PB London 2019
Professional Beauty London has cemented its reputation as the go-to event for serious buyers in the beauty, spa and wellness industries, with an incredible 29,017* visitors flocking to the show at ExCeL on February 24–25 to see what’s trending.
More than 800 brands exhibited their latest wares, demoed new treatments and offered exclusive discounts you can’t get anywhere else, with visitors seeing it as a prime opportunity to make sizeable investments that will help their businesses thrive. All this sat alongside a world-class education programme and an abundance of networking opportunities, making it the event of the year for many.
“If you’re working in the beauty industry then it’s important to know what’s happening around you and you have the opportunity to learn all that under one roof here,” said Susan Gerrard, founder of Gerrard International, which distributes brands including Jessica and Spongellé, and manufactures Mii.
Exhibitors praised PB London for having a lot of serious salon and spa owners in attendance – from both the UK and across the world, all of whom were looking to expand their services as well as develop relationships with their current product houses. CACI’s stand was busy from the minute the doors opened and, as a result, the company sold lots of machines, while first-time exhibitor All White Laser said exhibiting opened the company up to a “new experience” where the team met lots of new and existing clients.
Lyndess Lucas, head trainer for Aroma Works, believes the show was one of the best yet, saying, “It’s been really good. We were rushed off our feet on both the wholesale and retail side, plus we had an influx of potential new clients.” Meanwhile, waxing brand Ashmira Botanica was so busy on the first day of the show that a lorry had to bring more products from Somerset so managing director Tracey Smith could refill the stand.
“PB London attracts some of the best crowds throughout the UK for any beauty show”
The breadth of visitors from all industry sectors also impressed. “We met lots of businesses from all over the country – so not just the traditional spas and salons, but hotels, boutiques and all types of spa industry professionals,” said Gemma Dobson, business manager for French skincare brand Caudalie.
This was seconded by Novalash’s head of education, Zachary Falb, who said being at the show was a must for the lash-extension brand: “It attracts some of the best crowds throughout the UK for any beauty show and we get the best results when we are here.”
Rebecca Wisbey, UK business development manager for skincare brand Payot, said the brand’s stand was buzzing all weekend and distributor Sweet Squared had a “fabulous” show, while Chris Gillam, managing director of Guinot Mary-Cohr UK, noted that the Guinot franchise stand took a dozen quality leads on just the Sunday “and we’re really excited about it”. He added: “Our franchising model is a big deal for us, so if a couple of people decide to convert because of PB London then I will be jumping for joy.”
New additions to the show also helped to draw in the crowds, and for these first-time exhibitors it couldn’t have gone better. “This was our first PB London show and it’s been very productive. Meeting spa owners in a professional show environment enables us to discuss what we do in detail. We will attend the show again in the coming years,” commented Giles Darmon, director of Klafs Wellness & Guncast.
As well as a fleet of fresh exhibitors on the main show floor, this year’s event provided a launchpad for product lines that are completely new to the UK. The New Brands Showcase included niche and specialist brands, curated to give beauty professionals the opportunity to find a partner that could provide their business with a point of difference from competitors. Visitor Samantha Humberstone, owner of Lotions n Potions salon in Sheffield, said: “I absolutely loved the section with the new and smaller companies. I met some great new suppliers for my salon”.
Other visitors commented that clearly defined new areas such as this improved the flow around the exhibition. Stefani Ernst, founder of Be You Beautiful salon in Kent, said: “It was a great show. So many fabulous pro brands, products and demos. It felt really comfortably spaced out and the show sections were a great idea, made it all easier to navigate.”
The spa section was also significantly strengthened this year, with new fitness suppliers looking to tap in to the growing demand for a 360-degree approach to wellness in spas. Matrix Fitness demoed its wellbeing-focused MX4 training system, while Jordan Fitness launched a compact workout unit suited to smaller spa spaces and Technogym pledged its support for the event by sponsoring the World Spa & Wellness Convention, alongside Matrix.
The spa area also featured a live zone with everything from high-intensity workout demos to mindfulnessfocused sound baths.
Other in-show live events included Professional Beauty’s first Salon and Spa Networking Lunch in the capital, which proved a runaway success, with more than 60 beauty business owners and therapists from all corners of the industry in attendance. Delegates discussed industry challenges, and shared best practice tips and problemsolving advice.
Topics discussed included the best ways to make use of therapists’ free time, how to easily upsell treatments by creating a menu of “bolt-on” services, what to consider when taking on an accountant; and navigating the transition from working in a salon to running your own business.
Fiona Keane, spa therapist at The Milestone Hotel in London, said of the lunch: “It’s an inspired idea and it should happen every year. I met at least five or six people who I swapped cards with and will definitely meet up with again, from all walks of the industry.”
More than 60 hours of valuable education was provided to attendees, with a two-day programme bursting with educational live demos, inspirational talks and first-class business know-how. An amazing 71 speakers shared their insider knowledge on four action-packed live stages and four intimate seminar programmes, all of which were CPD-accredited.
New for this year were the Digital Skills Seminars – a programme dedicated to helping beauty pros understand how digital platforms work. Alice Kirby, managing director of Lockhart Meyer Salon Marketing, discussed how to promote a beauty start-up on social media, while the session dedicated to Instagram and how to use it as an effective business tool resonated with many salon owners.
As a big industry name, session tech Karen Louise Embury naturally drew a crowd on the Nail Skills Seminars programme, with many wanting to know how she made it as a celebrity tech. Industry pro and PB Nail Championships director Denise Wright was also applauded for her advanced sculpting demo, with many citing the advice as top-notch.
Meanwhile, attendees couldn’t get enough of the tips shared on the How To Seminars programme, especially Waxu head of education Jenny Hunter’s advice for achieving the perfect half-leg wax.
The Business Skills Seminars were also packed across both days. Owner of home-based salon The Revive Co Kerry Beavis pulled in a full house for her talk on how to run a successful solo therapist business, while beauty business consultant Valerie Delforge wowed the crowd with her top tips on keeping clients flooding in.
In the know
Meanwhile, on the Professional Beauty Live Stage, Novalash’s Zachary Falb demonstrated how artists could achieve longer-lasting lashes, and skin specialist Gemma Halil revealed the top treatment trends set to shake up the market this year. MUAs also picked up valuable advice on the Warpaint Live Stage, from how to price their services effectively to sourcing vegan, natural and organic make-up brands.
On the Advanced Treatments Stage, which was sponsored by Babtac, director of Fusion Aesthetic Academy Andrew Hansford spilled the beans on effectively treating scarring and ageing using microneedling and skin peels.
The Nutrition & Wellness Stage was also popular, covering hot topics such as the science of sleeping smarter and wellness in the workplace, and those from the hairdressing industry loved our dedicated hair programmes – the HJ and HJ Men Stage.
This year’s International Manufacturers & Distributors Forum (IMF), sponsored by Elemis, focused on helping manufacturers present their brand to buyers and the importance of having a clear strategy when identifying new markets and revenue opportunities.
Attendees loved the forum’s 360-degree approach and quality of speakers, stating that the content that came out was “exceptional”. Delegates were also impressed with the “transparent” and “honest” sessions, which gave valuable tips on different markets across Europe based on real life business situations, making it one of the best IMFs ever.
Lecturers and top employers debated some of the biggest industry issues over in the Education Forum, which was in association with Habia and sponsored by Eve Taylor and VTCT. How colleges are responding to the demands from employers when it comes to beauty education was a hotly debated issue, with everyone leaving with a plan of action.