Trade Shows

Trade ShowsTrade shows  are designed for beauty industry professionals to energize  the workforce, communicate new trends and  demonstrate new products, market packaging  and  product lines, and  organize industry interests related  to consumers and government policies. Trade shows  may be huge  international and national conferences  open  only to professional trade  associations, regional and  local shows  catering  to a wide range  of specialties within  the industry, or company conventions specifically targeting their  own workforce and product lines.

Professional and Company Shows

Among  the  largest  of trade  shows  are those  that  cater  to industry professionals only. Premiere Vision,  held  biannually outside of Paris, is a textile show  that  has tremendous influence on U.S. beauty companies seeking to determine the upcoming trends and  colors.  The  attendance at this  show  helps  explain  the  somewhat uniform and similar direction of the product lines developed by the largest beauty manufacturers; they all get their  inspiration at the same place. Cosmoprof, which has been  held  in Italy each April for over 40 years, has an attendance of approximately  100,000 and  showcases mostly  European suppliers with  a side emphasis on packaging. This  show  attracts those  companies with a more  international clientele or that have a significant European market share. Cosmoprof has expanded beyond its strictly  European locales  to Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Las Vegas.

The  Health and  Beauty America  (HBA) Global  Expo, launched in 1993,  is the largest industry gathering in the United States, held annually in June in New York, and concentrates on U.S.-made products and suppliers. It holds  seminars on current  industry lobbying efforts,  has  large  packaging displays,  and  illustrates the intense organization that  is a hallmark of the trade  associations’ efforts to further the  interests and  profit  of the  industry. This  show  is not  known for the  glitz and glamour frequently associated with  other events  open  to the  general  public, but concentrates on the no-nonsense side of the industry. The  HBA also offers midyear conferences focusing on  specific  areas:  the  marketing, technical, and  other aspects of the business.

Specific companies also run  their  own  conferences and  seminars in the  trade show  format  that  highlight their  individual product lines, host  training seminars, and usually  include inspirational sessions to boost and build  enthusiasm in their sales  representatives. The  top  pyramid-structure companies such  as Avon  and Mary Kay Cosmetics are especially  effective in their  use of company gatherings. Avon has had  great success through three  specific small shows:  Grand openings are promotional events for Avon representatives to build their individual business by publicizing new  market locations and  starting business demonstrations, and also act as localized  focus groups for representatives to monitor their  customers’ interests. Boot  camps  target  new  representatives with  training sessions to  help them develop  their  businesses and  to establish sales goals.  Beauty  bashes focus on  demonstrations of how  to use  Avon  cosmetics. Mary  Kay runs huge  seminars  for their  annual conventions. Their sales force  has  become so big that  the company has  split the  conventions into  five separate gatherings, titled  Sapphire, Ruby,  Emerald, Pearl,  and  Diamond. These jewels in Mary  Kay’s crown  heavily emphasize company promotion, inculcation of company philosophy, and  building the  sisterhood that  characterizes their  sales  force. Their support system  for sales representatives has  created a strong network of women in control of their own businesses and that  illustrate strong diversity across  the nation.

Specialty Shows

Specialty  shows  cater  to salon  professionals, students, and  consumers in specific areas of the beauty  industry, such  as hair, nails, and product lines. Specialty  shows often  also  target  localized  markets, such  as those  held  in particular states.  They may  be combination shows  such  as Natural Products Expo  West,  which  highlights both beauty  and food products made  from natural ingredients. The  natural cosmetics market is believed to be growing by as much as 20 percent per year. The World Natural Hair Show demonstrates chemical-free hair treatments and special interest grooming for ethnic customers. The  Proud Lady  Beauty  Show,  held  in Chicago, was  founded by American Health and  Beauty  Aids  Institute in  1981; it represents one  of the  few American industries mainly  founded and  fueled  by African Americans. The  show is the largest in the Midwest dedicated to the needs of the black beauty  community of cosmetologists, barbers, and nail technicians.

Beauty  industry trade   shows, like  other  professional conferences, demonstrate  a clear  purpose: building the  industry. They  are  quite  effective  tools  for professional networking, recruitment, the  spread of innovation, and  marketing. They  also  illustrate the  broad   diversity  of  the  industry’s interests, customers, and  sales force,  and  the  pervasiveness of grooming interests in all walks of life. Trade shows  are  big business. Because  of the  organizational skill necessary to run  large conventions, beauty  trade  shows  are organized and  run  by small  and large companies that  specialize  in them; these  companies market the shows  and publicize their  locations, registration, and  accommodation information on  the World  Wide Web.

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