When: January 23-25, 2015
Where: Winston-Salem, NC
Who: Australian Gold, Bleach Bright, body IQ, California Tan, Catwalk Sunless, Cosmedico Light Inc., Designer Skin, Devoted Creations, Dr. Sun Rx/Podz, Eye Pro Inc., FIT Body Wrap, Forever Tan, FS Accessories, FS Parts, Ed Hardy Tanning, Insurtec, Lucas Products, Massage Capsule, NC Radiation Department, Norvell Skin Solutions, Radiance Lamps, Shibue Couture, Sun Evolutions, Sun Lync, Swedish Beauty, Synergy Tan, Tan, Inc., TanTrack Software, Twilight Teeth, Universal Insurance, Wolff System Technology Corp.
Whether new or returning, the three-day event was an educational extravaganza for every salon professional in attendance. This year’s event marks the 18th time Lori Shelton, owner of The Tan Line (High Point, NC), sought to learn something from a Four Seasons event. Needless to say, she wasn’t disappointed. “This year, I received a lot of great advice about reconstructing my membership program,” Lori said, “which I’m in the process of doing. Now, my employees are able to understand better, which is helping them explain it to our customers and make more sales.” Lori adds that she’ll definitely return to next year’s Southeastern Tanning Expo.
This year’s expo marks the third time Angela Cimini of Tantalizing Tan (Myrtle Beach, SC) has attended the event, which she says delivered in so many ways. She explained, “We picked up many great tips for marketing and promoting a free tan weekend, and we’re already putting them to use. We’re going to do some radio advertising along with Facebook posts, flyers and email blasts, and we’re expecting many more people to show up for our event!” The Expo, Angela adds, was a great source of information to help her restructure her salon’s EFT membership program.
The attendees weren’t the only ones wowed by the Expo; Ed Jerger, Four Seasons Executive Chairman, says he couldn’t be more pleased with the way the event transpired. “It’s easily the best show of the season!” he exclaimed. “This year, we decided to place an emphasis upon sales, marketing and promotions, and everyone who attended truly appreciated everything they learned.” Ed was also happy to add that the Expo attracted nearly as many first-time show-goers as it did veterans, indicating that the indoor tanning industry is still an attractive one for people wishing to invest their livelihoods.
To illustrate Four Season’s commitment to educating its customers, Sun is Life® Training and Certification was offered at the Expo. Presented by new trainer Amy Shock, the presentation focused on the need for training and certification to increase professionalism in the industry, a message that seemed tailor-made for the 35 salon professionals who earned their certification. “Everyone was raring to go and excited about learning what Sun is Life is all about,” Amy said. “As an educator, it’s always nice to see a group of people eager to learn. And they all passed their exams!” The event also featured spray-tan training from California Tan Sunless and Norvell Skin Solutions.
The Southeastern Tanning Expo was a powerhouse of speaker presentations beginning with keynote speaker Walter “Mr. Accountability” Bond. The former NBA star and top-rated professional speaker set the tone for the event with his exciting presentation that urged salon owners to stop making excuses and start being successful. Bond was followed by Jerry Deveney (Four Seasons) who discussed MySunFunFitness.com, the distribution giant’s dynamic new online marketing tool. The event also featured presentations from Brynn Scarborough (JK-North America) and Mike Blore (California Sun).
The Expo’s Panel Discussion, which allowed attendees to ask questions of a group of industry veterans, was an event highlight. Moderated by Jerry Deveney (Four Seasons), the panel included Mike Blore (California Sun), Tammy Crawford (Rayz of Sun), Eric Matras (Forever Tan/Tan-Tastic Tanning Salon) and Cristy Young (Sunspa Tanning Salon). Explained Deveney, “Since the first question had to do with sunlamp compatibility in South Carolina, we pulled Kevin Apgar (Cosmedico Light, Inc.) off the exhibit floor and placed him on the panel. He did an excellent job of answering the question.” Deveney added that all of the panelists offered many great answers to questions about salon marketing and promotions.
While the education and training opportunities made every attendee a winner, some went home with awesome prizes. Eileen Coffee of Kelly’s Tanning Salon (Blackshear, GA) was the grand-prize winner of an Ergoline Inspiration 500 sunbed valued at $34,000. “We’re over-the-moon excited about winning!” exclaimed Eileen. “The night before the drawing, my husband and I were joking about the work he’d have to do to one of the tanning rooms if we won the unit. The next day, I called him up and said, “Get your sledgehammer ready.” Thousands of dollars’ worth of prizes were awarded at the event.
On behalf of Four Seasons Sales & Service, Ed Jerger extends a huge “thank you” to everyone at Forever Tan as well as the show’s vendors and attendees. Considering the success of this year’s Southeastern Tanning Expo, Ed already has big plans for next year’s event. “Considering how much the attendees appreciated this year’s focus on sales and marketing,” he said, “we’ll do even more exciting programs at next year’s show. Expect the 23rd Annual Southeastern Tanning Expo to have an amazing assortment of hands-on sales and marketing knowledge designed to help salon owners build their business through increased sales. Everyone at Four Seasons is already excited about it, and the wheels are turning. It’s our people who have earned us the best reputation in the industry.” ■
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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