2009 Smart Tan Trade Show – In Perspective

Working the Smart Tan Trade show 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee was a great experience in learning.  Talking to Tanning salon owners from across the globe, there are many similarities but just as many differences. Demographics, styles, color ideas, marketing approaches, future business plans and many other topics.

This led me to write some of those differences and provide a different perspective in many of these areas.  Over the coming year, I will be blogging about those different types of perspectives from around the country.

With our knowledge and experience I believe we can provide a perspective on different areas that business owners need to pay attention to. Being in a successful business for more than 20 years I believe that we understand just a bit more than most.  Helping over 15,000 companies in our industry achieve their objectives over the years, I think we bring to the table a time of knowledge that we would love to share.

The entire world is made up of marketing messages all around us.  Some of which we buy into some we don’t.  Some of them we buy into so much that we think that it is reality.  Although no data or facts to back up the claims people believe them.  It’s been said that each person faces upwards of 30,000 marketing messages per day.  From television commercials to signs on the side of the road, everyone is trying to get their message across. With new social media, the messages are only increasing.

On the positive side, people can learn what ever they want whenever they want.  In our digital age we can be informed with a little extra effort become experts in just about anything.  I might want to caution you though, a lot of people claim expertise when in fact they don’t know much.  Just enough to spin their perspective and change you’re thinking of something.

There are many myths in the marketplace.  One of them which I always find fascinating and the tanning industry is airflow.  Movement of air can be extremely complex but in most cases it is just a matter of common sense.  I heard several times at the show that they would like an air gap underneath the wall to help the heat removal from a salon room and be more energy efficient.  Of course there are several people in the industry pushing that this is as real issue.

Common sense tells us how could that be?  Hot air or the molecules move up.  That does not mean that the air has any velocity and moving up caused by heat.  Without fans or other equipment to push the air out of the top of the room no pressure or back draft will be caused under the wall.  Obviously the reason for this is that some people in the Tanning industry make a product that stands off the ground.

I have heard more horror stories than success stories with having a gap underneath the wall.  There are currently more than 30,000 lawsuits per year in the United States attributed to privacy issues in retail locations.  This day and age with cell phone cameras and other spyware technology, a salon owner is putting themselves at risk by not providing the maximum amount of privacy to the consumer. As a matter a fact, I have not seen one energy study, heard one salon owner say after putting a gap under the wall they saved money on their electricity bill… If that is the case, why do people believe it? Marketing…

Many people have heard of the case of Erin Andrews, sports announcer who was photographed at her hotel room naked and posted on the Internet.  Most of the stories do not make front page news but they do end up in the courtroom causing thousands of lost dollars to salon owners trying to defend themselves from these cases. Yet, some companies are still insisting that energy efficiency in their salon is happening in the gap under the wall.

Let’s go ahead and say for argument sake, you were saving money or your power bill.  How much do you think that would be?  Doesn’t your air-conditioning systems still have to remove the same amount heat? I could get into a lot of technical beta to prove to you that it really doesn’t matter but it really comes down to common sense.  Even if you were to save $20 a month would the risk be worth it? I’ll let you be the judge.  Last time I checked attorneys were very expensive.

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