The Events Every Salon Should Host, Featuring Tena Pettis

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Have you thought about hosting events at your salon, but weren’t exactly sure what to do or why bother? Hosting events offers tremendous benefits for your salon, and Beyond the Technique is excited to share Tena Pettis’ innovative ideas for the events that every salon should host!

Why Host Events?

Tena is the owner of Capture Salon in Stillwater, MN where she feels that her salon is literally a hidden gem. When Tena purchased Capture Salon from the previous owner, she found herself explaining their location by describing the two stores on either side of her building. Everyone knew those other two stores, but had no clue there was a salon between them—total bummer, right? Reflecting on this unpleasant reality, Tena quickly realized that they were simply missing out on people seeing their gorgeous space. (It is seriously gorgeous!) So, in Tena’s words: “events were a big no-brainer.” Just by getting people into the salon, you start to build a relationship. Long story short: events build exposure.

Celebration Events

Celebration events are probably the most obvious and widespread events for salons. One of the most common celebration events is hosting a party for your salon’s anniversary. For Capture Salon’s anniversary, Tena explains that they “go a little bit more out” by hiring a caterer, serving wine and beer, and hosting a musician!

Another creative celebration event is hosting a party for a new stylist on your team to welcome her on board! Tena explains that this event will be a little bit more private, and they plan to invite the new Stylist’s family, friends, and close clients. By hosting an event, past clients can easily find her and follow her to Capture Salon! Also, this is a great opportunity to fill her books (win-win!).

Because you can never run out of reasons to celebrate, Tena and her team thought of one more fun event: Top 100 Clients! Tena is going to pull a report of their Top 100 clients from the previous year and invite them to the salon for an exclusive event. Their plan for the night: “just LOVE on those Top 100 clients!” What client wouldn’t love to be appreciated and spoiled for a night?

Education Events

As industry professionals, we often think about educating Stylists and salon owners, but we also need to think about continuously educating our clientele. A recurring education event that Tena and Capture Salon host are Essential Oils classes. Right now, Essential Oils are really trendy and everyone is talking about them. To meet this demand, Tena hosts one or two classes a month where oiler newbies and pros can come to learn more and sell their product. Tena explains that those who attend are always walking away with tips and tricks as well as exposure to their salon.

While Essential Oils classes are a perfect fit for Capture Salon, Tena stresses that you can educate clients about anything! For example, Capture Salon is also hosting a Smokey Eye Class. This event will be a great way to promote the makeup lines sold at Capture Salon and get Tena’s Stylists really fired up about an event they can lead! Educational events assist in branding your salon as experts who clients can come to, follow, and learn from.

Collaboration Events

Just like education events, the opportunities for collaboration events are truly endless, and you can get as creative as you want! The aesthetician at Capture Salon is working with a local nutritionist to host events about health and wellness. Even as a collaboration event, this class will also educate their clients about a holistic approach to beauty and wellness.

Beyond the Technique founder, Kati Whitledge, is also the owner of Be Inspired Salon in Madison, WI where they host an annual collaboration event. Kati explains that every year, Be Inspired Salon hosts a charity Cut-A-Thon. 100% of the proceeds from that event are donated to a local charity which is voted on by their clients. Kati explains that this is a great way for her Stylists to give back and create a great community feeling.

Planning Your Event

Budgeting. Tena explains that every month, she sits down with their bookkeeper to create a budget for food, wine, and beer for events. Typically, their monthly event budget is $250. While they don’t always use the full $250, putting this money aside creates a buffer for the months when they want to host a larger event. Also, Tena suggests that when hosting collaboration events, you try to solicit a small contribution from your partner since you are providing the space. Salon events can be as low-key or glamorous as your creativity and budget allow!

The Logistics. Planning ahead is crucial for a salon event to be successful! A tip that Tena recommends is printing a paper calendar for the year to map out your events. Being able to plan for the full year allows you to visualize the times of the year when it makes the most sense to host certain events. For example, you may choose to host your Top 100 event in February because the month is associated with love and host your charity Cut-A-Thon in October when things are a little slower. When you start seeing your events on paper and actually planning it out, the whole process seems a lot easier!  

Marketing. Did we mention Tena is also the founder of a social media and graphic design firm? (Yes, she is a rockstar!) For this reason, we couldn’t wait to ask Tena how she markets her events. Tena’s answer: “We are pretty aggressive with our Facebook events.” Tena offers some insider advice about Facebook events. For example, she notes that it is important to post in the event everyday to give people little updates, entice them to the event, and make sure that they don’t forget! Also, Tena explains that you can message everyone in a Facebook event, but the message appears to be personalized. In other words, no one knows that it was a mass message. Tena suggests sending a message similar to: “Will I see your beautiful face on Saturday?” or “So excited to see you at our event on Friday!” It is a little bit intricate and Tena explains that you can only do this on a mobile phone; if you want to try it out, here are some directions.

Stylist Buy-In. A really important piece for Tena is making sure that her Stylists have bought into the idea of hosting salon events. Maybe you can relate to Stylists who are great behind the chair, but look at events and think: “Ugh, this is just another thing that I have to do.” To address this challenge, Tena makes time for a team debrief following an event. At this meeting, she will ask her team how the event went, what happened, and who they met. Tena finds that her Stylists often explain appointments they booked or new connections they made. Being able to reflect on the positive benefits of the event allows her team to understand the opportunities to get new clients in the chair!

We hope that Tena’s insights spark your own creativity and leads to a productive, profitable, and eventful year! To get more industry advice, make sure to follow Beyond the Technique and listen to our weekly podcast!  

Craving more innovative ideas from Tena? Check out her website to get connected with her community and listen to her podcasts!

Listen to the full interview with Tena Pettis on Episode 65 of Beyond the Technique’s podcast.