NEW YORK — Don’t expect to find the Beauty and Barber Supply Institute trade show this July in Las Vegas. Cosmoprof North America is heading for the Vegas strip.
Cosmoprof, an Italiantrade show that some consider to be the most well rounded and inclusive beauty event for the industry, has formed a partnership with BBSI and is bent on raising the bar with a complete beauty show that is designed to be more prestigious and easier to navigate than previous efforts.
In short, everything has changed.
Cosmoprof’s reputation as the best-attended beauty trade show — its Bologna event is the world’s largest — is helping garner exhibitors and attendees to its North American debut. Running from July 27-30 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, more than 600 exhibitors are expected to spread out over 190,000 square feet. Cosmoprof, which is organized by Italy-based SoGeCos SpA, has teamed up with BBSI, an association of salon distributors, the usual hosts of the summer show, for its North American debut. Cosmoprof also hosts annual shows in Asia and South America.
The most obvious changes to this year’s event will be the clearly divided sections of cosmetics and toiletries, packaging, wellness, professional products and a demonstration forum.
“It is very important to know that Cosmoprof North America is not about hairdressers,” said Laura Zaccagnini, general director of Sogecos, referring to BBSI’s show format, which catered exclusively to the salon industry.
Cosmoprof, on the other hand, targets nearly every role in the beauty industry from manufacturers, distributors, importers, exporters, manufacturer representatives to chain salons, salon owners, salon managers, hair stylists, nail technicians, estheticians, massage therapists, cosmetology school owners and students. Also scouting the aisles will be buyers from department stores, specialty stores and chain drug stores, such as Eckerd and Rite Aid. Kmart and Target buyers are expected to visit the show, too. And now each attendee will be able to easily navigate through the large floor plan, since each pavilion will be dedicated to specific product categories.
Pavilion A will feature international cosmetics companies, with businesses representing Spain, Germany, Israel, Italy and China, many of which are seeking U.S. distribution. On display will be a gamut of finished products from prestige department store fragrances to color cosmetics.Cosmetic Lab, for example, a Paris-based company, is seeking a U.S. distributor to launch its Elyor skin care line, which is sold in France, Italy and Hong Kong. Elyor products target the upper segment of the market with upscale packaging and silky formulas that are comprised of fruits and plant extracts.
Pavilion A will also feature health products, hair accessories and home decor items.
In pavilion B, packaging, contract manufacturing and private label exhibitors will be found. Design agencies and packaging machines round out the pavilion’s exhibitor list.
In pavilion C, wellness, professional skin care, spa products and equipment will be presented. Everything from suntanning lamps to electro-stimulation accessories and hydro-massage baths will be there, in addition to complimentary wellness education seminars. Featured speakers include Dr. Howard Murad, Amby Longhofer of DermaNew and Lydia Sarfati of Repechage Spa. A spa demonstration stage will also be in pavilion C, highlighting the newest product spa lines and spa treatments.
Everything needed to stock the shelves of a salon will be featured in pavilion D. Hair care, tools for hairdressers, professional clothing, scissors, razors and products for nail reconstruction will be offered there.
However, several key professional hair care companies, such as L’Oréal Professionel and Clairol Professional, will not be exhibiting.
Hair stylists will have an entire area, pavilion E, completely dedicated to them. There they will be able to see and learn the latest hair innovations at Looks Mainstage & Expo. Looks features international artists from the UK, Spain, Japan and the U.S. in 90-minute hair and fashion presentations.
Hair stylists will also be able to sit in on several complimentary hair education seminars. For example, stylists could learn the latest in Japanese hair straightening from Fernando Romero of Bio Ionic, a hair straightening company he founded.
Classes for nail technicians abound at Cosmoprof, with presentations by OPI, Creative Nail Design, NailCare and Seche, running throughout the day on Sunday and Monday.
Staying true to Cosmoprof’s new layout, attendees and exhibitors will only be allowed to enter spaces according to what their badge permits.
“No hairdressers will be able to enter other sectors besides Looks, not because we don’t like them, it’s just that if you have the correct badge you will be able to access your area of your interest exclusively,” said Zaccagnini.Moreover, Italian style has been injected into the look of the exhibitor booths. First to be tossed aside was the old pipe-and-drape decor. “It looked dreadful,” Zaccagnini said, adding that Cosmoprof was insistent companies take their raw space and build it into a prestige-type booth, or take one of Cosmoprof’s turnkey booths with three 2.5-meter walls. Decor guidelines were also instituted to help differentiate one area from another.
Cosmoprof is also issuing advertising communications to promote and explain each area.
“This is not technical, it’s marketing — it’s the way you introduce your company and it’s important,” Zaccagnini said.
Zaccagnini said it took “months to make [BBSI’s usual exhibitors] understand this concept.” But other exhibitors, especially those familiar with Cosmoprof’s flamboyant flavor, are used to the guidelines and are even looking forward to making a dramatic booth impression for their American debut.
Davide Bollati, founder and chief executive of Parma, Italy-based beauty company Davines Group, is spending nearly $300,000 on the construction of his 1,800-square-foot booth. He’s hired architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron of Basel, Switzerland, the recipients of the 2001 Pritzker prize, to construct the Davines booth.
“In Europe we are used to this type of investment,” Bollati said. “This is a conference where you will meet with your best clients and distributors. And, because we are in cosmetics, I think [our image] is about a sense of beauty and aesthetics.”
The booth will be constructed of embossed stretched metal and will feature a wellness, styling and shopping space.“Each area is a vision of the salon in the next five years,” Bollati said.
The upscale feel of Cosmoprof is sure to take many of BBSI’s usual attendees by surprise.
“It’s not a BBSI event anymore,” said Steve Sleeper, BBSI’s chief executive and executive director. “A lot of members are excited about it and have embraced the new format. They knew our convention was diminishing and there was less and less need for a buyers conference. Some are grappling with the changes…but I am sure we will look back 10 years from now and be happy,” Sleeper added.
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