My first trade fair report since the Corona pandemic hit Europe in spring 2020! As I’m finishing this article Europe is knee-deep into the second wave of Covid-19. Germany is now in its second (or third? It’s difficult to keep track) consecutive lockdown and it doesn’t look like the situation is going to improve anytime soon.
At least the Asian C&T trade fair circuit is slowly starting up again. The organisers of Cosme Tokyo fair, for example, have annouced that the January trade show will take place as a hybrid event (13th to 15th January; offline in Tokyo’s Big Sight expo centre and online in cyberspace). I already signed up for the virtual edition!
However, Cosmoprof Asia Digital Week (CADW) in November 2020 was probably the first fully digitalised beauty trade fair to have taken place since Covid-19 appeared on the scene. I enjoyed the event tremendously – organisers Bologna Fiere and Informa Markets did a great job – and when I go through my Instagram trade show coverage, it really does look and feel like I attended a real-life trade fair.
Anyhow, the first virtual edition of Asia-Pacific’s biggest C&T trade show Cosmoprof Asia took place from 9th to 17th November 2020. Originally the fair dates were 9th to 13th November, but the event turned out to be so successful in terms of scheduled business meetings and video chat traffic that the organisers extended the show for another few days.
And if you’re interested in what the usual offline Cosmoprof Asia trade fairs are like, check out my trade show reports from the last years – Cosmoprof Asia 2014, Cosmoprof Asia 2015, Cosmoprof Asia 2016, Cosmoprof Asia 2017, Cosmoprof Asia 2018 and Cosmoprof Asia 2019.
This was my third visit to China Beauty Expo, the biggest C&T trade fair in mainland China, and every year the show becomes more manageable. Don’t get me wrong, it is still huge: in 2019 there were more than 3,500 exhibitors, 27 exhibition halls and 50 VIP halls (mostly tents) on a quare footage of 260,000 sq m. CBE is also still super crowded – tickets are free and anyone can attend, i.e. there’s no trade visitor accreditation; simply turn up, fill in a form and that’s it. However, I now know what to expect and that’s makes things much easier.
China Beauty Expo 2019 took place in the Shanghai New Exhibition Centre (SNIEC) in Pudong, just like last year. I do like the layout of this trade show centre – it might be massive but the triangular shape of the fair grounds make navigation easy and you can just cut across the grassy enclosure if you’re in a hurry. For more info on SNIEC, the hall layout and what the whole CBE experience is like, check out my show reports of China Beauty Expo 2017 and China Beauty Expo 2018.
And now, click on the link below to read more about China Beauty Expo 2019 and my favourite brand discoveries!
This was a bit of an impromptu trade show visit! Visiting the big Chicor flagship in Gangnam I discovered Korean skin care brand Toun28, started following them on Instagram and saw in their Instastories that they were exhibiting at a COEX event called Getitbeautycon this weekend.
Then I googled Getitbeautycon and found out that this is an annual beauty expo organised by popular Korean cosmetics reality show, Get it Beauty. As you might expect Getitbeautycon is a lifestyle-ey event rather than a serious trade show – hordes of Korean beauty bloggers, Q&As with celebs and influencers, brand promotions and activities, live makeovers and workshops, freebies and selfie corners; you get the idea : )
I really wanted to get the opportunity to look at the Toun28 products in more detail (the Chicor only had a partial selection) so I decided to check out the expo, and I’m so glad I went! I spent most of Sunday at the show and really enjoyed myself, discovered some interesting new brands and even met some old favourites.
Click on the link below for pictures and brand discoveries from the 2019 edition of Getitbeautycon! Spoiler alert: if you follow me on Instagram you’ll have seen these brands in my feed already. However, I can be so much more expansive in a blog article than within the restrictive Instagram word limit : )
Cosme Tokyo is getting bigger and better every year. The 2019 edition of Japan’s largest trade show for retail cosmetics featured 780 exhibitors from 35 countries. And over 25.000 visitors attended during the three days of Cosme Tokyo and its sister fair, Cosme Tech.
It was one busy and very cool show! My Insta feed shows almost 30 mini brand/product profiles which is usually my Cosmoprof Asia average! Anyway, it was an exciting trade fair: I met a lot of interesting new brands (and some old favourites). And if you’re interested: here is my Cosme Tokyo 2018 show report.
For more on my favourite brand discoveries and the key trends at Cosme Tokyo 2019, click on the link below!
On my very last afternoon in Hong Kong I visited beauty retailer Mi Ming Mart‘s Causeway Bay outlet.
It was actually a recommendation by someone I had met at Cosmoprof Asia trade show the previous day: Sophie from Hong Kong-based organic beauty distributor Aura HK – the company’s portfolio includes European brands like Dr. Hauschka, Melvita, Sanoflore, Flow Cosmetics and Avril – suggested that I check out Mi Ming Mart, a clean beauty store chain founded by a Chinese beauty KOL (Key Opinion Leader = Influencer). It sounded intriguing (and I do love me some female entrepreneurship!) so I went – and Mi Ming Mart is indeed a fascinating retailer.
