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.
I began writing this trade show review just after Vivaness 2020, the world’s biggest organic beauty trade show, had ended. That was in late February and just a few weeks before Corona arrived in Europe.
Then came the lockdown and cancelled travel plans and all the rest of it, and other things in my life took priority – like tidying up my collection of cooking spices, cleaning out various cupboards and watching a lot of 1980s and 1990s TV series on DVD.
However, now that things in Germany have started to inch towards a precarious kind of (new) normality I decided that it was high time to finish this article. Which I did. Yay me. So if you detect a certain patchiness to this text that’s why: parts of it were written pre-Corona, the rest post-Corona. Or PreC and PostC. February and Vivaness seem like a very long time ago. Anyway.
This year’s Vivaness took place from 12th to 15th February in Nuremberg, a pretty medium-sized historic city in the Frankonia region of Germany. Vivaness and its sister trade fair Biofach (the biggest organic food products expo in the world) are an annual fixture on the European organic industry trade fair circuit.
The first Biofach show took place back in 1990 so this expo’s been around for 30 years. In 1999 the trade fair moved to Nuremberg and in 2007 Biofach’s organic beauty section was spun off into a separate trade show, Vivaness. The two trade fairs always take place in February and, incidentally, pretty much always in rain and snow. February in Nuremberg can be cold!
I was in Tokyo recently for the 8th edition of Japan’s largest retail cosmetics trade show: Cosme Tokyo 2020 took place from 20th-22nd January at Makuhari Messe. The trade fair had relocated from Tokyo Big Sight exhibition centre to Makuhari in Chiba prefectures a few years ago – in 2021, however, Cosme Tokyo will return to Tokyo Big Sight.
Anyway, Makuhari Messe is around 40 minutes by local train from Tokyo Station – i.e. good transport connections if you’re staying in the Chiyoda area. I had booked my hotel in Kanda (one stop away from Tokyo Station) so my daily commute to the trade show was very manageable.
As you can imagine, this year’s Cosmoprof Asia was massively overshadowed by the political situation in Hong Kong (#StandWithHongKong).
Many international exhibitors had cancelled their appearance at short notice, the majority of attendees from mainland China (one of the biggest visitor demographics for Cosmoprof Asia) also decided to skip the show this year; and so did quite a few international visitors.
I had booked my usual Wan Chai hotel in walking distance of HKCEC and my part of the neighbourhood remained fairly quiet this week so I felt pretty safe throughout my entire stay in Hong Kong. And I did enjoy Cosmoprof Asia 2019 despite everything!
Here, at long last, is my trade show review of Malaysia’s biggest beauty and salon C&T trade fair, Beauty Expo 2019 – and not a minute too soon (I’ll be leaving for Cosmoprof Asia/Hong Kong in a few days).
So let’s get started! Beauty Expo Malaysia is billed as South East Asia’s longest-running cosmetics trade show; it took place for the 19th time this year. And although the fair’s key focus are the Malaysian salon, makeup, hair and spa sectors there were still more than enough retail brands to keep me happy : )
Click on the link below to find out more about my favourite brand discoveries.
It was my first visit to Beyond Beauty ASEAN Bangkok (or BBAB for short) and – spoiler alert – it’ll also be my last BBAB. The reason: from 2020 onwards Beyond Beauty ASEAN will be combined with another key Thai beauty show (ASEAN Beauty) to form the latest addition to the Cosmoprof world of cosmetics trade fairs: Cosmoprof CBE ASEAN Bangkok (organised by BolognaFiere, Informa Markets and China Beauty Expo). These are the three of the biggest cosmetics trade show organisers in the world (and definitely the leaders in the Asian markets) so the new show is bound to be interesting, to say the least!
The reason why Cosmoprof CBE will continue to take place in Bangkok is simple: Thailand is the biggest beauty retail market in the ASEAN region and (excepting Singapore) it’s also the most highly developed ASEAN country. In fact, according to official figures by the Federation of Thai Industries, the Thai beauty and personal care market is growing strongly. In 2018, the market reached a total value of 6.2 billion USD, says Federation chairman Suphan Mongkolsuthree. And the industry grew 7% annually over the past six years making it the #1 export country amongst the largest export income earners in the ASEAN region.
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 my fourth visit to Cosmobeauty Seoul and I must say, this trade fair is getting better every year. The 2019 edition took place from 9th-11th April 2019 and it was so busy; it definitely felt much more crowded than last year. Official figures confirm this: according to the organisers 52,376 visitors attended the 2019 trade fair (last year’s Cosmobeauty attracted 50,673 attendees). And, on a personal note, there were so many Westerners/foreigners amongst the visitors this year!
I remember my first Cosmobeauty in 2016: there were just a handful of foreign faces then. I guess it goes to show how K-beauty continues to influence the international beauty industry. Or something. Anyway, if you’re interested in the trade show review of my previous visits, you can check out Cosmobeauty 2016, Cosmobeauty 2017 or Cosmobeauty 2018.
And here are the official facts and figures about Cosmobeauty 2019! The exhibition space reached 11,088 m2 this year and there were around 520 exhibition booths with a total of 373 exhibitors from 13 countries – a significant increase compared to the 2018 edition of the show with its 342 exhibitors. The majority of exhibitors – 308 companies – were Korean, the remaining 65 companies came from Europe, China, South East Asia and the US.
Cosmobeauty 2019 also felt a lot more trend-driven than the previous shows – exhibitors came from the organic/natural sector and from the green/clean category; there were several young millennial-style brands and quite a few start-ups. The organisers also added some exciting features in 2019: a new section was the “Rookies of the Year” showcase which introduced interesting new exhibitors and their product innovations. Altogether a very exciting show!
And now let’s jump straight in! Click on the link below to read about some of 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 : )
Cosmoprof Bologna becomes more fun every year. This was my third visit to the world’s biggest C&T trade show (well, the fourth if you count my Cosnova-sponsored overnight visit from 2016 – and while I’m at it, here are my trade show reviews from 2017 and 2018!).
By now I know the basic layout of the halls (although I still get lost in the CS (Centro Servizio – press office, event rooms, store, pharmacy, post office etc.) every single time because the different sections are just so badly signposted!).
I know which buses go to the trade show from the city centre (an important consideration when selecting my accommodation!) and, almost more importantly, which of these bus lines are diverted on the weekends because Bologna’s historic city centre turns into a pedestrian zone on Saturdays and Sundays.
And I can rest assured that I won’t need need to get morning espresso fix in the city before heading to the trade show centre (like I would in any German city) because the cafés in Bologna Fiera serve excellent espresso for 1.20 Euro and a 1 ½ littre bottle of water retails for 3 Euro. Water and caffeine, two trade show essentials!
Click on the link below for an overview of some of my favourite brand discoveries at this year’s Cosmoprof Bologna!