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The Premier show in Orlando was two weekends ago and by all counts, was well attended. Perhaps some 30,000 crowded into the Orlando Expo Center with rolling carts to snap up bargains, walk through the flea market environment and catch some real deals at the Salon Centric close-out party. For those that call Premier a success, shame shame on you. How is our industry going to grow and prosper in this environment? It’s not.

That’s why TNG Discovery was such a gamble. Some 25 salons and 25 suppliers relaxed at the Four Seasons Dallas Resort & Club for three impactful days. By the end of the event, everyone knew everyone by first name and it was almost like camp letting out with people exchanging business cards and phone numbers. In a speed-dating format, each salon had 20 minutes to learn about  each of the supplier’s offerings and then move on to another table to learn more. In all, salons attended more than 20 meetings. This was intermixed with plenty of food, fun and enjoyment at night, all in a very relaxed inspirational environment.

There were no screaming hairdressers on stage vying for attention. There was no music turned up to 120db so loud that you couldn’t even think. In fact, there was no music. There were no rolling carts although salon owners walked away with plenty of sample bags. There were no lines in the bathrooms, no wristbands, no hand stamps and no eating lunch on the floor. There were no models parading around three-quarters naked with hair that not even E! would show on TV.

TNG Discovery actually treated salon owners as business people and get this, intelligent conversations took place all day long. People actually learned, listened and wrote ideas down. They were intrigued at how simple it was to increase their business, their bottom line and low and behold, sell stuff they never thought of selling before.

But the real gamble was this: Were salon owners ready for an event of this caliber? Would they demand platform artists and models? Would they demand to buy goods onsite? Could they be in one room all day long?

The answer was self-evident from the moment the program started. It was eerily magical. It was truly a discovery.

Listen, the Four Seasons is the Four Seasons for a reason. Those that want the absolute best do business with them. We were surrounded by many other groups yet they performed flawlessly. And TNG is TNG for a reason. It is now readily apparent that trade shows are done for us and we will focus on those salons and spas that love doing business the way business should be done. Wow, what a concept.

Follows is a short recap video taken at TNG Discovery: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vxw6VHcPo8U

Happy Wednesday!