Indeed, these are unprecedented times. In March 2020, COVID-19, the disease caused by a novel Coronavirus identified in late 2019, was declared a pandemic. Spread primarily through close person-to-person contact, it was no surprise when social distancing mandates forced salons and spas worldwide to close—resulting in a significant loss of income for hundreds of thousands of nail technicians across the globe.
Although Footlogix® was also directly impacted by the closures, the team didn’t hesitate to spring into action. “We immediately thought about how we could help our customers,” says Footlogix® founder Katharin von Gavel. “In circumstances like these, many companies will offer discounts or cut prices; but when the COVID-19 shutdowns started, we figured no one was buying or in need of product. But what they did have was time—and lots of it,” she explains.
With that, von Gavel immediately recognized how Footlogix® could provide invaluable support to pedicurists during the lockdown—quality education. “I’ve always been a big supporter of education as a way of differentiating a salon from the non-standard or discount salon and helping technicians be the very best in their field,” she says. Since Footlogix® is known as a leader in education for the pedicure industry, it was a natural fit for Footlogix® to provide customers with useful (and completely free!) training, enabling technicians to take advantage of this unwelcome downtime to improve their knowledge and skills.
So, the Footlogix® team of foot care experts quickly got to work and developed a 8-week series of educational webinars covering a range of topics essential and relevant to today’s technicians. Expecting just a few hundred participants, registrations far exceeded anyone’s expectations—proving that Footlogix® had met an important technician need during a very trying time.
Here, von Gavel discusses the Footlogix® COVID-19 shutdown education webinar series and the overwhelmingly positive response from the nearly 25,000 attendees.
Footlogix® has always believed that education is one of the most important ideals behind selling foot care products. Can you explain why?
The one thing that differentiates the Footlogix® brand from others is that we’re not just another product line. We’re a team of industry foot care professionals and we know that the only way to strengthen our position and grow in a competitive world is to help people develop their skills, knowledge and capability with the right training and development. Through our COVID-19 educational series, I believe we helped technicians do just that.
Once you decided to develop the educational webinars, how did you decide what topics to cover?
We knew we wanted to provide great education—courses that aren’t just product specific or product related, but training that truly provides useful information on a range of topics from sanitation to diabetes to business and sales. We also wanted to tailor the webinars to the unfamiliar environment created by the pandemic and how this impacts salons. Because Footlogix® has been providing quality pedicure education for years, we had a lot of material to pull from. In all, eight, 90-minute webinars were developed for the series, including:
Infection Prevention for the Full Service Salon
Footlogix® Product Knowledge
Maximize Your Pedicure Potential
Increasing Retail Sales
Focus on the Senior and Geriatric Client
Transform Your Pedicures with the 3 Rs: Recognize, Recommend and Refer
Focus on Diabetes (Implications for the Pedicurist)
How to Attract and Keep Male Clients
Who developed and presented the training and how was it delivered?
The webinars were created by three of our top-notch trainers: Vicki Malo is the Footlogix® vice president of training and president of our sister organization, the North American School of Podology (NASP), a leading provider of foot care related advanced education and certification; Nikki Fraser is responsible for direct-to-salon Footlogix® education (see a profile of Nikki here); and Tanya Palladina is the Footlogix® VP of sales.
The series was presented virtually via Zoom video conferencing. It was very important to us for the presentation to be professional and glitch-free, so we worked hard to ensure we were prepared to technically accommodate the large number of participants, as well as respond to any questions or issues. Each webinar was supported by five technical support team members who managed the chat room, answered private questions and emails, and responded to social media comments—in real time.
Has the response to the webinars been positive?
Yes! The response has far exceeded my expectations. We thought a few hundred or so people would sign up, but within three hours we had 780 registered and within 24 hours almost 3,000 had registered! In total, over 25,000 people attended the courses from all over the world.
Frankly, I’ve been overwhelmed. We’ve received so many positive emails and comments on social media from many different technicians—some new to the industry, as well as industry veterans with 30+ years of experience. All the comments and reviews have been phenomenal with many thanking us for the great education.
What do you hope will come out of this education when salons begin reopening in a “new normal”?
Well, I firmly believe that if you’re doing anything…be the very best at it. And the only way to really be the best in your field is to never stop learning. So, first and foremost, I hope that the participants gained valuable knowledge that can be directly and immediately applied to their business and services. And for the technicians who were previously unfamiliar with Footlogix®, I hope they were excited to discover Footlogix’s® transformational products and can’t wait to offer our benefits to their clients when services resume.
For Footlogix®, we’ve already seen a tremendous increase in new customers all over the world. We’re getting calls every day from technicians who were really impressed with what they’ve learned. We went into this to simply support our customers, but we never expected to get this much new business and we’re thrilled! I hope this education is the first step in building many, new and valuable relationships with customers and clients.
Click here to view a recording of Footlogix Product Knowledge.