Article by: Perry Romanowski
Tomorrow is the Midwest SCC trade show featuring raw material suppliers from around the world. Here you will find companies with displays on new ingredients, packaging technology, contract manufacturers, and many others.
While it may seem obvious to people in the industry why they should attend a trade show, if you’re new to the industry (or have never gone) you probably don’t know what you can get out of going. So, we put together a list of direct benefits you can get from going to a cosmetic industry trade show.
1. Learn about new raw materials
If you work for a big company, most suppliers will send sales people to call on you and let you know about all their new offerings. However, if your company is small, suppliers often won’t set up meetings with you. Going to trade shows is a great way to see all the new raw materials companies have launched.
2. Get new ideas
Be sure to carry with you a notepad and pen while at trade shows. As you walk past booths jot down ideas that occur to you. You can easily generate over 50 new ideas using the inspiration of the company displays. It can be anything from a new product idea, a cost saving idea, or even just a cool package that you saw. Write them down so you don’t forget.
3. Connect with people at other companies
Another must-have at a trade show is a good supply of business cards. You can expect to meet dozens of people who will be helpful in your career both in trying to complete projects and in finding potential new employment.
4. See what the competition is doing
If you work at a chemical company a trade show gives you an excellent opportunity to see what your competitors are doing. You can see the trends that they follow and the niche they are trying to carve. This could help you determine if they are doing something that could also help you and your company.
5. Technical learning
Often a trade show will have an education program that goes along with it. These programs are often free or covered in the cost of the show registration fee. If the topics are of interest, they can be a great way to quickly learn about a given subject. Also, the trade show itself is a great resource for learning about chemicals used throughout the industry, not just the ones used in your formulas.
6. Observe new trends
Suppliers often work with marketing research companies to identify trends in the market. Many times they will discover things that your company doesn’t see because they look at it from another standpoint. Fragrance and extract companies are a great source for new trend and new product ideas.
7. Free stuff
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention that trade shows are also a great place to get samples, pens, notepads, and other advertising specialties. I personally love the small candy bars they pass around. Be sure to pick up a bag early on in the show so you’ll be able to carry all the relevant things you’ll collect from the different booths. Also, companies often have raffles and give away useful prizes like iPods or gift cards. This is a nice bonus.
Cosmetic Industry Trade Shows
There are many different trade shows that are relevant to the cosmetic chemist. Below is a short list of ones that we think are worth visiting. If you have any to add, be sure to do it in the comments. At some point we will do a more thorough listing of these.