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Cosmoprof North America Rolls the Dice and Hits the Jackpot in Miami

Published February 4, 2024
Published February 4, 2024
Cosmoprof North America

Cosmoprof North America's (CPNA) gamble on adding a Miami show to its long-standing Las Vegas event produced a big payoff. That's according to exhibitors, retailers, and industry insiders who attended the inaugural edition held at the Miami Beach Convention Center from January 23–25.

CPNA already announced a second edition in Miami slated for January 21–23, 2025.

“The success of the first edition of Cosmoprof North America Miami is really a positive signal for the development strategy of the Cosmoprof network,” said Antonio Bruzzone, Chief Executive Officer of BolognaFiere Group. “As a global partner for business for all beauty stakeholders, our aim is to facilitate networking and commercial relationships; starting from today we can provide our global community two specific events dedicated to the US market, enriching the global offer of our international platform.”

Those who attended confirmed it was smart to bet on Miami. “I have my own gauges. The traffic is always defined by the first day; if the first day is mediocre, you know the second day isn't going to be better. I noticed at Miami, at least from my perspective, the good traffic was even the first two days,” said beauty industry expert Jeffrey Ten.

The location received positive reviews from representatives of the more than 700 exhibiting beauty brands—more than half were first-timers at CPNA. The event welcomed 19,000 visitors, representing 113 countries, who traversed the aisles and attended educational sessions over the three days. 

The inaugural edition attracted retailers, buyers, and distributors, including Belk, C.O. Bigelow, HSN, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Olivela, Target, Thirteen Lune, and Sally Beauty.

There were lines for on-site registration, said one exhibitor, suggesting numbers exceeded expectations. It didn’t hurt that the show was in Miami in January, attendees said.

"I overheard many buyers and suppliers talking about how they loved the weather in Miami at this time of year," said Chris Lopez, Marketing Director of OKAY Pure Naturals, a regular exhibitor in Las Vegas. “Considering it was the launch event for the Miami location, it seemed like a huge success. With business-to-business shows, the experience of the location is extremely important,” he added. “If the buyers feel good coming to the city, more business will happen. It seems silly, but it's true. And that incentivizes companies to set up their booth at the show, knowing the turnout is going to be huge.” 

It wasn’t only the pleasant weather luring convention goers, but the proximity to markets deemed too far for some, especially those from Central and South America. Walmart Puerto Rico, CVS Puerto Rico, Icsitum, Blush-Bar, Aminco Group, Solfish, Grupo Exporta, DMujeres, El Palacio de Hierro, and Woolworth were among the companies from Latin America in attendance, according to CPNA.

The expansion into Miami signifies the show's commitment to fostering growth for brands across North, South, and Central America, according to Liza Rapay, Vice President of Cosmoprof North America. There were double the Latin American Major Economies (LATAM) participation compared to the Las Vegas edition, she said.

Nicole Musco, Director Product Development at jane iredale, agreed Miami had great appeal. "South Florida has been an interesting landscape for beauty with a growing list of vendors, contract manufacturers, and brands, as well as a growing professional beauty landscape. For many larger corporations, it is also the gateway to South America, and many companies have offices and distributors located in Miami or neighboring cities to focus on those international businesses," she said.

Miami, she added, attracted brands and products she hadn’t seen before. “Additionally, I found the section of Cosmopack with the manufacturing fascinating. It brought the processing to life for many visitors, and I noticed some of the machines were sold by the end of the show.”

One exhibitor confirmed his company saw customers from Latin America that it hadn’t done business with already. There were also several larger Canadian customers, he noted. 

Abie Safdieh, President of Townley Cosmetics, sensed the excitement on the floor. Several distributors for Latin American retailers especially liked that the licensed beauty collections are nontoxic, plant-based, and have packaging in several languages, he explained.

