Sunday, September 11, 2016

Event | Face & Body Spa Conference & Expo - Northern California (San Jose)

[press pass acquired]

The Face & Body Spa Conference & Expo (Northern California, San Jose) is an event for industry professionals; estheticians, masseuses, and students. Face & Body offers educational seminars, product and technique demonstrations, as well as an open expo hall to shop and network.

I have personally attended the Face & Body event twice in the past, as a guest with my masseuse friend, and both times I have walked away satisfied with knowledge on ingredients and new techniques within the industry. This year, I was provided a press pass to attend the event in San Jose, on both Saturday, August 20th and Sunday, August 21st (the event continued on Monday, August 22nd with even more classes and expo hall access).

This was my first time attending the Saturday event, which is the Advanced Education Conference Program, for business, wellness, and science - including hands-on workshops. This day is full of educational material and each attendee is given a code on their badge to scan for attendance and a survey to complete to receive credits towards their education.

The morning started off with an amazing keynote, In My Chair: Makeup Chair Conversations with Eva DeVirgilis - award-winning actress and makeup artist, TV, film, and theater. Her keynote mirrored her Ted Talk that went viral after Upworthy shared it online, with the topic "no sorry". This empowering talk highlights a global epidemic of people constantly feeling the need to say sorry for their appearance - "a pre-emptive defense of calling out your own preconceived flaws before anyone else can". Addressing the conference audience, she explained that we are leaders in this industry, with a common goal to teach and empower our clients.

She shared a personal story of a woman, named Maria, whom she helped build her confidence through makeup and hair advice, which turned out to improve her overall attitude and personal life. Being the positive voice our clients need can really help them improve how they perceive themselves, creating a safe environment setting to  be open and at ease. DeVirgilis had a couple exercises for attendees, one of which was to shower each other with compliments and comfortably accept them - this was such a vital exercise because so many of the woman in the audience admitted to feeling scared to compliment others and even hard to say "Thank you" without apologizing for anything.

The keynote ended with a little Q&A session, most memorable was one woman's comment, "Thank you for speaking for all of us". The overall vibe was empowerment and self-confidence - I walked away feeling happier seeing women of all ages and backgrounds touched by Eva DeVirgilis' stories and advice.

After the keynote was over, the scheduled 16 seminars included Business, Wellness, and Science - plus a networking luncheon break in between. One of the seminars I observed was 10 Growth Hacks to Improve Your Social Media Marketing, with Beth Cochran, Co-Founder and CEO of Wired PR - attendees received tips on how to manage various social media platforms, utilizing newsletters, scheduling posts, and collaborating with online influencers for a wider reach to potential clients. Another seminar was Glow From The Inside Out, with Ginger Hodulik, who has earned a bachelor of science degree in foods and nutrition, and a master's degree in nutrition. As a certified nutritional specialist, her lesson plan covered the immunity of the human body and epidermis, explaining that the products we consume and use topically can affect our overall health and performance.

Sunday was the first day to walk the Expo floor and shop the various 200+ vendors as well as attend some of the 42 Supplier Classes. Some of the vendor booths were doing demonstrations on their latest products and teaching valuable techniques for facials and massage. The variety of vendors ranged from spa equipment to bulk packaged supplies, skincare systems to facial devices, and makeup and nail products.

I hadn't planned to buy much at the show (trying to save up for a new laptop) but I couldn't stop admiring the Farmhouse Fresh booth, with their giant paper flowers and country chic decor. Their booth was very busy all day long, and with good reason - they were offering 50% off! I bought a few items to try out; Quick Recovery Face Mask Sampler, Sweeping Softness 3-Step Body Sampler, Crow Catcher Eye Transforming Serum, and the Whipped Shea Butter Bar Soap.