If you receive any beauty trade magazine or are a member of a beauty forum, then you will probably see information about trade shows. So, what are they, and do you need to visit them?
Essentially a trade show, or exhibition, is a one or two day event where many of the major beauty suppliers come together to show off their wares. Each supplier has a stand where they sell products, equipment and training and demonstrate their new treatments. The shows also include nail and make-up competitions and seminars by industry experts.
Some shows are bigger than others and not all the major companies will be in attendance. These shows are very expensive to exhibit at, and so some companies find it better to save the cost and pass it on to their customers through their own special offers.
Ten years ago there were very few exhibitions during the year and so virtually all the major names in the industry would attend. There would be fantastic offers available to therapists that were only available at the show and they became a must-see event. These days there are so many shows that the exclusivity is no longer there and it is not cost-effective to make the same kinds of offers to customers.
Many show organisers have diluted the quality of the exhibitors in order to fill their stands, so in amongst the major beauty, skincare, waxing and nail companies you will also find handbag, teeth whitening and tarot card reading stands.
Should I Go?
That does not mean that the shows are not worth a visit. There are still deals to be had and if there is a company you particularly want to see it is advisable to check whether they will be there. The shows can be a great place to see, touch and smell the products properly. There are often treatments such as waxing, spray tans and eyelash extensions for you to try and there are some great demonstrations of new techniques.
The shows can also be a great place to network with other therapists too. Traditionally, the first day of a show, which is often a Sunday, is for therapists, whilst the second day has more students in attendance. Entry to the shows is free, you just need to apply for a ticket in advance.
Where Are The Shows?
The major shows that take place are:
- Professional Beauty London (Excel Centre, London) – February
- Scottish Beauty (Royal Highlands Centre, Edinburgh) – April
- Beauty UK (NEC, Birmingham) – May
- Professional Beauty North (Manchester Central, Manchester) – September
- Olympia Beauty (Olympia, London) – October
The shows can be great fun, just make sure you go prepared with some comfortable shoes and a big bag!