Chicago Welcomes Face & Body

Debra Locker (left) and Darlene Fisk told eager Face & Body attendees about the most effective P.R. strategies for their businesses.

March 9-11 found spa professionals from the Central U.S. attending Face & Body Midwest, co-located with America’s Beauty Show at Chicago’s McCormick Place. A cold and rainy weekend made it perfect weather to spend indoors in the company of more than 100 suppliers to the spa industry, showing their newest innovations at this popular trade show.

Saturday featured a full-day conference program, with 21 classes in 4 tracks, including: Business Solutions, Career Development, Skin Science and Treatment Techniques. The day of education kicked off with a “legends” panel, featuring GlyMed Plus' Christine Heathman, YG Labs' Rebecca James Gadberry, Dr. Mark Lees and Dr. Peter Pugliese, all of whom discussed the leaps and bounds with which they have seen the industry change and evolve in their combined years.

Heathman recognized the large audience of 200 plus who congregated at 9 a.m. on a Saturday. “In order to be successful, you sometimes have to inconvenience yourself,” she said, and congratulated the attendees for doing so. Lees advised the audience to consider which kind of people they want to be: “Those who make things happen, those who watch things happen or those who wonder what happened!” Dr. Pugliese remarked that, “Physicians don’t learn how to make women beautiful, they learn pathology and surgery,” and noted the importance of the esthetics field to give the surgeons “something good to work with” when under-taking surgical procedures, engendering much applause by the audience. All of the panelists urged the attendees to never stop reading and learning, with Gadberry commenting that you don’t need to have a college degree to be successful—you can make your own degree by studying hard.

There were many enlightening classes offered throughout the day:

  • Denise DuBois of Complexions Spa in Albany, NY, discussed Performance-Based Compensation, sharing her six-tier system with specific goals for advancement.
  • P.R. mavens Darlene Fiske and Debra Locker gave an informative presentation on the power of networking, recognizing that although there is immense power in social media, old-fashioned face-to-face methods are still extremely valuable, and discussed ways to integrate various P.R. strategies.
  • Tracy Drumm of If Marketing shared insights on Growing Your Personal Brand in the media, and gave sound advice for pitching stories to editors and handling reporters. One thing to remember, she noted, is that editors are looking for “news": something new, different or unexpected.
  • Gadberry shared Cutting-Edge Ingredients for 2013 to a packed room (hint: stem cells play a big role); Kevin Mendell of HydraFacial gave excellent marketing tips; and Patti Biro of Biro & Associates gave practical advice on Creating a Spa Boutique, and retailing with limited space.

The exhibit hall was busy all day, with booths from industry stalwarts such as Eminence and Jane Iredale, alongside newcomers and niche marketers offering items like Tassi hair wraps, Muse Beauty cosmetics and Longmi Lashes by Daniel, which saw crowds all day. All in all, a great way to spend a cool spring weekend! — Lisa Starr

Linda Kossoff's picture