In August and September, S8 hit the road to host a series of tattoo product showcases, a project that we called the S8 Tattoo Roadshow. Readers of this site know that the Salt Lake City, Portland, and Sacramento were our first stops. The Roadshow has been a tremendous success, but we wanted to go larger. So two weeks ago, S8 hit Las Vegas to present at the Alliance for Professional Tattooists’ annual Educational Conference and Trade Show. Over the 2 full days we were in Las Vegas, we met with 3 different groups of tattooing professionals and spent about a half of our waking hours talking products, protocols, and showcasing a forthcoming product.
The APT was kind enough to give us the ballroom for the two talks that we gave on site at the show. Our first show, on Monday, was intimate- the tattooers that were present had largely tried our products, so we had the opportunity to compare notes, swap ideas, and sharing personal experiences about our products.
One of the statements that most resonated with us came from a 20+ year tattooer who had flown down from Salt Lake City just for our talk. In a small breakout session after the presentation, he mentioned that the S8 RED Needle Cleaner was quickly becoming his favorite of our products. When I asked why, he said that he had made the transition discrete needles and tubes to cartridges about 2 years ago, and while he liked the convenience of cartridges, he always found that ink flow from plastic tubes and cartridges was less reliable than the stainless steel tubes he had apprenticed with. S8 RED Needle Cleaner, however, made the ink flow from plastic cartridges in a manner very similar to traditional stainless steel tubes. We talked about the electrostatic differences between a plastic and stainless tube and how RED Needle Cleaner impacts flow rates. In conferences like the APT, it is conversations like that that really justify the flights, sleeplessness, and anxious excitement.
Our second talk at the APT was at 11 am on Wednesday, and we were blown away at the number of body modification professionals that showed up early to talk with us. Attendance was huge (it was one of the best attended events that day), and unfortunately we were under a bit of a time crunch as we needed to give a third talk at 2pm an hour outside the city. Nonetheless, we had a tremendous conversation with the attendees, and spent a great deal of time discussing a product that we were exclusively preselling at the APT.
Immediately following the show, we hit the road, driving northwest up into the mountains surrounding Las Vegas. We had discovered that the Las Vegas Tattooers Alliance was holding its annual camp and had managed to secure a speaking slot at the last minute (huge shout out to the organizers of the LVTA Camp- you all were awesome in accommodating us). We were able to present to an amazing group of tattooers- some of whom came from as far away as the Seattle area- and were able to take some one-on-one time to discuss some of the Las Vegas specific needs that body modification professionals feel go under-addressed.
All in all, Las Vegas was a tremendous and exciting chance for us to bring the continuing message and product of S8 to an ever larger stage. Our goal is to continue to do outreach, education, and partner with organizations and individuals who prioritize artistry, client safety and choice, and commitment to tattooing relevance.