More than 200 salon professionals learned new ways to continue succeeding in today’s economy at the recent Regional Tanning Expo hosted by Four Seasons Sales & Service.
Four Seasons kicked off the Expo schedule with magician and comedian Kevin Viner, who warmed up the crowd. James Bradshaw, a local attorney, then took the stage to discuss interview etiquette. Next, Professor Tony Brown, Sun is Life Educator/Adjunct Professor – University of Michigan, introduced attendees to Sun is Life, the new, interactive salon operator training and certification program created by ist Magazine. He also trained and certified 15 Expo attendees. The morning’s events also included presentations by Jerry Deveney (JKNA), who introduced Ergoline’s new SunStyle sunless system, and Brynn Scarborough of JK-North America, who discussed the Ergoline SUN ANGEL tanning unit. JK-North America’s Amanda Wilson presented the Ergoline Body IQ sunless booth.
“This seasons, our motto is ‘Getting more people to visit a tanning salon,’” said Ed Jerger, Four Seasons President. “One way of accomplishing this is for salons to offer a wider variety of brand-new products and diversifying their services. In a nutshell, we are offering creative solutions and invite our salon customers to think ‘outside the box’ – it’s a fun process and our customers appreciate it.”
The event featured a panel discussion that was moderated by Jerry Deveney and included Kevin Apgar (Cosmedico/ITA), Dave Holtgrewe (Four Seasons), James Harton (Sunset Tanz), Denys Newman (No Tan Lines) and Steve Trautman (New Sunshine). “We received a lot of questions about everything from EFT programs to regulations and the Tan Tax,” said Denys Newman. “A lot of people were considering offering EFT memberships, so they asked questions about how to get clients to sign up and stay enrolled. I told them we offer a variety of value-based incentives, such as free upgrades and half-off lotion purchase, to add value to becoming an EFT member, and these encourage people to stay.” Roundtable sessions also offered lots of one-on-one time for the guests and the Expo’s speakers.
When Christi White purchased Pro Tan Salon in Lawrenceburg, TN three years ago, there weren’t many training programs for brand new salon owners. She found the education, training and encouragement she needed at her first Four Seasons tanning expo, and she’s returned for the past two years. This time, she brought three of her staff members with her. “From product knowledge to employee relations and everything else, this was a great experience for both me and my staff!” she exclaimed. “Not only did I enjoy everything at the event, I also had the opportunity to strengthen my relationship with the Four Seasons team. Now, I feel like I can call them anytime and they would be there for me.”
A few years ago, Cliff O’Quinn transformed his video business – L&R Rentals in Tupelo, MS – into a thriving, 10-unit tanning salon. A big part of this success, he says, is the multitude of things he’s learned at Four Seasons’ expos near his home. “This was a Class-A show!” he exclaimed. “Four Seasons has always been a very customer-oriented company and willing to help us out any way they can,” he said. “It’s also great to have a show that offers so much help so close to home – my staff and I really learned a lot, and I know we’ll come back next year, too.”
Knowledge wasn’t the only thing attendees took home – thousands of dollars in prizes were given away by the vendors. The Grand Prize – a SunDash Pro 332 sunbed valued at $5,995 – went to Bobbi Stanford, owner of Malibu Tans in Memphis, TN.
Everyone at Four Seasons considers this year’s Expo in Mississippi a success, and they’re considering hosting a show there next year. “The primary objective of our regional shows is to celebrate our customer relationships,” Ed Jerger said. “We just love to spend time with each and every one of them, and we can’t wait to catch up with them during the 20th Annual Southeastern Tanning Expo in Winston-Salem, NC on January 11-13, 2013.”
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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