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Once again, Mandalay Bay Convention Center was where the action was for Cosmoprof, now in its 10th year (although many of us will refer to it as the BBSI for another 10 years).

The show floor was filled to capacity with stands and booths and this is with virtually every major hair company off the floor. The show cannot grow at Mandalay since there is no more space to be had. And we surely don’t want to go back to the Las Vegas Convention Center but those issues are those of others. July 14-16, 2013 is confirmed at Mandalay and most likely, the next few years as well.

Attendance although advertised up over 15% from 2011 seemed OK on Sunday and light on Monday. Clearly the Euro recession is in full bloom as there was little presence from across the continent. Asia and Canada were in full contingent along with regions in Mexico, Middle East and South America. I left early Tuesday so don’t have any feedback but most likely it was even lighter than Monday. The perfect clue is that on both Sunday and Monday, the Verandah restaurant at the Four Seasons was oversold for breakfast. On Tuesday, you could have a table of your choice, inside or out.

The show really kicked off Saturday night at the City of Hope dinner featuring George Schaeffer. Or should I say, the George Schaeffer dinner featuring George Schaeffer. Sure Al Green showed up in his really bad toupee and worn dancing shoes and Aretha Franklin for those that endured the midnight hour honked out 45 minutes of Motown. But the night was pure George and are no words that I can write that could translate into what happened for more than six and one half hours. Bottom line: More than twice the number of guests registered than any other City of Hope event and more than $5.4M was raised with George kicking in more than half of it. This was more than five times the previous record for net proceeds. With word that Reuben Carranza from P&G will be the 2013 honoree, P&G best start collecting  for every tube of Crest, box of Pampers and jar of Olay to make a company-wide $5M contribution.

This year’s show overkill theme was argon oil and gel polish. I guess it beats hair extensions and straightening products. There had to be 40 companies hawking argon oil and at least that many with gel polish. Let’s guess how many of each will be around at Cosmoprof in five years.

Of course the grand-daddy of argon oil is Moroccanoil and they dominated the private meeting area with a huge meeting room block, exhibit and private dining area for its distributors. One thing about MO is that everything they do is first class and with the introduction of their spa line, from $18 soap to $52 scrubs, first class is the only way they know.

Helen of Troy had a virtual city within the show floor and if Mandalay Bay had a retractable roof, the exhibit could have literally flown out. I could only imagine Art August’s expression when he signed off for the budget. But in the end, leaders do what leaders need to do and Hot Tools is still the #1 brand.

black 15in1 kicked off its first Cosmoprof with a huge booth presence and although it couldn’t get the island location it wanted, it still drew interest from more than 20 countries. It was truly exciting to see the brand recognition from those who stopped by and everyone commented on both the booth presentation and packaging. It is refreshing coming of the Premier show dealing with business people interested in investing in the brand versus watching people fill up rolling carts with close-out goods.

Tony Cuccio was very busy launching Cuccio Veneer and Lacquer. While already launched internationally, the U.S. launch is September. TNG is the exclusive master distributor for the U.S. and big plans are in the works for this huge launch. Already more than one million bottles have been sold and demand has been outstanding. In all, there are 24 Veneer shades and 72 Lacquer shades in the initial launch.

One thing very evident on the floor was the number of salons on the selling floor. Cosmoprof is not for salons and why they continue to let them into the show is a huge concern. There are plenty of beauty shows for salons to attend with one in Vegas just a month prior to Cosmoprof. Another concern is the number of companies setting up shop in hotel rooms. Yes space on the show floor is a lot more than a room you sleep in, but the inconvenience is not worth it. Next year none of our buyers will attend meetings in off-floor suites, we will utilize open meeting space on the show floor.

Monday night was all Moroccanoil. Once again they took over MIX atop TheHotel. Open premium bar and free flowing appetizers included sliders, shrimp skewers, and ahi tuna bites. There were more than 300 crowded into the space. About an hour into the event, MO held a business meeting and among other topics, handed out prizes to its top 12 salon consultants across the U.S.. Two each won a BMW and two each won a trip for two to Israel. Once again, MO showing off their class. After the business meeting, a buffet dinner was served.

All in all, Cosmoprof is the best all-purpose show to align companies within the beauty industry. Most likely, private on-floor meeting rooms will need to move to the second floor and NAHA needs to be moved to ISSE to get rid of the salon presence. And closing the show floor at 5:00PM on Monday would be nice as well.

Happy Wednesday!