LAS VEGAS — Cosmoprof North America, which recently held its fourth annual convention from July 16-18 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center here, attracted more than 25,000 visitors and 675 exhibitors from the spa, wellness, beauty, packaging and raw materials industries. While attendance was good, it was not up markedly from last year’s show, according to Laura Zaccagnini, general director of SoGeCos, the organizer of Cosmoprof.

To beef up attendance, next year’s show promises to expand on its most popular sector, Wellness, and cater to hotel spa managers, destination and resort spas, as well as dietary supplement manufacturers. The Wellness pavilion drew 500 exhibitors this year, nearly doubling last year’s exhibitor turnout.

“Since more and more people are looking to go to one place where they can find all aspects, we’re thinking of a more holistic approach featuring everything from dietary supplements and vitamins to destination and day spas, so that the category will have a broader appeal,” said Zaccagnini.

Currently, the Wellness pavilion features professional skin care, spa equipment, and medi-spa supplies. Next year Cosmoprof plans to educate attendees by offering a broader range of classes on skin care products; nutrition and overall well-being, and business seminars featuring real estate investors who are interested in opening wellness centers.

Cosmoprof, which caters mostly to domestic companies looking for export opportunities, brought together exhibitors and international buyers and distributors. This year, however, there was an especially strong showing among international exhibitors, with 25 percent of exhibitors coming from abroad. Some first-time visiting countries included Jordan, Turkey, Austria, Egypt, Malaysia, Sweden, Singapore and the Philippines.

“Our show is much more diversified, with a bigger variety of products in various categories from wellness [and] fragrance to skin care,” said Zaccagnini, who noted that Cosmoprof North America has grown from a domestic trade show into an international exhibition. “We are looking to provide quality to our manufacturers and buyers as we match them to one another through our buyers’ program.”

Early next year, show organizers plan to expand even further with the Monaco Spa Event, which will be held Jan. 20-22.

This story first appeared in the July 21, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“Any person who wants to know more about the spa industry can come to Monaco and get the full picture. They can come in contact with spa consultants, suppliers, engineers, interior designers, cosmetics, spa managers and architects,” said Zaccagnini. “We hope to bring this expertise from the Monaco trade show and put it at the wellness disposal of our U.S. show, which is focused more on beauty and cosmetics.”

Next year, the North American global beauty trade show plans to showcase exhibitors from countries known for being wellness destinations, such as Thailand. The government of Thailand, Zaccagnini said, has already agreed to participate as a featured country in next year’s show.

In an effort to help European and American brands break into the China market, Cosmoprof will introduce its sixth show, Cosmoprof Shanghai, Jan. 31-Feb. 3. As the second trade show in China, Cosmoprof guarantees to preselect exhibitors, and it already has some 300 exhibitors lined up.

“The China market can represent a big opportunity for foreign brands, as long as the brands present themselves in the right setting. Chinese importers and end consumers have to know they’re getting the original brands from abroad and not counterfeit products,” said Zaccagnini. “It’s important to showcase brands and be able to say to major Chinese importers that ‘these are the real brands.’”

Next year’s Cosmoprof North America will be held July 15-17 in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

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