Here’s the Inside Scoop on Everything Industry Leaders Revealed at BEAUTY & SPA Insiders 2023

This week, Professional Beauty was delighted to co-host its annual BEAUTY & SPA Insiders (BSI) event with SPA+CLINIC.

The professionals-only event ran at waterside destination, Pier One in Sydney. Education and inspiration were at the forefront of the day’s discussions. A line-up of exceptional industry speakers graced the stage, sharing new learnings and personal experiences of working in the beauty and aesthetics spaces.

BSI 2023 MC Danielle Hughes welcomed around 150 guests to the event with a reflection on the definition of leadership. She also encouraged guests to take new learnings from BSI to implement into their own salons and clinics.

Amy and Emilee Hembrow served as the event’s keynote speakers. They discussed their backgrounds as entrepreneurs working across a variety of industries, from fashion and social media through to beauty. The self-proclaimed “brand makers” also revealed how they came to open their high-end clinic, SSKIN. “I saw a gap in the market on The Gold Coast for giving the full exclusive experience (inclusive of great customer service),” Emilee said. “I wanted the five-star experience every time I go into clinic.”

The duo has worked off five pillars to assure the success of their businesses: brand, client experience, value, relationships, and company culture. “We have a very collaborative work environment,” Amy said. “We see a lot of benefit to getting our team out there (on social media).” Emilee added “we post to entertain, inspire and/or educate. We don’t just post to post.” According to Amy, word-of-mouth is a business owner’s best marketing tool.

PB Online Editor, Hannah Gay led a panel discussion with Emma Louise Paxton, Isabella Loneragan and Dr Tanya on how a great idea can translate to a great business. Contour Clinics’ Charlotte Ralph spoke on the benefits of radiofrequency microneedling using the Cynosure Protenza device. “RF microneedling offers a more controlled solution compared to laser,” Charlotte said. PB Editor, Anita Quade sat down with Curtis Cosmetics’ Victoria Curtis to better understand how working with efficacious mineral makeup is the best choice for clients’ skin.

Will&Peta Skin Clinics’ Peta Friend delivered a moving speech on screen, telling her personal story of resilience. “Be happy and you know you’re doing it right,” Peta said. “There is no one way to be trans.” Peta argued that as beauty therapists, we need to consider our clients as individuals, not based on their gender alone.

S+C Editor, Nadine Dilong led a panel discussion around elevating the client experience, leading with the question: ‘do you offer your client a treatment, or an experience?’ Michelle Reeve referred to the role epigenetics plays in managing the skin and therefore, the overall client experience. She hinted that while it’s easy to work to timelines, more should be spent providing a strong brand introduction and setting up the treatment to cater in-detail to the individual. “The movement of slow skincare is very important to us,” Michelle said.

Cecilia Ferreyra added that everything from a clients’ body temperature to robe size should be considered. She said Sofitel Spa showcases its brand identity via seasonal treatment menus and services. For Jessika Briggenshaw, elevating the client experience can often come in the form of saying ‘no’ to clients. Consistency in upskilling staff is also key. “You can never stop learning,” she said. Jessika added that it’s important to build trust with potential clients from a business’ social media platforms and website. “Consistency shows in the re-bookings; the therapist should be at a 80-90 percent re-booking rate.”

Beyond PAYMENTS’ Larry Prosser spoke on how convenience – both for the client and the business owner – can be enhanced by placing eftpos transaction costs back onto the client. The company has also recently launched an Android terminal, and flagged that businesses have the flexibility to add their own branding to POS systems.

Fayshell owners Kaitelin Gregg and Ella James said they work off a ‘skin gym’ ethos – that the skin is treated regularly, and LED treatments are incorporated in-between. The duo said they find most of their customers via social media.

Following a tasty buffet lunch, Synergie Skin’s Terri Vinson floored guests with a detailed look at how she came to develop her brand, and how she goes about the formulation process. She explained how, as a former clinic owner, clients stopped undertaking treatments during the 2008 global financial crisis while her ‘clean science’ cosmeceuticals continued to sell well. “It doesn’t matter how good the product is – it has to have that beautiful experiential feel,” Terri advocated.

On evolving and expanding her business, Terri said “if you don’t let go, you’ll never grow. In 2024, the cosmetic chemist will open a new, massive lab run entirely on solar energy. “I’d rather have continuous improvement on the products I do have, rather than release new products too regularly.” Terri also provided insight into a ground-breaking new product set to launch later this year.

RN and business owner, Kelly George spoke on how to build and retain an exceptional team, revealing her first full-time team member remains with the business seven years on. Kelly said she is most proud of her team culture. She believes all team members top-down should be included in career development opportunities and that team members’ personal and professional goals be considered at the start of every year. “Nothing is more important than motivating your team.” Kelly spends around five percent of her gross income on special team incentives. 73 percent of her social media followers agreed that the team vibe was why they loved her business.

Dr Toni Pikoos, Fiona Tuck and Dr Shreya Andric joined Hannah Gay for a conversation around the mind-skin-health connection, and how creating a strong referral system is the best way for professionals to get the best outcomes for their clients. Following this, Dr Amy Chahal of Zo Medical Skin Health spoke in detail of the patient journey.

Over cheese plates and glasses of bubbles, Shape Clinic’s Dr Steven Liew spoke on how the line between the beauty and aesthetics worlds is blurring. He said Australians age ten years faster than anyone in the world. While trends like calf-tox may be new in Australia, Steven said some such trends have existed in the Asian market for the last 15 years. He also reminded clinicians to invest in great photography to capture client before-and-after images.

A five-person panel concluded the day, discussing 2024 trends and industry regulations. Panellists included Dr Tania Romano, Dr Ian Chinsee, Karen Geiszler, Bryce Hadley, and Dr Steven Liew. Some of the major talking points included:

Dealing with our inner health
Therapeutic plasma exchange
Understanding glycation
A movement toward healthy skin
Hair growth
The importance of detailed multi-modality treatment plans
Regulation and IPL therapy.

Guests toasted to the industry, and enjoyed networking drinks and canapes into the night.

Here are some hero photographs from BEAUTY & SPA Insiders 2023:

Photography credit: Oneill Photographics

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