Have you ever wished that you could spend some one-on-one time with an educator to pick up special techniques and make your work even better? Or simply learn more about gels, acrylics, nail art or even pedicure “tricks of the trade” to expand your knowledge? One answer to these questions is to attend trade shows (and a NAILPRO nails-only show is the perfect place to do that!), but unfortunately, time and money don’t always allow for that. Another option is the Internet, as it abounds with numerous websites complete with pictures and even video clips that can broaden your knowledge. But nothing compares to spending time with your fellow nail techs and educators to share ideas, knowledge and support in a friendly, nonsales-oriented atmosphere—and that’s how the concept of the “networking day” got started.
Aside from the obvious benefit of gaining personal, in-depth face time with some of the industry’s top educators, another advantage is the actual networking that takes place. Nail professionals shouldn’t consider each other threats, but rather assets and can even become friends! If you’re looking to create an environment like this, it’s not difficult to arrange your own local networking event. You’ll need a good number of organizational skills and motivation, and you’ll have to invest a fair amount of time into planning the day. Nevertheless, your investment and hard work will pay off with a successful event and thankful participants.
Origins of Networking Events
About 10 years ago, New Jersey-based spa director Linda Orsuto had the idea to get together with some of her nail tech friends to share their collective knowledge, frustrations, solutions and ideas on the industry. She invited 25 of her fellow techs to spend the day at her salon to talk about their individual experiences and expertise in a relaxed, comfortable environment, and the event gained the informal name of Nail Friends. By the end of the day, the participants did a lot of nails, enjoyed many pedicures and participated in an atmosphere of camaraderie that gave everyone a much-needed boost. Everyone headed home with renewed enthusiasm about their career—and excitedly awaited the next event.
The networking day received a bit of press in NAILPRO as well as other industry sources, and before long, others were inspired and networking events started to appear in locations across the country. These days, there are networking events happening nearly every weekend. Users of industry message boards such as BeautyTech.com have set up their own events in locations across the country, and one such get-together (The High Road to Education) travels around the United States to provide hands-on education to groups of willing nail techs. But if you live in an area where such an event isn’t happening—or you’re too impatient to wait for the next one—go ahead and start your own!