The greatest no-show on earth: How beauty suppliers overcame a trade event-free year

By Julia Wray | Published: 23-Oct-2020

Trade shows facilitate interaction between multiple providers and clients over the course of just a few days, as well as providing education and inspiration. But, given that the Covid-19 pandemic has put so many of these live events on ice, how have cosmetic ingredients manufacturers adapted?

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Until March 2020, trade expos like the in-cosmetics family of events and the various Cosmoprof shows were key diary dates in the beauty calendar.

Such live events have always been highly valuable to companies supplying the industry. Lasting just two or three days, they facilitate meetings with multiple customers and potential customers; allow for the promotion of new launches via booth display and press liaison; and provide a platform to explain the technology behind their standout products to decision makers.

Last year, the mighty Cosmoprof/Cosmopack Bologna – which brings together cosmetic packaging, contract manufacturing and finished cosmetics and fragrance, as well as hair, nail and beauty salon goods – enjoyed record numbers, with attendance hitting 265,000.

On the ingredients side, meanwhile, 843 companies exhibited at the Paris-based in-cosmetics Global in 2019 with more than 12,300 visitors coming through the doors, according to Cathy Laporte, Portfolio Director of in-cosmetics at Reed Exhibitions.

So, given how useful these mini metropolises are for both relaying information and building relationships on a large scale, how have ingredients suppliers managed to go for nearly a year without any taking place?

Cosmetics Business got in touch with some industry leaders to find out.

Helpful, but not essential

Most companies operating in the cosmetic ingredients sphere exhibit at upwards of 15 different events per year, with some setting up 20 booths across the 12 months.

Swiss-based cosmetic ingredients supplier Mibelle Biochemistry, for instance, was only able to attend two shows out of an anticipated 15 physically this year, Managing Director, Fred Zülli told Cosmetics Business.

Croda Europe’s Marketing Communications Coordinator Matthew Anderson, meanwhile, says that Croda was scheduled to attend 15 events in the EMEA region alone in 2020.

“These events are usually the place where we can not only introduce new personal care products to the market, but they are also a great way for us to introduce new ingredients to our customers personally,” Anderson says.

However, while he acknowledges that live events and meetings are “important”, he emphasises that they are “not the only way of staying in touch with customers”.

“Digital or online has always been another way of connecting with customers, and we have seen that customers are happy to connect virtually, too.”

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