Set in picturesque Queenstown at the South Island of New Zealand, Haircare Australia hosted a two day summit, inviting delegates from Australia and New Zealand to experience an agenda comprised of business seminars and networking events set against an awe-inspiring natural backdrop.

Speakers and attendees were initially welcomed by Haircare Director of Sales and Education, Ward Gauvin, at the Skyline gondola conference venue. The education program then began with a seminar from Chris Helder, who gave his takes on human behaviour, self-communication, the codes of success (smiling, posture tips and energy) and how to engage with staff and clients. Next up was the Tognini family – Australia’s very own hair royalty comprised of Tracey and Benni, and their sons Kristian and Jules. They shared their experiences in the hair industry, all providing their unique perspective through the Toginini’s three decade legacy in hairdressing.

Other speakers included Stephen Arrizza and Mandy Mattiske from Basin Cutters, who discussed the GPS (Goals, People and Systems) for business success, and Tom Griffith, who’s Emma and Tom juice brand has reached impressive heights. Tom’s mantra’s surrounding standing for something, knowing the ‘why’ of what you do, and building a strong brand essence, are universal to all business owners.

The next day, sessions from Matt Michalewicz, who taught the five fundamentals of success for your professional and personal life, and Justina Gardiner, Senior Marketing Manager at Haircare Australia, who took delegates through a brand marketing update, left attendees inspired and more connected than ever to the Haircare Australia brand. Justina explained further how to keep, retain and grow a client base by tailoring experiences to the client, particularly through great customer service.

Bruce Cotterill, a successful businessman and CEO, shared his personal experiences to give relevant information for salon owners, while speaker Peter Hillary finished the two day speaking agenda with a touching tale. Peter’s father (the late Sir Edmund Hillary) was the first person to conquer Mount Everest in 1953, and Peter first followed in his footsteps in 1990, and has reached the summit twice. His stories of perseverance, self-reliance and the importance of communication delivered a powerful message for all delegates.

Social activities in the evening consisted of sunset drinks (complete with spontaneous bathroom styling sessions courtesy of the Togninis on night one), a moving pōwhiri from a local kapa haka group and the final banquet dinner at the Mt Soho Winery. Moving speeches, hours of socialising and photo opportunities with Lord of the Rings characters ensured the evening was equal parts emotional, inspiring and enjoyable – with that important New Zealand touch pervading it all.

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