Courtyard by Marriott
Blue Springs, MO
February 4-5, 2022
As Winter Storm Landon dumped snow and ice on much of the U.S., about 150 tanning community members could not be deterred from gathering for a full weekend of motivating education and networking. They are now “Armed for 2022!”
Several people were unable to attend due to canceled flights and treacherous road conditions. “This was our 30th year hosting an event and we were thrilled that so many were able to brave the weather to be there in person,” stated Heartland COO, Brad Henson.
“Nothing beats that human interaction, the in-person learning,” said Tammy Reed, VP of Distribution. “Salon owners from across the map greeted each other in the lobby of the historic hotel, tears streaming. It was truly magical to witness.”
The two-day agenda was packed, kicking off Friday morning with spray-tan training presented by industry veteran and Norvell University creator, Brandon Cardinal. Also on the schedule were presentations by product experts from Devoted Creations, New Sunshine Brands and Sun Evolutions, as well as a Sun is Life® Training and Certification classroom session proctored by Program Director and Event Emcee, Joe Schuster.
“Despite the impact of the weather, those on hand were treated to a trifecta of great training by some of our industry’s best, nice vendor giveaways combined with food and entertainment,” stated Schuster. “Heartland has done a fantastic job with their events over the years and I’m really pleased to have been included in so many of them, along with Sun is Life Certification. This season’s class was fun, lively and enjoyable to teach.” Reed added, “The Sun is Life class was a favorite, as usual! Joe is an amazing teacher, trainer and showman.”
After a busy Friday, attendees donned their camo gear for a military-themed “Victory Mixer” to unwind and network with other industry professionals. The party featured dancing to a dueling piano band, yard games, food and fun. The tables were decorated with photos of individuals from the Heartland family who served our country, including Brad and Greg Henson’s father, Glen Henson. Guests enjoyed delicious cookies decorated to represent each branch of service and a photo opportunity to remember the evening.
“This was our 30th year hosting an event and we were thrilled that so many were able
to brave the weather to be there.”
Bright and early on Saturday morning, the Bootcamp crowd was treated to breakfast and officially welcomed to the event by Brad Henson and Tammy Reed. “Our focus on Day Two was to make salon teams grow as salespeople, merchandisers, customer service managers and more,” explained Reed. Industry experts were paired with salon owners for informative sessions including “Merchandising Basic Training’’ presented by Gina Jaeger (Sun Evolutions) and Leslie Westfall (Studio 636, O’Fallon, MO). Next on stage was keynote speaker, management and leadership coach Jeff Driskill from Sandler Training Center in Lee’s Summit, MO who discussed “Learning to Speak Your Customer’s Language.” He was followed by Brandon Cardinal (Sunless, Inc.) and Michelle Norvell (Bare Necessities Salon, Puyallup, WA) with “Planting Seeds to Help Farm Your Customers” and “Selling with a Client-First Attitude” presented by Jordan Stamper (New Sunshine) and Janessa Howell (Celsius Tannery, Overland Park, KS).
After a break for lunch and some games, attendees got one-on-one time with the manufacturer reps as the product exhibits opened for the afternoon. Keynote Speaker Jeff Driskill returned to the stage to discuss delivering customer satisfaction, and the agenda wrapped up with Megan Racine (Devoted Creations) offering “Influencing Your Staff Favorites.”
Of course, the event included several prize giveaways – Sun Evolutions sponsored a large YETI® cooler, Devoted Creations donated a Bissell® robot vacuum, and New Sunshine raffled a getaway including airfare and a weekender bag filled with products. “All attendees went home with goody bags valued at over $800, and we gifted each owner a private session with Jeff Driskill to further their learning,” Reed said.
“With each event, we strive to one-up ourselves from the year prior,” Reed shared. “All in all, even with the weather and cancellations due to illness, our salon partners and vendor partners showed up for an amazing event to kick off the season. Now, it’s back to work – we have a 2nd Annual Owners Retreat to plan … coming in June 2022!”
Since 1997, IST Magazine (formerly known as Island Sun Times) has been committed to the success of salon professionals, while promoting the growth of the tanning industry as a whole.
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