The Room Where It Happened

Ever since seeing Hamilton last March, I can’t help but think in lyrics. In the play, Aaron Burr complains about being left out of “the room where it happens” when Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison enter closed-door negotiations, later leaving with a blueprint for the new nation’s financial system and a site for our country’s capital.

Those lyrics buzzed in the back of my mind June 25 and 26 in Atlanta, as SALON TODAY and ZeeZor launched the first Data-Driven Salon—a one-of-a-kind business event where some of the savviest owners in the country shared how they leverage data to guide their most important decisions, engage their employees and propel their team members to success. For two days, strategic ideas were filing, valuable connections were made and enthusiastic attendees sketched out future goals and action plans.

I did my best to pack as much of the wisdom of those two days in “Data Stories,” starting on page 46, but I thought I’d let some of this year’s attendees share exactly why the event was so valuable for them:

“It was the best business event that I’ve ever attended. The information was something you could use, the networking was as good as the speakers, and everyone wanted to help you.” —Marcus Allen, global VP, The Refinery, London

“Whatever it takes, get your hands on the information shared at DDS. Game-changing insights.”—Sam Brocato, owner, Sam Brocato Companies, New York, NY

“I went with the expectation that we would be working on graphs and pie charts and business-building. WOW! I was surprised that there was so much valuable information—real tangible information that I could put into place.”—Denise Gualdoni, owner of Studio Eleven, Maryville, IL

“The Data-Driven Salon event presented the best parts of every business conference I’ve been to. From the amazing speaker lineup to the networking opportunities, the fun, the vendor mix, and even the lunches that were included so we could spend more time at the conference—they thought of everything. Kudos to the organizers, and thank you for the incredible inspiration and education!”—Karie Bennett, founder and Master Artist, Atelier Salons, San Jose, CA

“A chance to see how some of the ‘big boys’ do it with real-world, actionable examples of things you can implement in your salon to drive bottom line results and have a positive impact on culture. Haven’t been to any other conference quite like it.” —Keith Williams, president of Keith Kristofer Salon, Austin, TX

“This was an amazing event for salons and spas of all sizes. The wealth of knowledge and level of experience that existed in the room was unbelievable and all of the owners were so humble. We had four of our managers at this event, and are planning to bring more leaders from our team next time.”—Arsalan Hafezi, president, Modem Salon and Spa, Charlotte, NC

“WOW! That pretty much sums it up! The amazing industry leaders who presented and their willingness to share was amazing. We were asked to note three ideas to take away. I could not—not because I didn’t take away three things, but because I took away so many equally great ideas, I couldn’t pick just three! If I had to choose just one thing, I would say ‘INSPIRATION’. I feel re-motivated to raise the bar.”—Jackie Buckler, co-owner. The Hair Company, Leonardtown, MD

We currently are scouting dates and locations for next year’s Data-Driven Salon and will announce them shortly. Don’t be an Aaron Burr, make sure you’re in the room where it happens.

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