Last week’s Face & Body Midwest brought thousands of spa professionals from the Midwest and beyond to the Windy City. Thankfully, there was only a brief snowfall which did not impact attendance. Almost 5,000 attendees were pre-registered, and a few thousand more visited from the co-located America’s Beauty Show.
Illinois is one of the progressive states that requires continuing education credits to keep a cosmetology license, and it’s amazing how much difference this makes in the feel of the show. The one-day education conference offered four tracks, several based (for the first time) on skin conditions; Hyperpigmentation/Anti-aging; Acne/Rosacea; The Body; and the Business Summit track. Most of the classes were full all day. The keynote speech was delivered by native Chicagoan JoElle Lee, esthetician to First Lady Michelle Obama and founder of JoElle SkinCare products. Additional presenters included industry icons Mark Lees (“Mistakes to Avoid When Working With Acne”), Lydia Sarfati (“Beyond Anti-Aging”), Rebecca James Gadberry (“Gene Regulation in Skincare”) and Sonia Boghosian (“Advanced Anti-aging Neck & Decollete Treatments”).
The Business Summit track provided marketing advice from Sara Daly of Bento Success. Daly uses the bento box analogy to help spa owners break their activities into bite-sized, interchangeable chunks, so marketing tasks can be utilized in different campaigns and don’t feel so overwhelming. And what’s a conference these days without a social media session? Ashley Ludgood of IF Marketing presented Online Dating: Courting Your Clients Through Social Media. Ludgood gave a solid overview, including the guiding concept to “DATE” your clients; Develop an engagement calendar, Associate with partners and local influencers, Teach and educate, andEntice with promotions and giveaways. Social media has gotten so complex that there should probably be individual presentations and case studies on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook—maybe a social media track for next year!
On the exhibit side, approximately 150 vendors displayed their latest wares to packed aisles. The HydroPeptide, Éminence and Jane Iredale booths attracted the usual crowds, and were mixed with less-frequent spa show attendees like theater-makeup company Kryolan and Chicago’s own Amrit Organic Skincare. The braver souls ventured over to the America’s Beauty Show for a dose of loud music and beautiful models sporting amazing hair creations, both fun and inspirational, before retreating back to familiar spa ground. —Lisa Starr