Alas, the changes were both peculiar and “cosmetic” at the same time. The show floor was divided into three sections: Professional; Retail; and Packaging. Pretty much the same exhibitors were scattered on the show floor in different locations. Peculiar was the fact they had these “incubator” beauty companies that were launching at Cosmoprof. Their location was in the main aisle with significant signage and marketing focus. Apparently the exhibitors that had multiple booth space were secondary in importance. Further it made the show feel like a shopping mall: Kiosks outside retailers trying to sell knick-knacks of all sorts. It certainly dumbed down the significance of the show.
For exhibitors Cosmoprof continues to fail to impress compared with other national Top 200 shows. The aisle carpet didn’t even come close to touching the booths which created many tripping hazards. Access to water and coffee is through stands only at $5 a pop. And why the show is open on Tuesday is dumbfounding since only exhibitors are walking the show floor.
The relocation of exhibitors was not understood. And why rep groups earned the best location is an interesting take on the industry. No other Top 200 show allows rep groups on the show floor and why Cosmoprof allocated so much space for them is questionable. Also unlike top shows, exhibitors are not given a pre-show registration list of show attendees with their email address and company information. This show is still geared more towards a typical cash and carry show.
With Mandalay Bay doubling down its convention business, space will be available for a much larger show. However I don’t see the show growing and in fact, the allocated space was not used. The continued policy of allowing companies to take suites off the show floor again downgrades the importance of the event. It’s time for all companies to be required to be on the show floor and allow attendees to stay on the show floor and not run to meetings off-site.
Another reality is that NAHA still takes place during Cosmoprof. Why? Further, salons are allowed on the show floor if they are PBA members. Why? It’s still not clear what Cosmoprof N.A. really wants to be.
One thing for certain is that beauty is more important than ever and will continue to grow. Retailers are increasing their space for beauty. Distributors are seeking products to take over the business from legacy companies. And with Coty’s acquisition of P&G brands, the industry is prime for a make-over.