Salon professionals, brand ambassadors and industry insiders flocked to the Ovolo, Woolloomooloo to participate in the inaugural Real Talk business education event on August 5. 

Presented by INSTYLE, the event was sponsored by leading brands such as Redken, Phorest Salon Software, Revlon Professional, Showpony Hair Extensions, Shortcuts Salon Software, De Lorenzo Haircare, Consult by Timely Appointment Booking Software and Matrix Professional.

With an epic line-up of keynote speakers sharing their insights and industry prowess, the day delivered networking opportunities and intensive learning that covered every facet of the industry. Engaging some of the biggest names in the game, Real Talk gave its audience a place to have real conversations that matter. 

Kicking off the day INSTYLE editor Cameron Pine spoke to an eager crowd on the highly anticipated guest speakers, noting the palpable energy in the air. Taking over the reigns MC and retail expert Terry Hawkins officially opened the show, interacting with the audience and speaking on the power of outlook, empathy and sincerity. 

The next speaker to take the stage was none other than Dario Cotroneo of DCI Education, who valuable insights into the art of the consultation. Cotroneo spoke of the importance or true understanding between client and professional. 

Then came the first of the two round tables compared by Pine. Award winning salon owners and hairdressers including Circles salon owner Sharlene Lee, iconic Bixie Colour salon owner Sheree Knobel, Kings Domain’s Angela Sassano and internationally renowned hairdresser and business women Wendy Gunn of Ink for Hair, shared their experiences in this riveting panel; discussing everything from team culture to social media, life, risk taking and embracing change. 

Representing the iconic Edwards And Co. team, General Manager Bridgette Birchall and Communications Manager Bianca Boulden then spoke about industry disruption, haring intel from the inside of the Edwards And Co. juggernaut.

Shining a light on the power of social media, James Fitzgerald of Social Media Knowledge flexed his skills and expertise in this expanding field, offering up insights on algorithms, engagement and how to improve reach.

Oscar Oscar Business Development Manager Lee Cohen was up next, delving into how the famous salon brand educates and promotes luxury. Lee explained the necessity of front line staff members, the importance of consultations and separating business and creative roles in the salon to build a truly excellent environment.

Perfect pair and power duo Renya Xydis and Monique McMahon then gave a glimpse of their ‘For The Love’ education offering, in which the pair share on culture and community, giving salon owners a sense of support, highlighting the importance of cultivating a strong team and investing into them as they make or break your brand.

Up next was a the fascinating tech panel, compared by INSTYLE’s Jo Cowan, bringing to the stage a new band of stars that included Stevie English, Stevie Vincent of Stevie Vincent Hair Studios, Glenn Tucker and Kristy Hines of Element Aveda Sydney and Brodie-Lee Tsiknaris of Rokstar Hair.

The panel discussed the value of software and the ways in which it has improved the salon landscape, explaining the importance of asking for help, the continuously evolving nature of this salon sector and how technology empowers the client to find, buy and interact with the salon.

Francesco Ruggerino of Prema sounded the end to epic day that was, closing Real Talk with an education session on entrepreneurship, giving the audience keys and tools that he used and led him to international success.

With supreme networking opportunities on offer during breaks for lunch and the celebratory drinks and canapés at the end of the day, Real Talk harnessed this industry moment, fostering community and engagement amongst attendees.

In its inaugural event, Real Talk gave back to the salon professional and ensured itself as a by the industry, for the industry event. 

For more info visit: