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Beautycon Festivals Get Bigger

The New York event will increase in square-footage and Los Angeles will get an extra day.

Beautycon Festivals are getting bigger.

The annual conventions — which serve as IRL meet-ups/parties for social media influencers and beauty lovers — will gain more time and space this year, said chief executive officer Moj Mahdara at Beautycon’s NewFront event last week in New York.

On May 20, Beautycon Festival New York will take more than 180,000 square feet in the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal — up from 55,000 square feet last year.  The Los Angeles event will be held over the course of two days — up from one last year — at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Aug. 12 and 13.

Beautycon is known for drawing large — and sometimes raucous — crowds. Last year in Los Angeles, WWD reported 15,000 people attended the event, where beauty brands set up installations to interact with content creators and fans.

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“In 2015, there were thousands of people that tore down the fences to get into Beautycon Los Angeles, and while it was a fiasco, it was one of the greatest moments of my career,” Mahdara said. “I knew we’d created something special — people selling fake tickets outside, security guards letting people in.”

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After four years of proving it can draw hordes of Millennials and Gen Zers to its events, Beautycon is planning to capitalize on its captive audience by introducing its new data, analytics and trend forecasting division, FOMO — for the uninitiated, that stands for “fear of missing out.”

“A number of brands have wanted to work with us over the years,” Mahdara said. “The question has always been, what’s the ROI? How are you measuring how impactful this activation is?”

Mahdara noted that tracking and analyzing data from the festivals via FOMO will be a key focus for Beautycon in 2017.

“Our goal is to provide unique marketing and talent strategies to help our partners engage with [Millennials and Gen Z],” Mahdara said.

One of these tools will be a system designed to help brands determine which influencers to align with. Another will be a beauty trend forecasting report, done in collaboration with Culture Co-op, a Gen-Z-focused agency.

Much of the insight will be drawn from the Beautycon Festivals, via things like wristband tracking, exit interviews and product purchases.

“The festivals are the biggest focus groups ever,” Mahdara said.

Beautycon also has a festival in London.