I’m from the old guard. Long Beach in the winter and New York in the spring. Other hair and beauty shows were in “smaller markets” (excuse the industry lingo there) like Dallas, Seattle, and Atlanta.
But after this past weekend in Orlando, I am here to officially change my tune. THIS – The Premier Orlando Show, aptly named “International Beauty Event” has it all – exhibitors large and small; they are all here. The best, the biggest, the newest, the freshest, the hottest, and the coolest… and every degree inbetween said hot and cool. And my personal fave, tiny town – you know, those smaller booths on the fringes showing off their wares, some for the very first time.
I was truly wowed almost every moment, from Mary Rector Gamble speaking so movingly about the loss of industry icon Vidal Sassoon – thank you Mary for those moving words. And then WHAT, if anything, can be written about the RAW event! WOW! BehindTheChair.Com orchestrated 7 teams, all made up of professional stylists under the age of 30, with each team having an experienced mentor to guide them. Thier task? To create the best on-stage hair performance ever. Sounds simple? Not. Everything from the hair, makeup, costuming, blocking, and choreography, had to come from the team with the mentor only there to bring about the creativity and cohesiveness of each team. They also had to present a 90 second video about their journey in the creation of their presentation. And if that’s not enough? They had celebrity stylist Ken paves, magazine cover royalty Garren, and Oprah producer extraordinarre Ellen Rakieten. And did they have questions! The teams had to stand before AND after each performance and explain any, and everything. And of course the evening could not be complete without the good graces of Tabatha Coffey, who to me, is such a star for our industry because she’s shown the world what it is to BE a hairdresser.
And education was in focus for sure. Large, well appointed and deluxe conference classrooms adorned the massive halls of the Orange County Convention Center and there was much to choose from. I also do NOT want to miss telling you that while this massive beautry event was going on there was also Premiere DAYSPA and Spa Business Forum going on concurrently and your one pass got you into both. A separate floor map made it easy to navigate it all.
I guess, as someone who recalls how “hair shows” used to be, and how they could all kind of seem a bit stuck in the same-ness of it all I am absolutely floored and impressed with every aspect of this show. And Yes, I myself am on the show floor for the entirety of the show so I am not just popping in and saying “oh la la”- no. This show was a joy to work, to attend, and most of all to experience.