I always enjoy coffee talks, but this one is special for two reasons: first, it’s with my partner in crime from ‘across the pond’ and second, the topic is about the best industry event all year! Andrea and I have a long history working together in the beauty industry and have shared more coffee over more years than either one of us will probably ever admit (you can thank us later, Starbucks)!  She was even responsible for hiring me to work for Paris Parker Salon over 12 years ago – and there’s some history, but I’ll save that and the additional pot of coffee for another day…

SeriousBusiness and PowerUp are coming up in January and there are some big changes that have all of us very excited! Andrea has been an integral force for making PowerUp a successful event for many years, so I had to sit down with her to get the scoop on the new format!

Name – Andrea Duckett
Title – VP Cloud Product Development
Years in the industry – 21

Coffee or tea?
Green tea (which is totally bogus given that we’ve had tons of coffees together, but I’m cutting her some slack because of the time difference).

What’s your favorite part about the event weekend?
My favorite part about the weekend is being able to connect with all of our customers face-to-face. It’s like they’re old friends! We have long-time customers that I have email and phone relationships with, but I always look forward to seeing them so we can catch up in person. It’s also exciting to meet someone new that I’ve talked with or heard about, but never had the chance to meet in person. Our whole team looks forward to putting a face with the names of our clients. It’s like the best version of a family reunion!

What’s the difference between the new forum on Saturday and previous PowerUp events?
Previous PowerUp events have been a full day of inspiration and takeaways from a variety of keynote speakers, individual breakout sessions and an update from our team on where we are and where we are going. This year, PowerUp has evolved and is now a part of SeriousBusiness!

The forum on Saturday is our chance to connect with anyone interested in technology in the salon/spa world. We’ll share what’s new with SalonBiz and set the tone for a fantastic weekend by discussing tools and best practices. It will be an interactive session full of owners and managers interested in growing their business.

Do you have to buy a ticket for the forum on Saturday?
No – it’s free and open to anyone (SalonBiz user or not) that’s interested in technology. Some of the most influential people in our network will be there to collaborate on best practices, and we will be sharing our tools to help businesses grow (all free btw), and a preview of what we are working on for 2015.

We have limited space and we want to know who’s coming click here to register for free! 

Why are you changing it?
Every year after wrapping the event, our Neill-TSP group sits down to recap the weekend. Reading the survey responses and suggestions, we see a common theme – everyone loves both events, but always want them to be combined. Changing the venue to the Convention Center in New Orleans this year, gave us the opportunity to approach PowerUp in a new way and integrate it as part of SeriousBusiness.

When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Neill-TSP puts together this amazing event that brings people together regardless of business size, which products they carry or which software they use. SeriousBusiness is all about business growth and personal development – both of which can rely on technology. You can’t have marketing, operations, best practices or customer service without talking about technology. It’s one of the foundations of everything that we are doing these days and it just makes sense that we are part of that journey. It is a true collaboration this year and I couldn’t be more excited about it!

What if someone can’t make it Saturday?
If you can’t make it Saturday, we would love for you to stop by our booth in the expo area during the event. Bring your questions and our team of experts will be there to answer everything you’ve been too busy to ask!

What is a technology track?
PowerUp has now evolved into a dedicated technology breakout series or track as a part of SeriousBusiness.  This series is focused on guiding attendees through the opportunities offered by software, social media apps, widgets and websites. We found speakers who have two really unique ways of approaching technology and are propelling our industry into the future. It’s not an infomercial or training session on how to use SalonBiz – it’s how you can adopt new techniques and embrace tools for growth.

Will someone have to choose who to see?
No! This year breakouts will be repeated multiple times so that you will have the opportunity to attend all of the breakout sessions you want to see. Each breakout is repeated three times so you’ll have opportunities to catch it all!

Who are you most excited to see (other than me of course)?
(Laughs) Yes, you, and I’m really looking forward to seeing our customers. One of the speakers I know I won’t miss is Brene’ Brown.  She talks about vulnerability, connection and courage. Think about how that could play into your marketing plan or coaching sessions with staff!

Why should someone go?
Neill-TSP’s foundation is education with a passion for helping people reach their full potential. The whole event is all about taking a step outside what is considered “standard” education in the industry. You’ll get to hear best practices from other industries and different approaches, smash that with what you do know from our industry and apply it in a new way. We are going to expose and present all of these different ideas so you can connect the dots and apply that knowledge to your business.

For more information and to get your tickets click the PowerUp link at the top of the screen or visit seriousbusiness.net. Of course if you have any questions at all let us know in the comments below or give us a call!