The International Salon & Spa Expo Midwest, which was held November 4-5 in Rosemont, (suburban Chicago) Illinois, inaugurated the first major fall and holiday seasonal show for salon professionals. The event, produced by the Professional Beauty Association, included a show floor with a wide range of shopping opportunities, stage presentations and educational offerings for stylists, owners, nail technicians and estheticians. “The industry asked for a professional total beauty event for the fall/holiday season and ISSE Midwest successfully delivered on that request,” said PBA Executive Director Steve Sleeper.
The 2012 ISSE/MW featured exhibit space that was expanded from the show’s initial launch in March, 2011 with leading professional brands and many opportunities for salon professionals to learn about PBA’s industry initiatives in government advocacy, education, networking and disaster relief. With the devastating storm on the East Coast and the recent salon shootings that have been traced to domestic violence issues, attendees at ISSE/MW gave generously to the PBA Disaster Relief Fund and to the CUT IT OUT program to combat domestic violence. The Great Clips salon group, which donated $100,000 to sponsor CUT IT OUT, raised additional funds at ISSE/MW by selling silver shears lapel pins.
Educational classes covered hair, nails and skin care services and techniques, more than 60 of which provided attendees with Continuing Education credits. Some of the most popular classes were the business seminars that provided owners and managers with the tools to improve customer service, recruit and retain top staff members, target multi-generational clients and plan winning salon design and décor.
In a sampling of business seminars, Larry Oskin of Marketing Solutions presented classes on branding and advertising strategies, successful media and public relations strategies and delivering exceptional customer service.
Bart Foreman, president of Group 3 Marketing, discussed Marketing in the Age of Being Social and Building a Business from the Inside Out, both seminars designed to help salons navigate new technology and social media and respond to and target Baby Boomer, Gen X and Gen Y clients as well as up-selling the “under-performing client.”
Empowering You Consulting featured a trio of coaches. Amy Carter, director of business operations for the consulting group along with life coaches and salon owners Russel Thompson of Carmichael Salon in San Francisco and Brigette Sobus of Salon Soca in Chicago offered strategies for hiring, retaining and motivating “Rock Star” staffers. The class included the right questions to ask prospective hires, motivating staff to reach higher goals and strategies to create team players. “Hire slow and fire fast,” said Thompson.
One common take-away from all the classes was the importance of image: salon interior, cleanliness, signage, salon name and professional appearance of the staff.
“Take a client outside or across the street and enter the salon with them. Then ask for their first impression of your salon,” advised Foreman.
ISSE/MW will return to the Donald E. Stephens Center November 3-4, 2013. Visit probeauty.org