My wife and I attended the Long Beach ISSE for the 4th time in 4 years and we had a great time. ISSE has made one big change that made a huge difference in the experience, and that was to move all the classroom education into the main building instead of in a second building away from the actual show.
What this change has done is created a more education-friendly environment, where the show floor was quiet and the classrooms were packed, which is good because if you’re not careful and spend too much time on the show floor, you might see things like this:
Even when I am speaking at the show, I always sit in on seminars that I think will be helpful to me and our team. The first seminar we attended was put on by two prominent Instagrammer and colourists, was listed in the “Color” section of the education itinerary/ schedule, and was described as,
“_______________ will light up the stage with some life changing information. This class is all about HIGH IMPACT color placement that will change your life behind the chair.”
Upon arrival, the screen had a slide reading “10 Ways to Slay Your Life.”
I personally hate the word “slay” (almost as much as I hate “yaaasss,)” but I know I’m not the target audience for people who use those words. I still had high hopes though.
After the first presenter, who gave didn’t touch at all on colour in their 30 minutes but did give some inspiration, the second presenter came on.
One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone asks their audience to clap louder at the beginning of a performance. I feel it’s cheap and cliche to ask at all, let alone before you do anything to warrant it. And this second presenter did just that. Once she felt we had given her the proper amount and volume of praise, she spent 15 minutes talking about how powerful the information she was about to give us was. Her introduction to how mind-blowing the material she was going to present took half of her time on stage, as much as her delivery of the actual material! As the clock was ticking, she finally got to her slides, which seemed thrown together in the hotel room either that morning or the night before. Trust me, I know a little about writing a presentation at the last minute.
Now all of this is solid information, especially if one has never studied entry level psychology or read anything on similar subjects, or listened to Tony Robbins. My issue with the presentation was how rushed it was because the intro was so long. She was trying to cram an hours worth of material into 15 minutes.
Another other pet peeve of mine is trying to sell tickets to another class during a class. You have to give value in each session you do, and a speaker has a responsibility to at least touch on things in the description of the classes they are leading. And this free class was solely to sell tickets to the paid color class later that day. Super annoying.
Sunglasses at a hair show! Ridiculous, it’s more flea market than hair at these things.
My wife and I bought a pair each.
We then made our way to the last class I wanted to sit in on before my own session started. We arrived early in order to guarantee a seat, and were surprised to find the speaker, Daniel Mason Jones, speaking and answering questions 20 minutes before his class started, giving out great information. This is something I like to do as well whenever possible, and I feel it really shows the sincerity of the speaker.
Once Daniel’s class started, his AV immediately died and he ended up doing his session without any slides. Charming, professional, funny, heartfelt, gracious, sincere… Liz and I hung on his every word.
In sitting in his class, I knew immediately how much work I had to do in my own business. He was wonderful, and a contrast to the morning’s session. It was a profound experience for me, and I was saddened I had to leave right at before it ended in order to get to my own classroom. It was among the best sessions I’ve ever attended, though there was little I was able to walk away with and apply to my life and career other than realizing how I had so much more to do. I will definitely be attending anything I can with Mr. Jones in the future.
My own session was called Incredible Salon Success, and I was with several fantastic business leaders. Led by my friend Larry Curtis, we simply introduced ourselves and then took questions from the audience. I enjoy the format because it requires little preparation and allows each panel member to chime in where they feel they can add. I found myself being perhaps a little aggressive with a couple of attendees in my answers, as I struggle when people start businesses without a plan. If you’ve read my posts or sat in one of my classrooms, you know I am raw and real, which is a nice way of saying I can be a bit of an asshole sometimes. For me to feel I was being aggressive definitely means I was.
After the class, we made our way towards the exits as our kids were in LA and had been alone since 8am. Luckily we ran into some good friends on our way out and were able to get some hugs and conversations in before hitting the road.
Two days later, we went to Pulp Riot Headquarters where I shot a haircutting and highlighting video.
Such an amazing day, capped with cocktails at Pulp Riot founders David and Alexis Thurston’s beautiful new home.
It was a fabulous trip and mini vacation that had us in the airport right when the Corona Virus scare was starting. 3.5 months later, I so look forward to a time when we can travel again and enjoy a trip and trade show without worry.