Australia was front and centre at Kao’s recent MBE event in Las Vegas, with 68 delegates from our country and the US making up an unforgettable trip earlier this month. Networking opportunities, business insights and development and, most importantly, personal growth, was the order of the event, ensuring all attendees could ignite their potential with the Goldwell and KMS brands.

Held at the Cosmopolitan Hotel on the Las Vegas strip, the agenda was comprised of a myriad of international keynote speakers with social media strategies, innovative thinking, processes for business achievement and managing millennials helping attendees gain ultimate success both in their personal and professional lives was the aim of MBE 2018.

The event was welcomed with a cocktail reception on the first night of the four day conference, and guests were able to explore the city, take helicopter flights to the Grand Canyon and experience the wonder of the region. The MBE Delegates Dinner provided another highlight, with the famous Chayo Mexican restaraunt offering both excellent food and a mechanical bull, both of which added to the frivolities and festivities of the evening.

On the first day of speeches, the business side remained strong, with a presentation from Maggi Mulhern, a journalist and blogger for Modern Salon in the US who championed the importance of social media, having herself grown the Modern Salon following to almost a million followers. Facebook Stories and Instagram Live were the contemporary tools to master for the seminar, as she also showed the value of video, correct image selection and social media in dictating purchases and decision making.

Troy Hazard was the next speaker, talking as an entrepreneur who has founded 12 businesses, earning him the title of Global President of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization. He spoke about his risks and losses and instructed salons on how to “future-proof” their businesses, looking to fix the future, rather than the problem. He said to align your personal goals with your business to create greater synchronicity.

The day also saw the launch of Goldwell @Pure Pigments, the brand’s newest colour innovation that puts added dimension into colour and allows artists to expand their creativity, acting as a revolutionary new range of HD3 direct dye additives. Australia’s own Education Director for Kao Salon Rita Marcon, along with Canadian Goldwell International Artist Lindie Blackwell presented a new colour collection based on these products and the three new Elumenated Color Services – Color Morphing, Color Boosting and Color Washing.

Dinner at Gordon Ramsey’s Hell’s Kitchen restaurant, as well as a pool party attended by rapper Snoop Dogg finished off the day in enthralling fashion.

The next day saw an inspiring presentation by Scott Missad, President and CEO of America’s Gene Juarez Salons and Spas, who spoke about measuring performances in the salon industry for optimal success. He talked about having simple parameters and metrics for success, and then rewarding those confident metrics. Eliminating subjective or vague criteria allows you to focus on clear metrics, such as request/rebooking rates, products sold per client and occupancy, to measure success and build on it.

Marilyn Sherman then came to the stage to discuss leadership and future planning, with a nine step program to reach goals and avoid pitfalls such as fear and negativity. She spoke about how to ignite and empower your staff to increase sales, while also identifying team members she titled the Victim, Vacationer and Volunteer that exist in every work space. She taught delegates how to manage these personalities to achieve harmony, growth and success. Marilyn also ran an interactive activity that revolved around communicating with clarity, while also highlighting our communal response to change.

The conference was wrapped up by a Table Talk session run by Rita, where delegates reflected on their learnings and how this will impact their practices. Kao Salon Australia General Manger Justin Anderson wrapped up the event at large and provided insights into next year’s event to be held in South East Asia.

The final networking party was an evening of festivity at Cirque de Soleil’s O show and dancing at the Coyote Ugly bar, made famous from the film of the same name. What a way to ensure delegates left exhausted but energised and motivated to be better leaders, artists and pioneers, with big goals to tick off the list and the confidence to tackle them. MBE, you’ve done it again.