Nearly 700 tanning professionals provided the critical mass and kinetic energy to create maximum positive buzz about the 21st Annual Southeastern Tanning Expo.
Co-hosted by Forever Tan, the three-day itinerary began with California Tan’s Doctorate of Sunless training program. This was followed by Norvell Skin Solutions’ Norvell University sunless training and Sun Is Life® Salon Operator certification training. The keynote address was delivered by Lt. Col. Robert “Waldo” Waldman, who put some fire under everyone’s seat with his presentation that focused on building trusting, revenue-producing relationships. He was followed by Robert Phibbs, aka the “Retail Doctor,” whose “Merchandising for Sales” presentation offered plenty of valuable advice for salon owners looking to increase product sales. Mike Blore of California Sun conducted a presentation on how to design, implement and execute a salon membership program, which was also a huge hit with attendees. The three-day event also featured product presentations by Expo vendors.
For David Linville, owner of Angel’s Tans in Sumter, SC the Expo was a great introduction to tanning industry events. “This was the best expo I’ve ever attended in any industry!” he exclaimed. “We just purchased our salon in November, so my fiancée, mother and I came to this event looking to learn as much as we could to help us with our business. We received some excellent information from all of the manufacturer reps.” Coming back to next year’s Southeastern Expo is a guarantee, David says, and he’s strongly considering attending Four Seasons’ St. Louis expo in the fall.
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 and Ashleigh Blore (California Sun), Jenny Backman (Carolina Tan Factory) and Eric Matras (Forever Tan/Tan-Tastic Tanning Salon). “The majority of attendees were people who’ve purchased an existing salon in the past two years,” said Deveney, “many people had questions about EFT and monthly membership programs. Many attendees wanted to know how to implement these programs and how to make them successful.” Deveney said every panel member offered excellent suggestions, including ways to use a salon’s database to attract new tanners.
While the education and training opportunities made every attendee a winner, some went home with awesome prizes. Melanie Seigfried of Totally Tan in Pottsville, PA was the winner of a $1,148 cash prize. “I told my staff that I never win anything,” said Melanie, “but if I left the room, it would be just my luck that my number would be called. Since they were keeping track of our raffle tickets, they started shouting when my number was called. It definitely felt good to win.” Six other salon operators won $1,000 shopping spree gift certificates from Four Seasons.
Ed Jerger, Four Seasons Executive Chairman, says he couldn’t be more pleased with the Expo’s success. “This was our largest and most successful regional show ever!” he exclaimed. “Attendees are still talking about our entertaining and knowledgeable presenters and the opportunity to see, touch and feel the newest tanning products. They’re also raving about the fun they had with the games and contests, the good food and the parties. When you mix all of this together in an amazing location, you have the Four Seasons Regional Show!”
On behalf of Four Seasons Sales & Service, Ed extends a huge “thank you” to everyone at Forever Tan as well as the show’s vendors and attendees for making this year’s Southeastern Tanning Expo a success. He also wishes to thank the many hardworking members of Team Four Seasons for another job well done. “We’re very fortunate,” he added, “because we have a very dedicated and highly motivated team! They take pride in their work and are willing to put in long hours to create a show that people will remember. We all hope to see you in St. Louis this fall!”
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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