The first Mi Ming Mart was opened in 2009, so the company has been a mainstay of Hong Kong’s niche beauty retail scene for almost a decade. Founder Erica Yuen is a former beauty queen turned social media icon/celebrity who was also active in local politics between 2011 and 2016 – she is the co-founder of Hong Kong’s radical pro-democracy party Power Voters and from 2013 to 2016 served as chairperson of the pro-democracy People Power party before focusing on further expanding her retail business.
Which she seems to have been doing successfully: in February 2018 Mi Ming Mart was listed on the Growth Enterprise Market (GEM) of Hong Kong’s stock exchange. According to parent company Inwell International’s annual report, group revenue grew 19.3% to HKD 123.4 million in the financial year ending March 2018 – a result which can be traced back to the opening of three new retail stores (Quarry Bay, Tuen Mun and Tseung Kwan O) and the strong performance of skin care sales. The company’s gross profit climbed 18.4% to HKD 74.8 million over the same period.
For more information on the company and the store click on the link below!
Well, Vivaness 2018 has come and gone. The 11th edition of the trade fair took place from 14th to 17th February 2018 together with sister show Biofach, the biggest organic food trade show worldwide. I actually had to go through my old show reports to count how many times I’ve attended this trade show; 2018 was my fifth Vivaness visit.
In total there were 3,218 exhibitors at both shows (275 of these companies and brands were Vivaness exhibitors) which is a big increase compared to 2017 – check out my show reviews for Vivaness 2014, Vivaness 2015, Vivaness 2016 and Vivaness 2017.
This year’s trade fair seemed to feature more small and newcomer brands than previous years (especially in the newcomer Breeze exhibition area) which was fabulous – after all, this is one of the main reasons why I love visiting trade shows: new brand discoveries!
Which is also why this show review will focus on international niche and start-up brands (many of which you’ll recognize from my Instagram feed). Also, with a few exceptions, these are all brands that I’ve never written about on trend-traveller, so this is quite exciting for me as well. I’ve grouped the brands by country, but in no particular order.
And now, click on the link below to read more about my favourite brand discoveries at Vivaness 2018!
I first came across Hong Kong-based beauty company Kimature at China Beauty Expo 2017 in Shanghai this May and was immediately intrigued by this unusual organic beauty brand. Not only are Kimature’s products based on TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) plant extracts but the brand’s cosmetics are manufactured right there in Hong Kong with locally sourced herbal ingredients.
When I was in town a few months ago for Cosmoprof Asia 2017 I met up with founder Kim Chen and her husband Edward Ian and asked them a bunch of question about their company. Click on the link below for more information about Kimature’s products and the concept behind the brand.
Today I visited organic perfumery chain Cosmekitchen’s Naturopathy outlet in Shinjuku’s luxury Newoman department store to check out the aromatherapy fragrances of Japanese organic perfume brand Tokotowa Organics. I had met the founder of Tokotowa’s parent company Organic Styles at the Natural Cosmetics Conference 2017 in Berlin just last month – and of course I was immediately interested. A Japanese aromatherapy brand? Cool!
I just returned from a few days in Bucharest. It was my second visit to the Romanian capital and we were so lucky with the weather this time: very warm, blue sky and sunshine. Beautiful! And perfect weather for sight-seeing.
Most of my time was spent sauntering around the area between Calea Victorei, Piata Romana, Bulevardul General Gheorghe Magheru and Piata Universitatii. I also visited the Museum of Art Collections and sampled the new cocktail menus of my two favourite Bucharest bars (Fixmad and Origo by Night – Origo is a café which turns into an experimental cocktail bar after 8pm!).
I also discovered the recently opened craft beer pub Fabrica de Bere Buna (and became a firm fan of Romanian craft brewery Hop Hooligans in the process!) and in between I actually got some work done (mostly in Ted’s Coffee Co in University Square which has excellent espresso and strong wifi).
Also on my must-do list of things for this visit to Bucharest: check out organic beauty store MioBio!
I just returned from a short city trip to Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. The city is absolutely worth a visit: a compact old town center which is perfect for walking around all day, with a wonderful hodge-podge of architectural styles (art nouveau/1930s/1950s and later). Most of the buildings are still very much in disrepair and/or graffitied/vandalised but enough houses have been renovated and restored that you can see the beauty of the cityscape.
My first visit to Sofia was in 2008 and back then the city looked a lot more – well, let’s say: unfinished! Today there is an almost palpable creative energy: new cafés and bars are opening in beautifully renovated historic buildings and small art galleries, fashion boutiques and maker/design stores are popping up everywhere.
And organic beauty/food retail chain Zoya is a perfect example of this new kind of urban development. The Bulgarian company’s first store was opened in 2009 which, presumably, makes Zoya one of Sofia’s organic retail pioneers. Today, Zoya operates three stores in Sofia as well as a flourishing online shop.