Location: Benton Convention Center, Winston-Salem, NC
Vendors: Australian Gold, Bleach Bright, BNV, Body Space Equipment, California Tan, Cosmedico Light, Inc., Designer Skin, Devoted Creations, Division of Health Service Regulation, Ed Hardy, evolv. Sunless, FIT Body Wrap, Four Seasons Accessories, Four Seasons Parts, Hempz, IST Magazine, Lucas Products, M Network, Nichesoft (TanTrack Software), North Carolina Department of Human Services, Performance Brands Competition, PS Photo Stop, Radiance Lamps Radiation Protection Section, SunLync Software, SunStyle Catwalk Sunless, Tan, Inc., Tranquility Pod, Wolff System Technology Corp., Sun Is Life® Salon Operator Education, Supre Tan, Swedish Beauty
For the 24th consecutive year, the Southeast Tanning Expo proved to be the industry’s main event, attracting an enthusiastic crowd of salon operators and staff from coast-to-coast. With numbers rivaling those of a national show, the three-day event drew 450 attendees, plus over 100 industry representatives.
Co-hosted by Four Seasons and Forever Tan, the agenda included educational, audience-interactive seminars, and product exhibits complete with “how-to” demonstrations. In addition, the nationally recognized Sun Is Life® Salon Certification Program was offered to North Carolina salon operators and staff looking to fulfill their state’s certification requirement.
The highlight of the show was Hall of Fame keynote speaker, Dan Thurmon, who wowed the packed house with his targeted message of inspiration and motivation.
Mingling with the crowd and working the IST Magazine exhibit booth, I quickly noticed that there were many new faces in the crowd. Along with a solid core group of industry veterans, there were many first-time attendees who were very excited to take in all the product info and expert advice. Most were young entrepreneurs who had recently purchased an existing salon facility, shopping for new equipment to help give a fresh, new look to their recent acquisitions. Their energy level was contagious as they viewed the wide selection of tanning lotions, skin care products, UV-tanning equipment, spray- tanning systems, and fitness, spa and wellness devices.
And the Winners Are . . .
The Southeastern Tanning Expo would not be complete without the wildly-popular and exciting prize parade at the end of each show. This year’s Grand Prize – a SUNSTYLE Spray Booth by Ergoline, valued at $29,995 and provided by Four Seasons – was won by Mike Klein, owner of Captain Video & Tanning Salon in North Wilksboro, NC.
Forever Tan and JK-North America co-sponsored the Ergoline “Passport Promotion” giveaway, providing a 40-lamp Soltron Hot Pepper tanning bed. The winner was Michael Mooney, owner of Shine On Me Tanning in Young Harris, GA.
The prizes kept on coming with a giveaway by New Sunshine, LLC – an all-expense-paid “Trip for Two” to Indianapolis, IN. The prize package includes a tour of NSS corporate operations and some wining and dining at Indy’s great restaurants. Barbara Simmons, owner of the Tanning Boutique in Elizabethtown, NC, was the lucky winner.
Plans are already underway for the 2018 expo as the Benton Convention Center is expanding to accommodate larger shows.
Michael Mooney, owner of Shine On Me Tanning (center) was the lucky winner of a Soltron Hot Pepper sunbed, presented by Steve Spencer, Owner of Forever Tan and Brynn Scarborough, Director of Business Development for JK-North America.
Ed Jerger, CEO of Four Seasons Sales & Service, presented the Grand Prize SUNSTYLE Spray Booth to Mike Klein, Owner of Captain Video & Tanning Salon in Wilksboro, NC.
“I thought it was a good crowd – over 400 attendees definitely made it the biggest distributor show of the year. Salon operators seemed a little more upbeat and optimistic than I’ve heard in the past few years. A relatively mild winter, so far, has helped keep salon traffic steady. The keynote speaker was excellent, and his message definitely resonated with me and the salon owners I spoke to.”
Maggie Curran, Director of Sales Sun Evolutions
“Wow! The energy of the Four Seasons Southeast Tanning Expo was fantastic. I was amazed by how many new faces and first time salon owners attended. It was great to see new people and veterans who had not attended a tanning show in some time participate in the educational classes and trainings!”
Lewis Henry, President Devoted Creations
“Great show as always, but the attendees were noticeably different. I have never been to a tanning expo and meet so many people new to the industry. All signs are pointing to a great 2017 and beyond! But, I can’t believe they let that old fart Deveney back … again!”
Brendan McCarthy, Sales & Customer Service Manager – JW North America
“The Southeastern Tanning Expo was, as expected, busy and heavily attended. The speakers were very good and thought provoking, with some laughs. The attendees were very close to their business and had excellent questions, comments and advice. Thank you to our Expo hosts!”
Michael Stepp, President Wolff System
Jerry Deveney is the President of SunForce Marketing, Inc. He has been actively involved in the tanning, spa, wellness and fitness industries for more than 30 years. His company provides business analysis and consulting services in the areas of sales, marketing and operations. Jerry has worked in almost every industry sector including salon management, equipment manufacturing and distribution, new product development, regulatory affairs, and sales & marketing.
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