Many philosophers have said ‘it is more the journey than the destination, that is important.’

Like Olympians who focus so far ahead, that the ‘getting there’ is the biggest part of their life. But when they eventually hit the track or the pool, it is all down to the moment.

From these fleeting moments of performance, they either succeed or learn from their mistakes.

Attending trade show can be much the same.

Booking hotels months in advance, registering for tickets, buying a new outfit or shoes, finding the cheapest and quickest route.

Plane? Train? Car? Coach?

MiniBus? Walk? Tardis?

I have experience all of the above, except the Tardis, to get to events, and some of the journeys were actually the highlight of the whole trip, especially when a group of Barbers from Scotland, headed up by Daryll from Safehands, including Davie Walker, Tony Cairney and other Barbering reprobates, decided to hire a minibus and take the short, 9 hour drive (should have only taken 7 hours but there was multiple stops for beer, wine, toilets, beer and more wine etc.) to Barber Connect 2015 in Cardiff.

Many of you will probably have similar memories of attending different events, if you can remember them at all.

Which is really the other problem, with these kinds gatherings, there is very often alcohol involved, sometimes copious amounts, which is all good fun, but is that what you really, spent all that time, money and effort for?

These events should really be seen as an opportunity to learn and connect with people you  otherwise might not. If you want to get pissed there is better places..

When I attended events and trade shows, which before Barber Connect in 2013, were all hairdressing events, I would return to the shop with loads of new products and ideas.

I would convince as many of my clients as possible, that they should have their hair in this new style or use this certain technique.

Then I would spend a couple week trying to recreate all the different cuts, that I had seen at the show, over someone’s shoulder, on a crowded stand or a gap in the crowd.

Trying to remember what I had seen and heard.

Often not very well.

But now, the stages and stands at most events have plenty of room with great views of the stage. Along with roaming cameras, that zoom in to show close ups of what is happening. Showing the finer details of what the barber is actually doing.

All the presenters are now using high quality radio mics, so can be clearly heard, with compares to entertain and take questions from the audience.

Also, we all have the capability to record all of the stuff we see, on our phones, to review back later to learn at our own pace.

This is priceless.

To be able to record the top barbers or hairdressers showing their craft and play it back at your leisure is amazing, but now taken for granted.

Just make sure you have enough memory available.

If you attended all the trade show on the calendar, it would cost you a fortune, and probably not necessary, so choose which one suits you best.

Whether it is the products, presenters, haircuts, hairdressers, barbers or banter you go for, make sure you plan ahead, because hotels can be very expensive if booked a week before the event.

I always say that you learn one thing from a trade show or workshop, then it is worthwhile.

So enjoy the journey, but when you reach your destination, try learning something, rather than drinking something…

Author: Tony Haresign

This article first appeared in BarberEvo Issue #10