This year, four of our franchisees packed up and headed to sunny Orlando to attend the Premiere Orlando tradeshow! We asked Gary Scarsbrook to tell us how it went:
This year’s Premier Salon and Spa show was held in Orlando, FL from June 2nd to the 5th. Once again, I joined Sharon Barhorst, Rachele Marsh, and David Tabb in attending the show so that we could talk to salon owners from across the country about how to grow their businesses. The number of vendors was just astounding and you could find anything that dealt with hair, nails or skin. Whether it was treatments or tools, it was all represented. This year, our booth was towards the back and I was concerned that we would not get good traffic. That fear was unfounded as we were keep busy on Sunday and Monday the two days that the show floor was open. Sunday was by far the busiest day and we had a steady stream of owners coming through the booth. They owned salons, barber shops, nail salons and spas.
One of the first people to stop by was Tiffany from the Nail Box. When I first talk to someone at a show one of the first questions was “Where are you from?” Typically, you can expect a generic answer like “Orlando” or “Miami,” but this time it was “New Port Richey.” She was surprised to learn that I lived in Odessa, which is only about 10 miles away! This played out multiple times over the two days I was there and the attendee was always surprised when one of us working near their home town. I have always found it is easier to get someone talking at a show if you can find some common ground. Once this common ground is found, it is easy to get them to give us their contact information, and we explained that their local Welcomemat Representative would contact them when they got back home to set up a meeting for the following week. These meetings are always a great way to get more detail about what Welcomemat Services can do for them and how we help them grow their business.
Not surprisingly, if you can get an owner to talk they are always interested in growing their business! So another tool we had to draw people in was our wheel. I cannot even tell you how many times people walked up and asked if they could spin our wheel. This was another opportunity to get their contact information. Once they spun the wheel and a prize was won it did not seem to matter if it was a pair of sunglasses or a gift card, they all seemed to walk away happy, giving us a great opportunity to start a conversation. I was surprised to learn just how many salon owners had no defined plan to promote their business. The biggest response to “What are you doing to promote you business?” was “word of mouth”. The next most offered answer was Facebook but typically, this was not a coherent plan, just random posting. It was great to be able to offer them a straightforward and effective small business marketing plan that could bring new clients into their salons and keep them updated on how their Welcomemat program is going.
Once I got back to the office I started to contact the leads in my area. These were definitely what I would call a warm lead now. Even a week or two later, the spark from the show is still there. Now it is a matter of working with them to find a program that is right for them. The Premiere show offered us a great opportunity to connect with salon owners and help them step up their marketing game!