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The Next Level of Spa: America's Expo for Skin Care & Spa 2008

By Abby Penning
Posted: April 23, 2008, from the May 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Innovative ideas, networking opportunities, business knowledge and education, and supplier options all merged together on the brisk shores of Lake Michigan this March at America’s Expo for Skin Care & Spa 2008, where spa owners and managers, estheticians and beauty professionals alike soaked up an array of information. Held for the first time at Chicago’s McCormick Place, America’s Expo—which ran from Saturday,
      March 1 to Monday, March 3, 2008—was co-located this year with the industry events America’s Beauty Show and the OMC HairWorld Championships of Beauty, giving the atmosphere a buzzing excitement found nowhere else.
      And taking advantage of all the opportunities, more than 3,000 attendees experienced a variety of interactions with high-quality spa industry suppliers and educators at this year’s expo and conference.

On the floor
     Products, industry contacts, business discussions and more were available on the show floor during all three days of America’s Expo. This schedule gave attendees ample time to obtain information from the 140 suppliers housed in 225 booths, learn about new techniques and protocols, and speak with peers about a variety of industry topics.
     A wide range of spa supplier companies filled the floor with products and information about everything from waxing to cosmetics to LED equipment, and attendees were able to interact directly with companies’ staff members, asking questions about specific treatments and techniques while also experiencing products firsthand.
      “This was the first time I had attended a show, and we really enjoyed it,” says Nancy Huguet, owner of Escape Medical Spa and Salon in Green Bay, Wisconsin. “We met a lot of people and spent most of our time on the skin care side, and it was really informative.”
Also, the co-located events of America’s Beauty Show and OMC HairWorld allowed attendees the chance to explore even more interesting and related options, extending the number of offerings and interactions.

Advanced knowledge
      Industry knowledge and growth were the topics at the center of the product-neutral Advanced Education Conference Program that took place on Sunday and Monday, and attendees weren’t disappointed with the program’s quality speakers and in-depth lessons.
The conference kicked off Sunday with the keynote presentation, “You Can Create Disney Magic, Too: Leadership, Management and Service Excellence,” given by Lee Cockerell, former CEO of Walt Disney World. He shared personal experiences and business philosophies that helped him identify four necessities for a great business—technical experience, good management, technological solutions and leadership. Cockerell also relayed the factors for what it takes to get the most from your business—meeting client and employee expectations, making each person feel special, treating people as individuals, and showing respect for and believing in them. For more detailed information about Cockerell’s keynote, see “Reflections: Outlining Success” by Melinda Taschetta-Millane, editor in chief of Skin Inc. magazine, on Page 16 of this issue.
      Attendees were then able to enjoy some of the latest information the spa industry has to offer, with advanced education conference tracks covering Career-building, an Owner/Manager Forum, Esthetic Science, Techniques, Trends, and Wellness/Sustainability. High-profile speakers from throughout the country shared their knowledge and experiences with attendees, and conference-goers had a chance to ask questions and discuss spa business issues with some of the top leaders in the spa world.
     “I went to three different lectures on Monday that were all fabulous—two on marketing, and another one on compensation plans,” says Angela Howard, owner of The Day Spa in Edina, Minnesota. “And the two marketing ones had really good ideas for someone like me—I’m a new business owner.”
     Suppliers also offered up product-specific knowledge in the Manufacturer Classrooms, keeping interested spa owners and estheticians informed about their latest products and techniques during the show’s run.

Take the next step
      Revitalize your spa with the business-building ideas, concepts, innovations and solutions found at the top conference and expo program in the Midwest. An array of opportunities await you there. For more information, log on to www.SkinInc.com and www.AmericasExpo.com.
     And, if you are looking to give your spa a leg up in the industry, be sure to come to Chicago next year from Saturday, March 28 through Monday, March 30, for America’s Expo for Skin Care & Spa 2009

PHOTO CREDIT
Photos courtesy of Dan Rest and Robert Kusel