Premium Beauty News - What are the prospects for this new edition of HBA?
Jill Birkett - We are excited about the 2010 HBA event. We feel that we have captured much of the education and networking needed to help our audience during these still challenging business times. With the changes in distribution, in markets, in retail, HBA has developed a strong conference program and networking series of events to allow the beauty and personal care industries to mingle, meet, talk and do business together.
There are over 150 new exhibiting companies in HBA this year, including new raw materials and packaging suppliers, lab equipment, private label and natural ingredients companies from across the world and the USA.
We are on track to meet or exceed our plans to register 16,000 attendees for HBA this September.
Premium Beauty News - What is the proportion of U.S. and overseas exhibitors?
Jill Birkett - Exhibitors are attending from many countries outside of the U.S., including Mexico, France, Benin, Poland, China, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Austria, Switzerland, Argentina, Germany, Singapore, Canada, Italy, Turkey, the U.A.E., Israel, Taiwan, Spain, Columbia, the U.K., Korea, India and others.
Approximately one third of the HBA exhibitors come from outside the US, and more and more are responding to HBA’s business platform of bringing the entire beauty and personal care product development community together for three days in New York City, the beauty capital of the world.
Premium Beauty News - HBA has remained the first American trade show of the beauty sector, nevertheless it has had to put up with fierce competition. In this competitive context what is your vision of the future?
Jill Birkett - As you know, beauty and personal care is not only a global business, but a very large business. This is fortunate for all of us who seek to serve these market segments! At HBA, we have focused on providing a quality event with an outstanding education program, as well as additional activities to provide interest, fun and education to our visitor base.
We continue to build HBA as “the place to be to do business”. The USA has been the largest market in the world for many years. Even as other global markets grow, the large base of beauty company headquarters and innovative start-up entrepreneurs means New York particularly is a great place to do business.
So many visitors and exhibitors come to the city during and after HBA that many of them stay up to 10 days to have follow-up appointments after the show.
Additionally, we once again co-located with the Spa & Resort Expo, which is a regional event for Spa Owners and Managers. Last year, over 600 HBA visitors thanked us for co-locating the events to provide them a better “one stop” business opportunity. We expect to continue to build on that vision.
Premium Beauty News - What do you think of the opening, in a few weeks, of the new Intercharm show in Milan?
Jill Birkett - Here in the USA, we have not heard too much about it from our customers. We are extremely focused, as you can imagine, on preparing for HBA and making it the best product development event for the beauty and personal care industry. Product Development is our business-orientation and it provides a unique opportunity for HBA. Many other events are focused on different segments of the market. The European community will decide if Intercharm is a good business opportunity for them, I imagine.
Premium Beauty News - What is your point of view on the fact that the beauty sector’s centre of gravity is shifting more and more towards Asia. Not only in terms of growth but also industrially speaking?
Jill Birkett - This is not surprising given the world’s overall population and shifting demographics. It’s actually very exciting, and I’d like to say that Latin America is very much a part of that exciting growth. This actually provides opportunity for innovative manufacturers: new packaging needs to meet a different demographic, new labelling to meet new markets’ regulations, new products to meet the needs of a different type of consumer.
I believe forward-thinking firms will organize their business to participate in growing markets for the long term. We provide education, such as our Global Perspectives Conference, to help the industry stay ahead of the changes.