Four hundred tanning salon professionals braved a blizzard to attend the 2014 Midwest Tanning Expo hosted by Suntan Supply. They were treated to a wonderful event held at Kalahari Resort, the “world’s largest indoor waterpark.”
Suntan Supply’s recent Expo began with salon operator training and certification – 19 attendees received Norvell University’s sunless tanning training while another nine salon operators successfully completed Ohio’s certification requirements. The event’s schedule was highlighted by keynote speaker Brynn Scarborough of JK-North America, whose presentation “Accept No Limits!” highlighted Ergoline’s eight new tanning units. “By working to bridge the gap between high-end tanning and new technology that was once cost prohibitive,” said Brynn, “our new lineup will change the way tanners enjoy the VIP experience. The response to our innovative new technology was overwhelming!” The event also featured breakout sessions that provided more one-on-one time with the product vendor reps, and a working tanning salon with four Ergoline tanning units and custom sunless spray-tanning from Brown Sugar, California Tan, and Norvell Skin Solutions.
The Panel Discussion was an Expo highlight, allowing attendees to ask questions of a group of industry veterans. Moderated by Brynn Scarborough (JK-North America), the panel included Justin Cress (Sundown Tan), Marty Gallagher (Suntan Supply/ITA), Lewis Henry (Devoted Creations/ITA), Bryan Homeroski (Sensational Tan), Rob Quinn (Tan Pro USA/ITA) and Michael Stepp (Wolff System Technology Corp.). “As in most cases, attendees had many questions about the Tan Tax,” said Bill Gallagher, Suntan Supply Co-Owner. “Many wanted to know the status of the current efforts to get it repealed, and since there were three ITA board members on the panel, everyone got caught up on the ITA’s current lobbying efforts.” There also were many questions about salon operations, especially EFT program maintenance, asked by new salon owners, Bill added.
Michelle DeCamillo added seven tanning systems to her hair salon, Michelle’s Hot Mess in Geneva, OH, so she attended the Expo to learn as much as she could about the sun business. “Suntan Supply is our distributor and everyone there is so good to us,” said Michelle, “so we thought we’d check out the Expo to see what it was all about. I went there intending to learn as much as I could about the tanning business and I wasn’t disappointed. Everything was so informative, especially the Panel Discussion. The question-and-answer session at the end was extremely helpful.” Having learned so much at her first Midwest Tanning Expo, Michelle says she’ll definitely attend future Suntan Supply events.
Knowledge wasn’t the only thing Expo attendees took home – tens of thousands of dollars in prizes were given away by the exhibiting product vendors. The grand prize – a Soltron Touchdown tanning unit valued at $11,995 – was awarded to Troy Showalter of Eastend Laundry & Tanning of Mt. Vernon, OH.
With 400 happy attendees, Bill Gallagher says this year’s Midwest Expo was a success. “This showed me once again that our industry is showing signs of maturity,” said Gallagher. “Whether they were new or veteran owners from a small salon or a big chain, the attendees all seemed to be very sophisticated businesspeople who were in tune with their salons. After 18 years of hosting these events, it’s very rewarding to be able to offer something that people come to looking to learn as much as they can to help their businesses grow.”
Bill says a similar spirit of professionalism was inherent amongst attendees at Suntan Supply’s January 3-4 Expo held in St. Cloud, MN.
A 14-year industry veteran, John "Ribby" Ribner has written hundreds of
articles for IST Magazine and, as Director of Editorial Content, has also
helped guide the publication's evolution. Ribby is a graduate of Central
Michigan University's journalism program and has brought many years of newspaper reporting experience to his position of Head Writer. He is also the author of three novels, "Legacy of the Bear," "Prophecy of the Bear" and "World So Dark."
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