ISBN Champions the Year of Impact – Events

ISBN Champions the Year of Impact – Events

Leaders from multi-unit salons, spas and barbershops; like-minded industry partners; and innovative sponsors gathered for the International Salon Spa Business Network’s 2024 Annual Conference, “Year of Impact,” at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson.

“As Professional Beauty Industry leaders, we must drive new energy, elevate the impact of ISBN’s Government Affairs by championing the passage of S.45 and HR45 (The Small Business Tax Fairness and Compliance Simplification Act), demonstrate life-changing industry opportunities to our teams and future professionals, bring new value to our members and industry, and promote and strengthen industry collaboration,” said Edward Logan, president of ISBN and CEO/president of Sport Clips Haircuts.

The packed Conference featured the newest topics challenging salon, spa and barbershop companies of all sizes. Best-selling author Will Guidara discussed “Unreasonable Hospitality: How Giving People More Than They Expect Can Get You to No. 1” and Scott Klososky presented tactics for “Harnessing the Power of Synthetic Intelligence.”

Guidara, author of the best-seller Unreasonable Hospitality, shared how an unreasonable approach to the pursuit of human connection can help you win—and give people an experience they’ll remember forever.

For nearly a decade Guidara owned and managed Eleven Madison, a fancy New York restaurant whose innovative food, impeccable service and gorgeous dining room consistently put it on the list of the 50 best restaurants in the world, but Guidara says it was a hotdog and the winning strategy it gave birth to that put the restaurant on the top of the list. “In 2010, I was helping out in the dining room clearing plates from a table of four foodies from Europe on vacation to New York and they were headed to the airport after the lunch. They were talking about all the amazing restuarants they had visited on their trip, but then one said, ‘The only thing we didn’t get to try was a New York City hotdog.'”

The comment sparked an idea and Guidara ran down the street to a hot dog vendor and purchased what New Yorkers call a dirty water hotdog, then he convinced the chef to cut it in four perfect pieces, plating each with a swish of ketchup and mustard and a quenelle of sourkraut and relish. Then before serving the table their final savory course which was honey-lavendar glazed Muscovy duck that had been dry aged for two weeks utilizing a technique that had taken years to perfect, Guidara served them the hotdog saying, “To make sure you don’t go home with any culinary regrets–A New York City hotdog.”

“They freaked out. At that point in my career, I had served thousands of dishes and many, many thousands of dollars worth of food and no one had ever reacted better than they did to that hot dog, telling me it not only was the highlight of their meal, but of their whole trip and they’d be telling that story for the rest of their lives. That hot dog changed the way I approach restaurants from that point forward. I had been so focused on excellence, I hadn’t realized that in restaurants our reason for being was to make people feel seen, feel welcome and give them a sense of belonging. The food, the service and the design were simply ingredients in the recipe of human connection and if we could be unreasonable in the pursuit of hospitality we could give them experiences they would remember forever. I realized I wasn’t in the business of serving people dinner, I was in the business of serving them memories.”

The second keynote speaker Scott Klososky took the audience on a different journey. “AI—Artificial Intelligence—demands your attention now,” said Klososky, author of The Velocity Manifesto: Harnessing Technology, Vision, and Culture to Future-Proof Your Organization. “For the first time, we are able to extend what our minds can do. One of your jobs as leaders is to create the hybrid workplace/hybrid labor force to drive the results you want and build deeper relationships with lients by using AI to know exactly what each client wants—then delivering on that.

“AI provides Collective Intelligence for humanity, your industry and your company,” he added. “While we’ve been passing down knowledge on some level for generations, ChatGPT learns faster than humans and can pass 100% of its knowledge to another AI. Humans can pass maybe 25%.

Klososky believes from a business standpoint, AI presents a pervasive wave of opportunity. “AI will be built into everything from your car to your home to speakers to your sprinkler system, and at the salon, from formulating color to recommending products to making scheduling more efficient to competitive research,” he says.“If I were in your shoes, I would look at three different tools to start—What can I do with AI engines to be a blessing to clients, to find more customers and to solve their problems. Then, I’d explore how it can make your service providers’ lives so much easier.” 

With data as the most valuable currency today, the QNITY Institute’s Tom Kuhn and Erin Kuhn Bhansali debuted preliminary findings from the new Salon Chain Compensation Study: A New Point of Reference. Complete results will be released shortly.

“When we set our three strategic priorities for ISBN, one was data,” said Logan. “Once complete, this study will give our members a benchmark to compare their companies with other salon, spa and barbershop businesses, as well as with other industries.”

In addition to those nationally renowned speakers, keynotes, breakouts, BIG Ideas and MasterMinds presenters ranged from the ISBN leadership to the best hands-on experts in the multi-unit salon, spa and barbershop companies and from nationally renowned experts and authors to Conference sponsors. 

With ISBN, networking reigns supreme. Conversations among attendees at breakfast, on the golf course or at the nightly networking events often spark what becomes next year’s big idea. The Conference kicked off with a golf tournament, a jeep tour and a hiking tour. Then, every day of the Conference featured multiple opportunities to connect.

ISBN’s Conference sponsors play an integral role at the event. From introducing new business opportunities to showing how they can make members’ lives easier, they are valuable partners, and ISBN provides opportunities for meaningful meetings between members and sponsors to explore the possibilities.

About ISBN: ISBN members represent more than $15 billion in annual service and retail sales, 93,000 employees and more than 15,000 locations in the U,S., Canada and Europe. ISBN’s 2025 Conference is scheduled for April 14-16, 2025, in Austin, TX, at the Omni Barton Spring Creek Resort & Spa. For more information on the International Salon Spa Business Network, to apply for membership or to sponsor the 2025 Conference, contact Executive Director Jessica Iturralde at Visit



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Originally posted on Salon Today

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