on to their industry people as a simple guide on the TRoQ, and the Beauty NZ magazine will also now be publishing these to help our industry out.
- Several people commented on the NaSA Web site, how easy it is to use and how comprehensive (yet easy to read) the information is.
Awesome. Very humbling to hear, but glad I got the desired outcome. Thank you!
Overall, I would highly recommend the New Zealand Beauty Expo to any qualified beauty therapist, nail technician or spa therapist out there wanting to see a sample of what’s available in New Zealand, to broaden their industry contacts and to learn more about industry trends.
Scott Fack is the Director of Operations at the National School of Aesthetics. He remains one of the beauty therapy education industry’s leaders in compliance requirements and quality management systems. The information supplied in this blog entry is his point-of-view of the New Zealand Beauty Expo.