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L’Oreal Business Forum

By bonding the parallels of hairdressing creativity and business, the L’Orèal Business Forum in Dubai left a mark on the world’s happiest professionals – imploring value and virtue into each and every attendee, writes Cameron Pine.

Gathering 2,300 hairdressers in one place in itself is an impressive feat, enabling each and every one of them to take something away, well that’s the hard part. It can be a difficult task to unite countries through education but in a world city like Dubai built on imagination and innovation anything is possible. Attracted to the mystique and mass of the world’s ‘tallest’, ‘biggest’ and ‘longest’ everything an intimate group of Australians at the peak of their profession were given another insight into the why, the how and the core DNA that puts L’Orèal Professionnel into the hearts of some of the world’s most loved hair luminaries. They too left, with inspiration and an experience that continues to prove why hairdressing unites the world.

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Typically formulaic, a conference often embodies two things; people and products but it’s how these elements came together that formed a community of global recognition for more than 22 countries– key values implored within the LBF Business Forum each year and for every single delegate.

“I am honoured to be with you for the next three days. Our goal is to give you added value through education to boost your technical skills, boost your services and to boost your inspiration,” said L’Oreal Professionnel Global Education Director, Phillip Zemmit.

Channeling hairdressing from a number of surrounding hotels, The World Trade Centre in Dubai welcomed en masse enthusiastic fashion folk and hair professionals to an opening gala where headsets dominated and more than 16 language translators ensured every single person was touched by the L’Oreal Professionnel language.

L’Oreal Professionnel Products division General Manger, Eric Royer re-instated the purpose of such a large-scale global gathering and its mission to harness the expansion of knowledge and opportunity among its network and ultimately drive consumers to leading salons.

“You are the most dynamic hairdressing community in the world. The best of the industry is in Dubai and we will help you drive more consumers to your salon and fulfill your ultimate ambition,” Royer said.

“Our motto this year is, ‘boost dynamic salons’ by reducing time in between visits and to help the evolution of the customer experience in the salon. We believe more than ever in the importance of education and the best partners in the world’s ability to share,” he said.

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Before the audience was blessed with invaluable access to hair legends the focus was on Dubai as a host destination, explaining the development of such an intriguing global city. Such a location was the perfect opportunity to build interest and excitement for the event, mostly via the LBF Forum Facebook page.

A local spokesperson for Dubai Tourism and marketing revealed how Dubai has grown from a small trading village and a Sheikh with a vision for Dubai to become a world-leading tourist destination. The target is 20 million visitors by 2020 and just like L’Oreal Professionnel, Dubai is all about welcoming the world to their culture and creating firsts. The Burj Al Arab, Burj Khalifa and The Palm Island have all grabbed headlines and catapulted Dubai as a ‘must see’ destination.

Where else can you spend the morning on the beach or a golf course, the afternoon snowboarding, the evening camel riding in the desert, dive with marine life in the shopping mall and watch a dynamic fountain by night – The traditional souks of silk, spices and gold are surrounded by dynamism and endless energy.

Underscoring the entire ecosystem that is bestowed in a L’Oreal Profesionnel partnership is the brand’s mission to link every step of the salon environment to the overall customer experience.

Products while important became secondary throughout the program – instead the brand is bolstering its successful partnership of ‘IT girls’ and ‘IT looks’ to shape the desires of the salon customer. Think Kirtsen Dunst, Geri Hall and Pixie Bardot with a whole new set of muses expected for 2015.

“Consumers want something that is easy to wear, low-fuss and completely customized with the ultimate expertise. We are seducing women into your salons through what you see in windows, magazines, the net and backstage,” said the L’Oreal Professionnel fashion expert.


Angelo Cataldo, Michelle Williams, Terrina Brown, Lucy Cataldo, Wayne Chappell, Sharlene Lee

“Yes we have our products but they are defined by you guys – ‘the pros’ and we are encouraging a renewed relationship with women and their hairdresser. We are encouraging a dialogue and social media opportunity for you to tap into the power of celebrity.”

All successful hairdressers all over the world are asking themselves the same questions it seems. “The ultimate customer experience is made up of tangible and intangible elements.”

In contrast to the impressive creative collective within the L’Oreal family is the business bolstering tools for success summarized by nobody better than Julie Eldrett – a wise take on the salon environment. “The beauty of being 63 is you learn a lot through life. I believe that information is power – but only when you share it.”

“Show me a salon owner who knows what they want to do, respects their team and I’ll show you a good business,” she said.

Clients are guests not clients – it’s the same in the salon. If I look after my team and in turn I look after my customer then I will have a good business. The consumer is your audience. Sometimes its really simple advice but through Julie’s wise eyes and passion each comment made such a strong impression on the feeling and actionable thoughts of the seminar.

Service at an elite level continued with Thierry Antinori Emirates Executive Vice President and Chief Training Officer speaking highly of the extensive internal staff communication system and methods used to ensure the ultimate customer service experience. From a fully integrated notes system to the traditional values of culture and communication – Emirates takes the voice of every one of their employees very seriously.

Trevor Sorbie head colourist Nathan Walker, Austria’s legendary Bertram K’s street sensibility and the jaw-dropping creative styling talents of one of hairdressing’s most beautiful women, Laetitia Guenao culminated in one of the most insightful and inspiring conferences to date.


Presentation by  Bertram K

“Hair tells you the story about your clients so make a successful story out of it. I hair is a feeling and a story that should always be more about the person than any technique,” Bertram said.

Australian hairdressers were left speechless after Laetitia’s incredible gala hair show – not an easy feat for such a fashion savvy audience.

Emotional messages seemed to take over those of numbers for LBF – proving we are an emotional industry that thrives on exactly that. L’Oreal Professionnel is one of the few brands that has a hold on fashion and trends and how they connect with consumers emotionally but they also have the tools to increase business. From giving us a glimpse into the goose-bump raising salon of the future to the latest developments in design, the mindset that globally unites L’Oreal Professionnel salons is continuing to prove that nobody knows more about the customer than a behemoth brand like L’Oreal Professionnel.

closing night

Ultimately with so much information and so many messages shared throughout the forum, it is expected that not everyone will take the same thing away but one sure thing was that every single attendee from every country left inspired, enlightened and that little bit more educated on what to do next. Isn’t that what a successful life is all about? The Future is in the Forum.

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