The Experience by Millennium software just wrapped--and for the thousands of owners, managers, stylists, front desk staffers and a few hand-picked lucky cosmetology students, it truly was an experience. Three full days packed with education from how to get the most out of your Millennium Software, to varying "tracks" focusing on cut/color skills, business classes, retailing, marketing, inventory management, and more (taught by industry experts and celebs including Tabatha Coffey, Robert Cromeans, and Ted Gibson!), not to mention a 25th anniversary party for the company (with a throwback '80s party to celebrate!), a sneak peek at what's to come from Millennium in the future, and an intimate Owners' Social.
We chat with John Harms about this year's conference, now called The Experience, which brings in hundreds and hundreds of salon and spa professionals for education in business, hair, and how they can use their software in the most effective ways.
The conference began bright and early on Sunday, June 24, with an inspiring, and unexpected, opening session. First, two "dueling fiddlers" jumped on the stage, playing fantastic renditions of music by Queen, Joan Jett and ACDC.
Immediatly following the opening music act was a Fashion Show presented by the winners of The Experience Student Competition. Ten teams were invited to participate in a fashion presentation, mentored by Paul Mitchell's Robert Cromeans, and presented in front of all of the attendees. It was an incredibly inspiring presentation. It was a true homage to remembering the start and to keep sight of the future. “An attendee went out of their way to tell me that they had to stop themselves more than once from crying during the hair show,” John Harms says. “Watching those students up there giving their all really resonated with the audience. It was not only inspirational but a great reminder of where a lot of our clients came from.”
VIDEO: Students from High Tech Paul Mitchell the School Nelson and Mary present their '80s-inspired model. As winners of The Experience's student competition, the duo teamed up to create this look for the runway show presented at The Experience. Mentored by Robert Cromeans.
Next up? Day 1 of breakout classes begins. Some of the highlights:
- Avoid Theft and Monitor Suspicious Behavior
- No Down Time at the Front Desk
- Keep Uncle Sam Out of Your Pocket
- Retailing to the Max
- 5 Products in 5 Minutes
- Cutting With Your Head
- The Owners' Experience
- Create a ROCK Star Culture in Your Salon
These classes were taught by industry leaders and educators with expertise outside of the software industry. Yolanda Harris-Jackson, for example, is the Spa Director at Gaylord Hotels. Carol Phillips is the Founder of BeauteeSmarts, Amy Carter, Director of Finances and Business Operations at Empowering You Consulting, Neil Ducoff, Founder and CEO of Strategies and Larry Kopsa of Kopsa Otte--it was PACKED with education!
As a fabulous way of celebrating the company's 25th anniversary in style, Millennium hosted an '80s party that brought out the best--or worst!--in the attendees! "We were born in 1987--so we're celebrating our 25th anniversary so we're looking back, appreciating where we came from and having a great time," says Jennifer Martinelli, marketing manager for Millennium. "It's all about appreciating the past, and looking forward to the future."
VIDEO: Jennifer Martinelli on celebrating the company's 25th anniversary.
VIDEO: Stylists from Muse Salon in Alabama present their '80s style!
Day two of the conference didn’t lose steam as industry icon Tabatha Coffey lead the morning general session as she brought the audience to tears and laughter while delivering vital business tips.
VIDEO: Tabatha Coffey explains her hiring process to a struggling salon owner.
The common theme still clear as she spoke of her struggles and highlights of her past. Following Tabatha’s presentation, attendees participated in a powerful Q&A session with John Harms, Robert Cromeans and Tabatha.
Sneak Peek Day 2 closed out with a look into the future. John Harms and Millennium Chief Technology Officer Andrew Whiddett, brought a presentation of Millennium EVO; a complete Millennium re-write they’ve been working on for the eighteen months. The 90-minute session was filled with “ooohs” and “ahhs” finally some clapping and ended with a standing ovation.
“We brought them something that they didn’t even know they wanted,” Andrew Whiddett says. "It was scary at first to see the shocked looks in the large audience. It was obvious that we were changing the future, today.”
Owner’s Social An exclusive evening event for owners only, was jam packed. Hundreds of owners gathered to network and exchange business tips--all comapring apples to apples as they all use the same tool to run their businesses: Millennium.
Day 3 continued with breakout classes,and each attendee left with a Millennium USB key full of "action plans" that will help them execute the strategies they learned as they return to their businesses.
Next Year Millennium's The Experience will be held at the Camelback Inn in Scottsdale, Arizona. For more information on The Experience and to find out about next year’s conference, call Millennium at 888-813-2141.