You will also have to determine how you will receive payment for your event. The best method is to set up a PayPal account online which is easily accomplished by going to paypal.com. PayPal is a safe, secure method of sending funds over the Internet. The service allows someone to pay you right away with her debit or credit card. If you’re going to accept payment by personal check, wait until it clears in your account before sending confirmation. Also, decide if you’ll allow people to pay at the door and how you’ll accept those payments (i.e., cash only, etc.).
Once you’ve established the date and location as well as the method of payment, you’ll need to get the word out to your fellow nail techs—both near and far. NAILPRO’s Happenings section is, again, an excellent resource. You should also post your upcoming event on both the BeautyTech calendar, mailing list and message boards. Be sure to visit your local distributors and ask if you can post a notice of your event. Send out a flyer or notice to local salons and nail schools. Don’t be afraid to ask those friends who are already committed to attending for their help in spreading the word.
Another important aspect of a networking event is manufacturer participation. You should contact as many companies as you can (and as early as you can) to see if they might be willing to send samples for goody bags, provide prizes for raffles or even send an educator—or any combination of these. If you initially contact them with a letter or an email, it’s a good idea to follow up your request with a phone call. Be sure to give them ample time to send whatever they’ve indicated they will provide. Most manufacturers are genuinely happy to reach out to their customers—your attendees—and will offer something.
You may want to consider sending along a detailed list of every participant’s name, address, salon information and phone number(s) to the manufacturers that support your networking day. They like to use this information for their own marketing efforts. Since they’re generously supporting your event, it’s courteous for you to reciprocate, and by doing so you’ll most likely have their support should you decide to organize another event. However, it’s critical that you let your attendees know that their information may be shared with a third party, and you must give them the choice to opt out.
Although nail technicians love doing nails and get excited about a day of education and fun, don’t forget about the food and drinks! If you’re holding the event at your salon or another location without easy access to food, you’ll need to plan on some type of catering or give everyone about an hour break so they can go out to eat. Ordering in pizza is always a good option, as are offerings from a local sandwich shop. On the other hand, if you’re holding your event at a hotel, you can probably make food arrangements through the staff there or with a nearby restaurant.