The only constant about technology is the fact that it never stops changing. July/August has played host to SALON TODAY’s annual technology issue since 1998—at the time we couldn’t have even conceived of the concepts we’d be writing about today, such as e-commerce, artificial intelligence and smartphone apps. Although we dedicate an issue each summer to the theme of technology, SALON TODAY talks about technology through stories, blogs, social posts and live interviews throughout the year.
This year’s Data-Driven Salon Summit counted 27 technology sponsors, who exhibited everything from point-of-sale systems to business texting platforms to hair color management systems. Because it was what we believe is the largest assembly of tech companies at any industry event, we hosted a casual get-together at the end of day two. Huddled in the center of the ballroom, as the hotel staff broke down the stage and the table rounds, leaders of the tech companies discussed how we could all work better together, developing action items on how to fuel awareness and adoption of the category, while communicating capabilities so numerous systems could integrate more smoothly.
The team at SALON TODAY wants to do more though than be the facilitator of these technology conversations—we strive to adopt technology early so we can bring more innovative features and products to the attention of the professional beauty industry. For example, this summer on salontoday.com, owners of salons interested in entering the SALON TODAY 200 will be able to address their questions to our virtual assistant, who will reach out to Joyce or me when questions become too complex or complicated for it to handle.
In years past, salontoday.com always hosted a digital version of our printed annual technology guide which helps salon owners compare and contrast technology tools that focus on the beauty industry. (See the 2019 Technology Guide, starting on page 66.) Later this summer, our digital guide will take a leap forward, evolving into more of an interactive, searchable database where owners and managers can both learn more about each of these technology tools and easily connect with the companies in which they’re most interested.
As innovative as these products sound, we know they also will serve as the foundation of tomorrow’s capabilities, and we can only hope to imagine how technology will shape the beauty experience in the next 20 years and beyond.
--Stacey Soble, Editor-in-Chief
Cover photographer: Natalie Warr