Three hundred tanning salon professionals enjoyed everything Heartland Tanning’s Midwest Tanning Expo had to offer, which included plenty of networking, education and fun.
The three-day Expo was jam-packed with exciting and useful events and presentations geared toward today’s tanning salon owner. The first day’s schedule included training and sunless-tanning demonstrations by California Tan Sunless and Norvell Skin Solutions. There also was a “Warehouse Dash”, in which salon owners competed to see who could grab the most discounted tanning lotions and packettes. The top two winners were Julie Omara (Island Tan South) and Cathy Alle (Soleil Tan), who each gathered 150 pounds of product. The day’s events concluded with a meet-and-greet and cocktail reception with the exhibiting vendors, sponsored by Light Sources, Inc.
The Expo’s second day began with a keynote presentation from Todd Earnhardt of Glo Sun Spa, who discussed the benefits of adding sunless options to a tanning salon’s menu. He was followed by vendor presentations and several breakout sessions that provided attendees with more one-on-one time with the sponsoring manufacturer reps. “This year, we wanted to try something different so we assigned each of the vendors with topics for their presentations,” said Abby Clemmer, Heartland Marketing Director. “Not only did the vendors enjoy this change, our attendees really seemed to enjoy it. We were getting rave reviews on this before the Expo had even concluded.”
Todd Earnhardt’s keynote presentation struck a chord with Kelly Robbins, owner of Sunsations Tanning Salon in Topeka, KS. “He talked about the importance of salons hosting more than one special event per year, and that’s something we’ve never thought about doing,” said Kelly. “After listening to his presentation, we decided to have a three-day, free tan/free spray-tan event and we began blasting out promotions on the radio. With the number of people already coming in days before the actual event, I can only imagine that it will be huge, which is good – our goal is to get people tanning early in the season in hopes of encouraging them to say with us throughout the year.” Kelly was the lucky winner of the California Tan Sunless-1 VIP Mobile Bronzer Deal ($2,000 value), which will certainly help with the spray-tan offerings during her upcoming events.
“This was the best show I’ve been to in several years!” exclaimed Howard Terry, co-owner of Electric Sun in Gardner, KS. “My wife Teresa and I brought 13 of our staff with us and we all gained some very useful sales and marketing knowledge, rather than just product info. This got us all motivated about getting back to the salons and implementing everything we learned. It was a very beneficial show and we’ll definitely come back next year.”
Throughout the event, attendees won thousands of dollars in prizes given away by Heartland Tanning and the sponsoring vendors. The Expo concluded with a cocktail party at Howl at the Moon piano bar, which was sponsored by Devoted Creations. About 200 people attended this event.
“This Expo was an excellent way for us to end this season’s shows,” Abby Clemmer said. “More tanning salons were represented at this year’s event than we had last year, and everyone seemed to enjoy what we offered. We’d like to thank all the tanning salon professionals and participating vendors and speakers for helping to make this another successful event, and we can’t wait to see everyone next year.”
A 14-year industry veteran, John "Ribby" Ribner has written hundreds of
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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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