Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna's press conference in Milan.

MILAN — Third time’s a charm — or so hope organizers of Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna, which on Tuesday announced the cancellation of its annual edition.

Originally slated to run March 12 to 16, the leading beauty trade show was first postponed to June 11 to 15 and then slated to run Sept. 3 to 7 in Bologna, but in light of the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the format’s organizer BolognaFiere Cosmoprof SpA has forgone the 53rd edition, which will now take place in spring 2021. Exact dates of the event have yet to be defined.

“The current economic scenario and global COVID-19 emergency require us to postpone Cosmoprof to next year. It has been a tough decision, but our main goal now is safeguarding exhibitors and operators, enabling them to present themselves to the market at their best,” said BolognaFiere’s president Gianpiero Calzolari. “In the meanwhile, Cosmoprof will not stop. Our goal is the relaunch of the cosmetic industry and, in the upcoming months, we will maximize our skills to facilitate the natural connection between manufacturers and buyers, thus giving new lifeblood to the sector.”

As part of this commitment, Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna will present a digital format to ensure a continuity of business relationships among beauty operators. Dubbed “WeCosmoprof,” the virtual event will run June 4 to 10 and has been developed with the support of the Italian ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the ITA-ICE Italian Trade Agency and Cosmetica Italia.

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“WeCosmoprof is our concrete contribution to the restart of economic activities for exhibitors and operators in our community,” said Enrico Zannini, general manager of BolognaFiere Cosmoprof. The executive underscored the role of the trade show, which “has been a connection provider for over 50 years, a business facilitator all over the world, and it has based its uniqueness on the importance of physical networking between supply and demand. In a scenario imposing limits on travels and physical interactions, our role requires us to offer alternative opportunities.”

The digital format will offer exhibitors and buyers registered to the Cosmoprof online community a virtual environment not only to facilitate their networking but also to enable them to access insightful content and livestreaming demonstrations.

The prime, business-oriented focus will be enabled via the Cosmoprof My Match software, offering private virtual rooms for product and services’ presentations as well for order and contracts’ negotiations.

In addition to the match-making platform for B2B activities, the CosmoTalks Virtual Series will showcase a schedule of 30 webinars hosted by industry experts, while the Cosmo Virtual Stage will feature training sessions and demonstrations addressed to professionals operating in hair salons, barber shops, beauty centers and spas.

The additional #dontstopbeauty initiative launched on Cosmoprof’s web site and social accounts will provide further insights to professional operators wishing to reopen their stores with a new approach as it will collect posts, videos and tips by the fair’s exhibitors.

In particular, during the digital event, subscribers of the Cosmoprof web site will be able to have access to information of more than 3,000 exhibitors, as well as to an exclusive digital catalogue showcasing more than 800 Italian exhibiting companies, with a special focus on products presented for the first time on the market. To enhance the engagement of an international audience, the digital inventory will be available in multiple languages, including Italian, English, French, Chinese, Arabic and Portuguese.

The Italian Trade Agency will support the promotion of the WeCosmoprof event collaborating with the organizers on the launch of digital marketing campaigns globally.

“We are committed to strengthening our activities and support to the national trade shows focusing on key international markets,” confirmed ITA’s president Carlo Ferro, who believes a growing digital transformation will mark the evolution of post-COVID-19 consumption trends and will be essential for the recovery of national businesses.

As reported, the Italian Trade Agency is at the forefront of the creation of virtual exhibitions as a support to real-life events. Among other emergency measures implemented to aid firms, the agency is giving free assistance to the companies with fewer than 100 employees in the search of local distributors and partners in the international markets and investing 20 million euros to reimburse Italian companies the costs of canceled trade shows abroad, while special offers will be dedicated to those firms which will attend international fairs it promotes until the end of 2021.

Cosmoprof is not the only Italian beauty event to have forgo its annual edition. Milan-based artistic perfumery show Esxence also postponed its dates to next year, when it will be staged from Feb. 11 to 14 at the MiCo — Milano Convention Centre venue.

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