This year’s Professional Beauty North was a roaring success, with visitors and exhibitors alike praising the show for its education, diversity and wide product offering. Some 14,792* visitors locked to the show on October 21-22, a marked increase on last year, to buy products from 600 brands, watch the latest treatment demos and put their Christmas orders in early.
Many key exhibitors commented that there were a lot more serious buyers in attendance, and that they opened a huge number of new accounts. James Gammage, head of sales and marketing at Crystal Clear, commented: “We’ve seen lots of new business walk through the door. Having dialect with these customers means we’ve picked up lots of quality leads. The North really is a booming area for beauty.”
Elemis’s area manager for the North West, Helen Roycroft, also reported strong sales – “the show is a brilliant way to meet existing business to show them what’s new and to meet with new customers to work with in 2019,” she said, while Louella Belle director Jamie Crook said his team had “made lots of new leads and sold tons of training courses”.
Georgie Smedley, managing director of Nail Harmony, said her stand was buzzing: “The footfall was really good. We’ve had a really lovely bunch of quality customers come to the stand.” Meanwhile, Phillip Marsh, director of The Eyelash Company, said the show gave the brand the chance to further cement its client relationships: “We’ve been able to catch up with our loyal customers who always come to the show and talk them through the new things we’re doing”.
BREAKING NEW GROUND
The enhanced spa zone was well received by exhibitors too, with the likes of Image Skincare, Sothys, Eye Taylor and Janssen Cosmetics all taking bespoke stands. Chris Gillam, managing director of Mary Cohr UK, which also exhibited in the new zone, said: “The bespoke stand worked really well for us and if we get just one or two new customers out of the event then it’s a very costeffective exercise. Although Manchester is officially the third biggest city in the UK, I think in reality it’s the second, which is why it’s important to be here.”
Krestyna Batty, international educator for Janssen Cosmetics, added: “It’s been the best show we’ve ever had. We got so many new accounts and it’s because the quality of people has been incredible.” Aromatherapy Associates also exhibited in this area and reported making strong contacts and getting good business leads with salons and spas in the North.
It’s fascinating, innovative and a great chance to meet old and new friends, as well as stock up on new products for the salon
Meanwhile, firsttime exhibitors said the show exceeded their expectations, with many planning to come back in 2019. Irina Kuzina, national manager UK for Nilo Spa Design, got 200 quality leads across the two days. “We never could have imagined how much quality is in the beauty world in Manchester. The Professional Beauty team really looked after us. We will 100% be back next year,” she said.
Other new additions also helped draw in the crowds, including major skincare brand QMS Medicosmetics. Marketing director Tejal Agrawal was very pleased with the result: “As a brand trying to gain coverage in the UK, we needed to exhibit. PB North had very knowledgeable customers and we’ve had really qualified leads come through.”
In response to feedback from visitors, the amount of business content was doubled at the show this year, with five live stages running across both days. Delegates were particularly impressed to see the diversity of the beauty industry represented in the education programme – including makeup and gender luidity on the Warpaint Stage.
Transgender blogger Sarah Burrows said: “Thank you for staging the show Professional Beauty. Being transgender, I was never judged and every stand welcomed me. This is why I love the beauty industry.”
As well as the quality of the content on the live stages, visitors enjoyed the ease of seeing and comparing the best brands under one roof, including big names CACI, Elemis and the International Institute for AntiAgeing (IIAA). This made their buying decisions effortless and enjoyable, as Daniel Mathews, owner of beauty salon Vanity Case in Crewe, explained. “The show gives you a good insight into the trends coming up in the industry. I come every year to see what’s new. It’s fascinating and a great chance to meet old and new friends, as well as stock up on new products” he said.
*Awaiting ABC audit
NEW FOR NETWORKING
The first Salon & Spa Networking Lunch took place on the Sunday of the show and brought together more than 50 industry professionals from across the UK, the majority of whom were salon and spa owners and managers.
In a series of intimate round-table discussions, delegates met to uncover the biggest challenges in the market and share the solutions that have worked for them. Topics under discussion included retailing, recruitment, financial management and marketing for client retention.
Attendee Lesley Caster, owner of City Retreat in Newcastle, said, “I think it’s great to be able to get together with other salon owners and managers and look at the common problems that we all share but usually have to face alone. It’s nice to get around a table to share ideas and help each other.”
Jenny Dunville, owner of Alexsa Beauty and Holistic Studio in Nottingham, added, “The first networking lunch was the primary reason we attended the show and it did not disappoint. It was so beneicial mixing with other businesses owners and I came home buzzing with new ideas.”
SHOW AND TELL
With double the amount of business advice on offer this year, the education programme at Professional Beauty North delivered lively debate and helpful solutions to all kinds of salon problems. 54 speakers shared their knowledge in five action-packed Live Stages and one closed group seminar programme.
The most popular talks were on the Business Skills stages. Many visitors gathered to hear Charli Jepson, salon manager at Hello Gorgeous and educator for distributor Nail Harmony, discuss the challenges of competing with value nail salons.
As a big industry name, Karen Betts, founder of HD Brows and Nouveau Beauty Group, naturally drew a crowd, with many wanting to know the secret to her success.
It was so beneficial mixing with other businesses owners and I came home buzzing with new ideas
The Professional Beauty Live Stage was applauded for its vast array of demos, giving visitors an insight into the latest brow, make-up, nail and tanning trends. MUA Mimi Lomax’s session on delivering Instagramperfect bridal make-up drew a crowd, while nail tech Kfirsty Meakin took many questions about how to create a popular online nail art tutorial.
On the Advanced Treatments Stage, aesthetic therapists learned how to integrate LED light therapy into facials, while advanced aesthetician Gemma Halil shared the skincare and treatment trends set to shake up the industry.
The Warpaint Stage gave MUAs practical advice on everything from on-set etiquette to the best ethical glitters, while things got personal in the Intimate Treatments Seminar, with waxers from across the UK listening to Sam Marshall, owner of The Beauty Guru, tackle common wax troubleshooting issues.
Meanwhile, lecturers debated the core issues facing colleges in the Education Forum, including attracting more students to the industry. Plus, new for this year and well-received were the Business Workshops in association with Salon Business Secrets, in which visitors left with a business action plan. PB
SAVE THE DATE
Professional Beauty North will return on October 13–14, 2019, at new venue EventCity