Illinois is one of the states that require continuing education credits in order to keep your esthetics or cosmetology license, and it’s amazing to see the effect that has on the industry. The evidence is clearly visible in the one-day Advanced Education Conference; the classrooms were full to the max.
This year, the classes were broken up into tracks by skin condition; Hyperpigmentation/Anti-aging, Acne/Rosacea, and The Body. These technical tracks included classes by industry icons Rebecca James Gadberry (Gene Regulation in Skincare), Lydia Sarfati (Beyond Anti-Aging), Mark Lees (Mistakes to Avoid When Working With Acne) and Sonia Boghosian (Advanced Anti-aging Neck & Decollete Treatments). This interesting approach allows skin professionals to really hone in on an area of focus in their practice. A fourth track called Business Summit covered broad business tactics; 3 out of 4 of these were marketing oriented, which is always a topic of great interest to spa owners.
Ashley Ludgood of IF Marketing did a good job presenting Online Dating: Courting Your Clients Through Social Media. The fact is, this topic now could be further broken into individual classes, as Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram all have many nuances. Ludgood gave a good overview, including the guiding concept to “DATE” your clients; Develop an Engagement Calendar, Associate with partners and local influencers, Teach and educate, and Entice with promotions and giveaways. Another useful session was presented by Sara Daly of Bento Success: she uses the Bento Box analogy to help spa owners break their activities into bite site and interchangeable chunks, so marketing tasks can be utilized in different campaigns and don’t feel so overwhelming.
The show was very well attended, with pre-registration of almost 5000 attendees. Plus, since it is co-located with America’s Beauty Show, there are a number of cross-over attendees. After the loud music and non-stop blow dryers of the hair side, the spa side felt, well, spa-like! Crowded aisles were the norm on the exhibit floor, and vendors were pleased with traffic flow. The usual crowds could be found at the Eminence and Jane Iredale booths, but these were mixed in with new and/or regional vendors including Amrit Organics, high-quality organic skin and body care, and Clear My Head, with aromatherapy and herbal inhalation products. Clear My Head’s new product, Environmental Fragrance Disks, come packaged two wooden disks to a tin with a dram of oil, perfect for taking to the gym, car, or office and keeping your environment fresh! Despite the cold temperatures and sprinkling of snow, spring energy was in the air.
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