So, the world’s first independent scalp micropigmentation event took place on Friday 12th May. The Meeting Of Minds 2017 was hosted in the United Kingdom by Team Micro, at the beautiful Malmaison Hotel in Leeds.
What follows is a comprehensive summary of the main highlights, and our plans for the future.
Hosting a major event has always been an ambition of mine. Due to the fragmented nature of the scalp micropigmentation industry, comprised primarily of hundreds of independent technicians, running a clinic in this sector can be a little isolating. Guidance about techniques, materials, best or common practice, as well as general support and mentorship, is not easy to find.
Part of our mission at Team Micro is to change the culture of the industry by enabling each and every technician feel part of something bigger. We want technicians to collaborate, share knowledge and support one another because ultimately, its the customer that benefits.
It was abundantly clear that an open and collaborative event was required.
The initial concept
The decision to pull the trigger and organize an industry gathering was initiated primarily by Jemma Porter, my wife and colleague. Jemma handles our training and referral business and is heavily involved in our Certified program. The number of, and the nature of the industry related questions she regularly responds to, led us to believe that there was a large gap in the market for such an event, and certainly a strong appetite for one.
We set the following immovable criteria:
- The event was to be non-commercial and non-profit.
- The ticket price should make the event accessible to all.
- The focus of the event should not be Team Micro, but rather the industry as a whole. We didn’t want to make it about us.
We set the ticket price at £75 for the daytime only, or £150 for the event itself plus evening entertainment. We planned to host a small gathering of around 25-30 people. Our thoughts were to start small, capture some lightweight marketing from the event and grow it from there. We did no heavy advertising – just a post in our Facebook group and a single email campaign to our 15,000 subscribers.
The 30 tickets we allocated were sold within 3 hours. With a large number of people still wanting tickets, we renegotiated with the venue and switched the evening entertainment to a larger restaurant that could cater for our needs. We capped the event to 80 delegates, as per the maximum capacity allowed by the Malmaison, and within 5 days all the tickets were gone.
We had reached the maximum capacity the venue could cater for, and switching venues at this point was no longer an option. Had we continued selling tickets, I am confident we would have seen 120+ attendees at the 2017 event.
Many events offer demonstrations of work, however this was different. As most of those who joined us were already familiar with the process, with many treating clients on a daily basis, we wanted to provide an experience that they could use to expand their knowledge.
As most of you will know, there are two basic versions of scalp micropigmentation – permanent SMP, and shorter duration tricopigmentation. The differences between the two are the source of much confusion, with many technicians believing that the two techniques are the same and just use different pigments, when in fact, the two techniques are very different.
For this reason, we decided to stage the world’s first dual demonstration on live models to showcase the two techniques simultaneously. Tricopigmentation was performed by Pigmentalia Director Debbie Clifford (www.pigmentalia.co.uk), alongside a live demonstration of permanent SMP performed by Paul Clark of Brandwood Clinic (www.brandwoodclinic.com).
Both demonstrations raised huge interest, and both live models received world class treatments.
We were extremely fortunate to offer some of the most authoritative and experienced voices in the business, each covering a specific topic that they are highly passionate and knowledgeable about. In order of appearance, our speakers were as follows:
Founder, SMP Australia – www.smpadelaide.com.au.
Undoubtedly one of the most talented scalp micropigmentation technicians in the world, Caitlin provides a wealth of experience from the hair transplant industry, a sector intrinsically linked with the SMP industry on a number of levels, from complimentary densification procedures to scar camouflage.
A general knowledge of the various hair transplantation methods and their relevance to scalp micropigmentation is essential for every successful technician, so Caitlin provided incredibly useful information to enable delegates to better understand surgical hair restoration, and where SMP fits into the wider hair loss market.
Founder, Scalp Micro USA – www.scalpmicrousa.com.
Matthew heads the most successful scalp micropigmentation clinic in New York City, the world’s most competitive place in SMP terms. Winning customers is a perpetual challenge for any provider, yet Matthew has consistently won clients in large numbers whilst competing with a number of very strong competitors in NYC.
Covering a range of fundamentals, Matthew provided a valuable insight into his marketing program, and what has worked for him as he built the Scalp Micro USA brand into the successful company it has since become.
Founder, Team Micro – www.scalpguru.com.
