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Connecting to the Future: America's Expo for Skin Care & Spa 2009

Abby Penning May 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine
Georgia Sturges

Presenters such as Georgia Sturges of DDF animatedly discussed the latest industry trends during the product-neutral Advanced Education Conference Program.

Buyers and suppliers held in-depth conversations about techniques, ingredients and products. Conference-goers paid rapt attention to speakers imparting years of knowledge in the product-neutral Advanced Education Conference Program sessions. The biggest names in the industry demonstrated new service trends and product formulations, and spa owners, managers, estheticians and industry professionals mingled throughout, sharing skin care secrets, trading treatment tips and exchanging their best business ideas.

This was the scene at America’s Expo for Skin Care & Spa 2009, held from Saturday, March 28, through Monday, March 30, at McCormick Place, Chicago’s premier trade show destination. Filling the expo hall with the most up-to-the-minute information in skin care, anti-aging, beauty and wellness, America’s Expo partnered once again with America’s Beauty Show,® providing those in attendance with an array of shopping options to browse and manufacturer information to collect. Spa professionals looking to build the success of their businesses certainly didn’t have to look far to find the industy’s most exciting new ideas available to bring back to the spa for immediate implementation.

Lots to learn

In each session of America’s Expo’s Advanced Education Conference Program and the Manufacturer Classes, which kicked off Saturday and lasted through Monday, pens quickly jotted notes, ears perked up to hear valuable information being passed along, and attendees conversed with some of the top movers and shakers in the spa world. Noting the large amount of options available, Sandy Feldbloom, owner of I Do Faces in Naples, Florida, said, “I love continuing education, and the show was very attractive from an educational standpoint.”

The SalonSpa Sustainability Summit served as the opener for the conference program Saturday afternoon with a panel of forward-thinking, environmentally conscious speakers who provided an eager audience with actionable knowledge about how to evolve into a more eco-friendly, sustainable industry. The program’s advanced education sessions followed on Sunday, allowing attendees a choice of tracks including Business-building, Esthetic Chemistry, Esthetic Science, Technique, Medical Trends and Wellness/Sustainability. Monday offered four intensive Workshops that featured presenters rolling up their sleeves with attendees and relaying hands-on information on the subjects of cosmetic chemistry, makeup, facial massage and esthetic business.

“I was looking for something to jump start me after a long winter,” Deborah Principale, co-owner of Vogue Salon & Day Spa in Williamsville, New York, explained. “I think it definitely gives you more of a shot in the arm to come and participate. It’s always nice to meet and talk with other people and see what they are experiencing with their businesses.”

Upfront information

Spa and skin care products, demonstrations and information abounded on the expo floor during all three days of America’s Expo and in the aisles, attendees had the chance to interact face-to-face with industry suppliers, getting their questions answered and comments listened to while contributing personal experiences of their own.

“I think, especially in this economy, everybody’s really quick to give you more education right up front,” noted Elizabeth Ladik, an esthetician with Studio 24 Salon Spa in Portage, Michigan. “They’ll say, ‘Look, here’s something you should always do’ or give you something that always works, especially when they are talking about rebooking or selling and building your clientele. The suppliers are even doing that without you purchasing products or systems here.”

Attendees used the expo floor to snap up new products and treatment techniques, experience suppliers’ offerings through demonstrations, increase their industry insight, renew and develop business relationships, and continually heighten their enthusiasm for the spa industry. With a spirit of industry cooperation and sharing, the expo offered an array of inspiration. “I came here because I wanted to revamp and re-energize,” said Sharon Anderson of Morgan Perris Salon in Westmont, Illinois. “You start to feel like you’ve seen it all after awhile, so its good to get out to get re-energized. Even if you’re not touching everything, you’ll get more out of it if its more hands-on and if you can actually see and touch some things.”

Talk of the town

Full of information, interaction and unmatched knowledge, America’s Expo for Skin Care and Spa 2009 once again offered spa owners, managers and estheticians an unrivaled opportunity to stay at the top of their spa business game. Through the development of connections and the sharing of information, America’s Expo aided each attendee in achieving a prime, exhilarating position for the future. And don’t forget to save the date for next year—March 27–29, 2010—to attend America’s Expo for Skin Care & Spa, the top spa industry conference and expo in the Midwest!

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