Roundup of 2019 Beauty Conferences & Tradeshows

Yesterday, I realized that there are only 33 (now 32) days left in 2018. This realization was immediately followed by excitement for Christmas, full-on panic, pulling out my 9-grids and reviewing my 2018 goals, and an urgent need to start planning 2019.

A key part of planning 2019 involves deciding which tradeshows and conferences to attend. Thus, I started looking for dates and locations. After spending over an hour online, I realized there really should be a list, somewhere, that someone compiled – but I couldn’t find one.

So, for my (and hopefully your) benefit, here is my roundup of 2019 spa, salon, beauty conferences and tradeshows.















A few conferences are still finalizing their dates and locations. And I did limit this list to beauty conferences (and thus omitted some of my favorite “outside my industry conferences” such as Brigadoon – Sundance Utah, February 24-26).  And I am sure I missed a couple – so please help!

Also, I can’t decide if I am less or more stressed having compiled this list… maybe there is a reason it does not exist anywhere! You’re welcome.

ISPA: highlights from the exhibit floor

ISPA day 2 is nearing the end, and I feel energized, inspired, and so glad to have seen so many of my spa friends. Wise Voices, the general sessions, and the professional development sessions have been amazing. And the show floor has impressed me… Here are some of my favorite booths. If you have not yet had the chance to walk the exhibit floor front to back and back to front, here are brands and people you will not want to miss.

COOLA Suncare (booth 613)

When my brother-in-law could not find a sunscreen that did not irritate his skin, I turned to COOLA upon the recommendation of a friend. And the brand lived up to its promise: “healthy sunscreen people want to wear.” I chatted with Michelle and learned more about the brand – and had my burning question answered: this is not organic sunscreen. Why? Because that is impossible, it is an oxymoron. The active ingredients (both in the physical and chemical blocks) are not organic. But the inactive ingredients are 70% certified organic. We had a great conversation on ingredients, marketing, and labeling, and agreed that “the best sunscreen is one that is worn.”

Dog Fashion Spa (booth 251)

If you know me, you know I am not a dog person. So seeing this booth was just so intriguing to me I had to stop by. Elena was wonderful, she explained the brand to me – which answers the needs of “how do you cater to a dog parent?” Apparently, 60% of our spagoers are dog parents. They take care of themselves, and of their pets. So expanding beyond the pet market made sense for this luxury pet brand – selling products and accessories for pets that have the best parents!

Hydrafacial (booth 1005)

I had a birthday during ISPA and so was looking for anything that would make me look fresher, younger, more glowing. Come in Greg and Mechele from Hydrafacial, with the best gift – a 20-minute treatment to accomplish all of the above. Mechele, one of the Hydrafacial therapists who has been with the brand for 12 years (and you won’t believe her age!) is technically perfect and a wealth of information on the device. It’s a facial with extra “oomph.” My skin confirms it. Stop by and get your treatment.

Magaschoni (booth 106)

I know this brand from my favorite clothing boutique in DC, Betsy Fisher, and did not realize it was so present in the spa world (this is their second ISPA). Known for its quality cashmere clothing, which comes in a rainbow of colors, Magaschoni is represented in the leading spas of the world, including Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons. If nothing else, stop by to feel the merchandise… so soft and luxurious.

SalonBiz (booth 154)

I am biased as I think this company (you might know it as SpaBiz) has the best-looking CEO in the history of CEOs. But seriously, stop by and drop your business card to have a chance to win an Apple watch. While there, speak with Bradley about hotel integration, the mobile checkout system (for iPad), and learn more about the SalonBiz app, which therapists have embraced wholeheartedly. You might even meet your loved one at that booth…

Universal Companies (booth 1010)

There are many reasons to stop by this booth. The Universal catalogue is, and has been for 30 years, the “Spa Bible.” And Universal is always re-inventing themselves and growing. Case in point: their September acquisition of A La Mode Partners. In a sign that the Universe goes full circle, Tracie Wertz, who used to work for Universal Companies, left to launch her own retail company (A La Mode Partners), is now back with Universal. She will be expanding and managing the retail division at Universal. Stop by the booth to speak with her about the experience of selling her company – and to discover two new brands: Vita Jewel (water bottles with gemstones to purify and alkalize water) and Sparkle (ingestible collagen).

Enjoy the rest of ISPA, and explore the exhibit floor. And when you’re done with that, head over to the Relaxation area for more amazing brands including SpaRitual.

Don't spill your candy in the lobby… and other sales lessons

This past weekend was one of the funnest and most productive weekends to date this year. And not always do fun and productivity meet. I spent three days in Tallahassee (a city I can now spell), at Florida State University, in sales training. That was the productive part. The fun part was the group of people I attended this training with, the Neill Technologies team.

I have been wanting to write about this since Friday evening but it is only tonight that I feel that some of the information is starting to settle and make sense in my head. This training made me realize I somehow was in this very dangerous place of not even knowing what I didn’t know. (Thank goodness I am surrounded by people who know better.) Somehow, I thought I knew how to sell. Somehow, I never thought this was an area I needed any training in. Somehow, in my mind, selling wasn’t like accounting, marketing, skiing, or product formulating. For the latter, it would never occur to me to “just do it” without any class, professional instruction, or training. Somehow, sales wasn’t worthy of training. Boy was I wrong.

The three days of training covered so much material that I am still digesting the information. We discussed the theory of selling. We did role playing. On video. We had homework assignments. We had a book to read prior to class. A book with exercises.

While I don’t yet understand everything I learned, here are my most immediate takeaways.

  1. Money does grow on trees. Make your own tree: existing clients are the branches, they connect to other branches. Ask existing partners for referrals and for testimonials.
  2. Never do a cold call again. If you develop your network enough, and implement rule #1, your cold calls will really be “warm calls.”
  3. You have to learn to fail to win. Even when replacing cold calls with “warm calls,” selling will involve rejection. Use rejection to hone your skills. Debrief your own sales calls and meetings to continually improve.
  4. You never have to like prospecting, you just have to do it. While money grows on trees, trees don’t grow without water. Prospecting is to sales what water is to trees. Just do it.
  5. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Plan every sales call. Plan every sales meeting. Figure out at least 5 “advances” for each phone-call or meeting. Not continuations (i.e. “I’ll get back to you), but steps that will truly move the sales process forward.
  6. Don’t spill your candy in the lobby. A sales call is not an opportunity to show off the features and benefits of my products. A sales call is an opportunity to learn about someone’s business; about someone’s needs; about someone’s pain points.
  7. Don’t “product puke.” Refer to rule #6. Aim to understand rather than to persuade. I have two ears and one mouth… I should use them accordingly.
  8. Buyers want to buy, not be sold. By discovering needs, by listening instead of speaking, I will better understand how what I offer can be a solution. And if I really become excellent at this sales thing, I will enable the buyer to convince herself that she really needs Alchimie on her shelves by asking “need-payoff questions.”
  9. 80% of training fails, largely because of a lack of post-training implementation. Hence I am writing this, so I can refer to it and remind myself, in particular when old (bad) habits creep up again.
  10. Sometimes, it’s not about how good you are, but about how bad you want it.