Well, it’s happened—the show floor sold out for Face & Body Midwest, March 12-14, 2016. We worried that many interested exhibitors would not get the opportunity to present their technologies at our event, but were delighted when we were able to expand the show floor, providing more opportunity to both exhibitors and attendees.
Face & Body Midwest is co-located with America’s Beauty Show, the country’s largest beauty expo, in Chicago’s McCormick Place West, and will again feature education, new products, networking and building relationships. At the 2015 show, more than 13,000 skin care and salon professionals walked the Face & Body expo floor, and we are on track to exceed those numbers for 2016.
For those attending Face & Body Midwest, here are a few tips to prepare for show.
Draft a Plan
Make a list of goals to accomplish at the show, and do your research on exhibitors (see the Exhibitor List or at www.FaceAndBody.com/midwest/exhibitors). I always create a ‘must-see’ and ‘want-to-see list’ of exhibitors based on my goals and what I can sample and learn from visiting their booth. If you can, plot your path for each day to minimize the amount of back-tracking you may have to do on the expo hall floor.
I know we all like to be in the height of fashion—especially with America’s Beauty Show right across the expo hall—but please make sure to pack shoes that will help (rather than hinder) your goals and enable you to be on your feet a majority of the day.
Esthetic educators in Illinois are required to have a minimum of 20 hours of continuing education (CE), and 2016 is a renewal year. And keep in mind, regular esthetician license renewals are just around the corner in 2017, requiring a minimum of 10 hours of continuing education. All hours need to be completed within the two years prior to the expiration date of the license, so starting to compile your CE credits now isn’t a bad idea and could save you headache in 2017.
If you’re already planning to attend Face & Body Midwest, adding that extra day to your schedule and attending the Advanced Education Conference on Saturday (March 12) will decrease your stress levels when it is time for your CE paperwork to be submitted.
At the Advanced Education Conference, attendees can register for an entire day’s worth of classes or select individual classes (www.faceandbody.com/midwest/education). I’m especially excited for the opening panel of product formulators/chemists who will discuss how skin care products are created, detail common and trendy ingredients, and share insights on choosing the most effective products for your clients.
Learn About Products
In addition to the Advanced Education Conference, supplier classes will be held on Sunday and Monday (www.faceandbody.com/midwest/education). Be sure to check which product-driven education classes are of most interest and set reminders on your phone—it is so easy to lose track of time while exploring all the new products and deals on the exhibit hall floor.
These classes are free with expo hall admission, and are great opportunities to meet and learn from industry leaders. And while the supplier classes do not offer CE credits, they provide invaluable product information.
On site, you’ll want to pick-up the Show Program. Along with most up-to-date exhibitor list, the new detachable floor map will help you successfully navigate the exhibit hall. Both the program and the map will highlight exhibitors showcasing new products lines or advertising special pricing just for attendees.
Don’t be worried about skipping booths that do not interest you. The exhibitors won’t mind—it frees them up to fully devote their time to potential customers that are looking to speak to them. Exhibitors appreciate that you are on a tight time frame, and they want to help you make the best use of your time. Don’t be afraid to ask the questions you really want.
Take notes on important conversations and ask for business cards with contact information so you can follow up after the show. Once you return home, this will make it easier for you to follow up with any exhibiting companies that you may still have questions for—as well as leaving feedback about product purchases and building relationships outside of the show.
Passport to Prizes, an opportunity to win up to $500 by visiting participating booths, is now mailed with your name badge. Make sure to bring it with you to McCormick Place West. Up to 10 exhibitors will be participating in 2016.