This past weekend me and 53 of my closest friends visited the World Natural Hair Show. It truly was a magnificent time as this was the first “natural” hair show I have ever been to. I was able to meet some of my blogger friends in real life (s/o to Natural Review and Knapsgirl), talk with my favorite vendors(Jessicurl, Koils by Nature, Pura Body Naturals, Jane Carter Solution), sample products I was interested in (Uncle Funky’s Daughter) and best of all fellowship with fellow naturals (including Taren916 NaturalChica and LethalPleazure).
Some people did not have as awesome time as I did so I decided to share my tips for making the most of your next show!
1. Buy your tickets beforehand. A lot of naturals complained about having to wait in line for 2 hours just to buy a ticket. You should always pre-pay your ticket and have them mailed to you or pick them up in will-call.
2. Carry cash. There were problems with the credit card machines, long lines at the ATMs and vendors who only accepted cash. Avoid the hassle of waiting in line, searching for ATMs and paying convenience fees by taking your cash with you.
3. Make a budget. At the end of the trip many had buyers remorse from over-spending on what they thought was a great deal, then later realizing they had spent to much and would have to deal with the repercussions. Make yourself a budget include in it money for products, food, travel, tips, etc and carry cash. When the money is gone stop spending.
4. Contact your favorite vendors. Before traveling to the show email your favorite vendors and ask them if they will be at the show. Find out their booth number and ask what specials or deals they will have. This way you are sure to catch the best prices on your favorite things. Also by letting them know you are coming by they may offer you an extra thank you gift.
5. Bring a large empty bag to haul your goodies. Jimmy of Natural Alternatives Salon was kind enough to sponsor our group with large canvas bags that were very roomy and sturdy. I was able to carry a whole days swag, along with food, change of shoes and my purse. Out bags were so nice that many people asked where we purchased them. My friend Monica said she would love to have one so I gave her mine.
6. Do carry snacks and beverages. Before leaving on the trip stop by your local grocery and load up on good, travel friendly snacks like granola bars, trail mix, jerky and bottles of water. You will need to keep your energy up and there is not always easy access to food or beverages.
7. Wear comfy shoes. Or bring a pair of flats with you. Everyone wants to be cute and look their best, but you will be walking A LOT so make sure you take care of your feet.
8. Seek out new vendors. New product companies spring up everyday and there is no way to get to know all of them. Most of the lesser known companies will not have long lines and are readily accessible. Ask them about their product, how it should be used or if they are willing to do a live demo on your hair. This is a great way to know about the product and the correct application.
9. Ask for samples. Some companies have no problem handing out free product at will, while the others will do it upon request or with a purchase. So take the time and ask them for a product sample or ask if you can get a free sample with purchase.
10. Wear your hair wild and free. While most of us want to be looking are most put together the truth is those with big braid/twist-outs or just rocking their large fros caught the most attention. Also vendors are there for you to try their products/equipment. Make it easy on yourself and just your hair out. There are always stylist their looking to do live demos and you just may get a free style out of it.