During the ticket booking process, we provided an opportunity for delegates to share the challenges they face during the day to day running of their businesses. I tackled a number of these issues as discussion points, and we debated each topic between us with all delegates having the opportunity to share their points of view.
Founder, Dermagrafix Studio – www.dermagrafix.com.
Building a rock solid reputation is critical to the success of any scalp micropigmentation technician. Reputation management is challenging, highly complex and takes time to master.
As one of the most successful and respected micropigmentation technicians and trainers in the United States, Valerie Weber believes passionately in the importance of reputation, and shared with us some of the strategies she has used to build her own company, Dermagrafix.
Director, Brandwood Clinic – www.brandwoodclinic.com.
A veteran businessman with hands-on experience at the highest level, including working alongside Richard Branson daily at Virgin, David Andrews heads Brandwood Clinic, one of the world’s most respected and reputable scalp micropigmentation providers.
David believes passionately in collaboration and setting standards, and used the Meeting Of Minds 2017 to propose the launch of an independent non-profit organisation to set and monitor quality and service levels within the scalp micropigmentation industry, and to promote SMP to the world as a collective of providers.
Team Micro will support this initiative, and will utilise its platform to raise awareness of the project among prospective clients and technicians.
I make no secret of my desire to turn Team Micro into the biggest and most recognized brand in the scalp micropigmentation industry, worldwide. To this end we are launching a range of initiatives including Team Micro Technicians, Team Micro Training, the new Team Micro Store, Team Micro Live and of course, Team Micro Events.
Focusing on Team Micro Events, we are building on the success of our 2017 gathering by running two separate 2 day events in 2018 – one in the United Kingdom, and one in the United States.
Meeting Of Minds 2018 – UK event
This event is for two days, from Thursday 10th to Friday 11th May 2018. We are switching the location from Leeds to Manchester. This is to keep the event fresh, improve accessibility and to reinforce the message that our 2018 events will provide a different experience versus 2017. We do not intend to repeat our 2017 gathering but rather to build upon it, make the content more comprehensive and improve the format, whilst keeping the best aspects of 2017 that our delegates appreciated so much the first time around.
The venue is to be confirmed, but is likely to be a larger scale version of what we had in 2017. We are hoping that 120+ attendees will join us.
Meeting Of Minds 2018 – USA event
This event is also for two days, from Thursday 24th to Friday 25th May 2018. The location of our USA event is Denver, Colorado.
Our USA event meets a huge demand Stateside for tickets. A number of technicians from across North America attended our 2017 UK event, however it became obvious during the booking process that a similar event in the USA would be very well received. We chose Denver for a number of reasons:
- Denver is relatively central, accessible and neutral.
- We have a trusted man on the ground who can help with logistics.
- Many Americans have never been to Denver, and are likely to enjoy the opportunity to stay a little longer and enjoy the area.
- Rates are favorable versus NYC, LA etc.
2018 Ticket Prices
Meeting Of Minds is a non-profit event. To create a profit would be to miss the bigger picture of what we aim to achieve through the Meeting Of Minds, therefore please rest assured that we will never aim to profit from any Meeting Of Minds event.
We aim to break even and make these events cost-neutral. Our 2018 events cost more than our 2017 event as the events will run for two days instead of one, and are being held in locations that attract a higher premium.
Costs are as follows:
- Manchester – £400 per ticket (2 days, all inclusive).
- Denver – $525 per ticket (2 days, all inclusive).
Your ticket price includes morning coffee, entry to the event, buffet lunch, evening dinner, wine on the table and cocktails on both days.
Credits and thanks
The following video was used at the Meeting Of Minds, featuring content from a number of scalp micropigmentation providers. Full credit for the content is given here on YouTube.com.
This montage video was created by the team at Hair Tattoo By Hugues, our Belgian friends who attended the event. Thank you very much, we love it!
I would like to extend our gratitude to everyone who took time out of their schedule, and paid for travel and accommodation to attend the Meeting Of Minds. This was a landmark event that we hope will change the face of the industry for good, and appreciate your support very much.
Thank you also to our speakers and demonstrators. We are eternally grateful for your support, your expertise and your never-ending passion for what we are all trying to achieve.
We would be honored if you could join us again in 2018. We promise to deliver an event that provides all the best aspects of 2017, but also represents a huge advancement in terms of the content, the objectives and the value we provide.
We look forward to seeing you there!