This is a guest post submitted by cosmetic chemist & formulator Valerie Patton.
The California SCC Suppliers’ Day, which took place October 25 & 26 at the Long Beach Convention Center, is a highly anticipated event — and rightly so – this two-day soiree only comes around once every two years. I was particularly looking forward to going this year for two reasons: everyone likes a field trip out of the office (especially when free food is involved) and I’m working on some particularly interesting products for my company. Suppliers’ Day is a must-see for anyone involved in the cosmetics industry, and for good reason.
A Little Bit of Everything
There was great variation amongst booths, so I was able to cover all my bases — even for a hair color line I’m working on. And when I wasn’t particularly looking for things, I was able to make reference of interesting raw materials and keep the company information — as a cosmetic chemist you never know what you’re going to end up needing.
I also liked how some of the booths were grouped together — DD Chemco created Jungle Safari, a series of booths featuring botanicals, extracts, a jungle photo booth, and Animal Crackers — proving science can be fun! Ross Organics featured their partners in a trendy, metropolitan type manner with high glass tables to chat at with brand representatives and an espresso bar.
Meeting the Little Guy
We all know some heavy hitters — such as DuPont, HallStar, and BASF — make appearances often, but this week was intimate enough to show what the little guy has to offer. My most exciting moment was meeting with the master perfumer of a small fragrance company who offered excellent advice on an upcoming project. I feel I really got the attention I needed from some smaller booths.
I haven’t seen a single one of these since my days as a graduate student — so it was nice to read about some research being done. As cool as it was, they were my only criticism of the show. The posters were off to the side and a little difficult for people to notice. It would have been nice to see them integrated into the aisles of exhibitors.
Unreturned Phone Calls?
Suppliers’ Day is a prime opportunity for networking, and not just with exhibitors. As a Los Angeles local, I got to catch up with many other industry professionals that I hadn’t seen in months. We shared pointers on interesting booths at the event, and I even got to dust off an old project with another company and get it back on its feet. Also, it was a good chance to conveniently bump into a certain someone that hadn’t returned my calls.
If you didn’t make it to Suppliers’ Day in Long Beach this year, you missed a great event. Don’t worry, you can always go in 2013.