Mayer Shabetay, CEO and founder of Ultra Panama in Panama City, was one of the retailers finding beauty gems on the floor. Shabetay—who has attended the Las Vegas, Bologna, and Hong Kong shows—told BeautyMatter it is easier for Latin American customers to get to Miami. He visited with several new companies he had not seen at other Cosmoprof shows. Among those catching his eye were ella+mila, Jason Wu, and ATTITUDE (from Canada). "I also saw some interesting products from Israel. We do carry some Israeli lines, and they sell very well."

Shabetay is adding or extending his store’s mix of niche perfumes, sexual wellness, makeup, and skincare brands and placed orders at the show. "Next week, we are adding a pet department."

The Miami location received such positive feedback that some wondered if its success could detract from Las Vegas. “Not me,” said Shabetay. “I never miss a trip to Vegas.”

Alex Pottash, founder and CEO of Forgotten Skincare, said doubling down is a winner. "Cosmoprof (Las Vegas) is so big, and it's the best show in beauty. Having two locations, both East and West, makes sense. I loved Miami for the networking and atmosphere, but Vegas is such a mainstay—I wouldn't miss that one!”

Companies said Miami was not without glitches that are easy to fix. Since it was the first outing, the meeting was smaller and lacked some behemoth brands. Executives from large multinational companies were seen walking the show floor to assess the future potential in Miami. One expert said that even getting two orders could offset the cost of exhibiting.

On the flip side, there were opportunities for emerging brands to get an audience. “It was smart for smaller brands, especially for some of the fragrance companies who got exposure to Latin America retailers who sell a lot of fragrances,” said Ten.

The intimacy on the floor was welcomed by Pottash. "It was much more walkable and felt more personal," she said. "The couches in the Discover Beauty section were key. I took a meeting there with my account manager at TikTok. The comfy setup in the center of all that energy was the perfect backdrop for creative conversations,” said Pottash.

Another attendee said she missed the specialty areas like Discover Green Leaf associated with Las Vegas. Rapay said she is “digging into the data” to determine future curated spotlights.

There was also some chatter about a need for a central hotel, à la the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. However, a large Hyatt is under construction adjacent to the convention center (slated for 2026 openings).

Heard on the Floor:

A well-attended ribbon cutting kicked off the festivities, with the opening day capped off by a reception that got thumbs up from attendees for ample food and libations. Shark Tank entrepreneur and investor Daymond John added to the excitement, along with the debut of a fragrance by Lionel Messi in conjunction with Game On Product Group.

Brands that caught attention on the floor included mushroom-based Neon Hippie, vegan beauty line Dear Dahlia, Project Reef sun care, Brandefy, hairdresser Nicky Clarke’s AirStyle PRO hair dryer, Australian-import Lash Therapy, Footlogix, and Clean Skin Club.

“The mix of brands was interesting. I saw a supplement brand, a noninvasive Botox alternative. and fragrance. Anti-aging and mushroom-powered skin care were notable trends," said Pottash.

The buzziest booth award goes to GESKE, which brought Vegas to Miami with a wheel where attendees could spin for a prize. GESKE spotlighted its array of German technology beauty tools, including derma rollers, microcurrent devices, microneedles, and the Sonic Warm & Cool 9 in 1 Mask.

The Buyer Program (meetings between exhibitors and buyers) was imported from the Las Vegas format with success. Participants in the Buyer Program included 1 Hotels, Blush-Bar, CVS Health, Icsitum, Nordstrom, Olivela, El Palacio de Hierro, Space NK, and Walmart Puerto Rico.

Many showgoers singled out the education program. "There were some great sessions, such as the one with Ian Ginsberg [President of C.O. Bigelow] and Daniel Kaner [co-founder and President of Oribe]. They have so much experience and knowledge,” said Ten.

Speakers and presenters included representatives of The Estée Lauder Companies, Shiseido, Ulta Beauty, and Unilever.

Lisa Yarnell, CEO/Board Advisor of AVYA Skincare, was impressed with the Retail Safari presented by WSL Strategic Retail, which took participants on a whirlwind tour of innovative beauty retailers.


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