This is a guest post by cosmetic chemist Dana Cifelli
If you are a member of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists (SCC) then it is likely you are aware of the happenings of Suppliers’ Day. However, for those of you who are not members, you may be wondering what takes place at the event. Suppliers’ day is an event that is hosted annually in New Jersey by the New York chapter of the SCC (NYSCC). This year’s event was held at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center. The goal of the event is to connect industry professionals and cosmetic chemists from the surrounding areas to suppliers from around the world. The suppliers that attend the event display the latest technologies in equipment, raw materials and subcontracted finished goods.
Tips for New Attendees
With an attendance of over 8,000 industry professionals and 100 suppliers, the experience can be quite overwhelming. Thus, it seems fitting to begin this discussion by offering a few pointers that will help new attendees and veterans alike navigate their way through the event efficiently.
First, attendees should wait at least a couple of hours after the posted start time of the event to arrive, since it is likely that even with advanced registration it will take more than an hour to be granted entrance immediately after the official star. Unfortunately, many attendees did arrive early this year which forced them to take a shuttle from the overcrowded parking lot to the center. Subsequently, these individuals were greeted with an hour wait before being admitted into the event. Based on this experience, it appears that attendees should plan to arrive around 10:00am, which should leave plenty of time to experience all that the event has to offer.
After entering the event, the be sure to acquire the event’s welcome bag. This bag contains a map of the vendors and free samples. Attendees that are trying to make the most of their time should label on the map the vendors that are of particular interest. This will help attendees meet the desired vendors without getting distracted.
When meeting with the vendors make sure that they scan the provided badge if any requests are made for samples. These samples may take anywhere from 2 weeks to 4 months to be delivered. Thus, it is important to keep in contact with the individual that manages the company account in order to assure that the requested material arrives in the desired timeframe.
Bring business cards
Finally, bring business cards and be prepared to converse with each of the selected vendors for approximately 5 minutes. It is a good idea to be cautious when speaking to the vendors, as some of them will have nothing new to show and often will try to pitch their old products from a new marketing standpoint. In general, when viewing products it is essential to first determine if there is a need for them and if it can enhance your lab and/or formulations.
Suppliers’ Day highlights
One standout vendor this year was Acme Hardesty. The exhibitors for this company were dressed in tropical T-shirts, gave out tropical pens and cell phone holders, and possessed the right combination of knowledge and friendliness.
Overall, the best presentation this year was from BASF. While their technology was nice, their presentation, which included flashing lights and music, was mesmerizing. In addition to the lights and music, they also assembled a live runway that showcased their new fall trends. The runway models wore the current colors of the season as well as colors that were made using new pearls from the Cloisonne line.
In sum, while Suppliers’ Day may at times seem overwhelming, the event offers many perks. Attendees can receive free samples, hot dogs, cookies, and even free cell phone holders and mini iphone speakers! Furthermore, many vendors offer free lunches. If nothing else, the event can be a pleasant, yet brief, respite from the lab. Regardless of the type of formula you are working on, I guarantee that the vendors at this event will have the raw material that is needed. From skin care, to hair color and even cosmetics, this event has you covered.
Are you game for next year’s event?
Did you attend the event this year? What did you think? Leave a comment below