Spa, salon, and barbershop professionals headed to Arizona recently for the 2018 International SalonSpa Business Network (ISBN) Conference to connect and discuss the future of the beauty industry. At the start of the conference, the opening ceremony began with a surprise flash mob. While some were confused as to what a flash mob as to do with beauty professionals, the symbolism became apparent when conference delegates revealed the focus of the annual conference was staying ahead of industry disruptions and adapting to the ever-changing business landscape.
“Why would we start with a flash mob?” asked Rhoda Olsen, ISBN president and vice chair of Great Clips. “A flash mob is a symbol of confusion, disruption, fun, excitement, and I think that’s what the future holds for us. It’s going to be disruptive, challenging and confusing, but together, working with one another, we can future-proof our businesses and be more prepared.”
Speakers at the two-day event consisted of a mix of big business executives as well as beauty professionals. Topics discussed focused on strategies to navigate industry disruptors that threaten businesses livelihood as well as opportunities within the industry to create experience-driven revenues and how to use crowd-sourced dialogue to help develop strategies for success. Ideas ranged from changing retail habits to incorporating new technologies to stay ahead of industry trends.
“Technology represents a major disruption, as do the attitudes of younger generations,” says Cheryl Cran, author and ISBN 2018 keynote speaker. “Salons and spas need to embrace these trends before they disrupt their profitability. Disruptions happen quickly and those companies agile and innovative enough to respond are the ones that will survive. Beauty industry leaders—whether in a small salon or overseeing multiple locations—must upgrade their mindset so they are open, flexible, and willing to embrace changes now rather than delay or rely on past successes to dictate future decisions.”
The conference was live streamed and will be archived for the next 12 months for guests to return to whenever they need inspiration over the next year. The next ISBN conference will be May 5-7, 2019, at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Naples, FL.