Jean-Yves Bourgeois: How is the forthcoming edition of Cosmoprof Hong Kong, with its two venues, shaping up in terms of number of exhibitors? Is there a noticeable change compared to last year, especially concerning participating countries? What will be the highlights of the event? Which of the two shows is making the most progress and what does the future look like?
Michael Duck: With the successful “One Fair Two Venues” format, the show continues to grow in terms of scale and number of exhibitors. This year’s show will welcome more than 3,000 exhibitors (around 5% growth from last year). We expect a similar number of exhibiting countries to last year (54 countries and regions in 2017). Most of the 22 country pavilions are returning groups like Australia, France, Germany, Italy, USA and UK. We saw a significant expansion of Japan and Korea groups at Hall 5C—the new extension of the most sought-after sector “Perfumery, Cosmetics and Toiletries” at HKCEC. The featured “Natural & Organic” sector will host the first-ever Malaysian Halal pavilion showcasing halal-certified cosmetics to the international market. Matrade will reinforce the halal awareness and reveal the market potentials through a case study and panel discussion in CosmoTalks.
We organize events at both venues to drive innovation and provide customers a next-level experience. Special highlights include the SKINTONIC project taking place across two venues. Visitors will be able to see the real manufacturing process of the SKINTONIC deluxe serum at the pop-up factory at AWE, then continue their journey at the SKINTONIC concept store at HKCEC where they can experience the newest retail technology of AI and AR. Another spotlight is the COSMOLAB at AWE offering “personalized” shampoo for each attendee with the aid of an A.I. robot and the industry 4.0 business model. A must-attend event for hair professionals is the “Hong Kong Hair and Styling Arts Festival 2018” co-organized with AHMA (Asia Hair Masters Association) featuring a hair contest, hair show and industrial summit. We feel that the two shows are making steady growth. The current projection reveals that in 2018, Cosmopack Asia (AWE) will close with a slightly higher growth (in exhibition size) of 8% compared to 6% at Cosmoprof Asia (CEC). We expect this growth pattern will continue for quite a few years.
Jean-Yves Bourgeois: Although the decision was criticized by many, transferring part of the exhibition to the airport was the right thing to do. Will the general configuration/set up be the same as last year? Could you please detail the changes in allocations, both at the exhibition center located at the airport and the one located in Hong Kong.
Michael Duck: We will continue the successful “One Fair Two Venues” concept in 2018 and years to come. We strongly believe the well-defined sectorization by product nature across the two venues facilitates buyer sourcing needs. The motif is supported and proven by the enriched contents and the increased scale of our event. This year, we expect to see an overall 8% expanded exhibition space with the increasing internationality in the AWE, e.g. the debut Poland Pavilion, and a 12% increase on the international presence from Europe and the USA.
We never stop to innovate and bring in new attractions to Cosmoprof Asia. In terms of exhibit portfolio, we are always exploring to add in emerging segments. Just to give an example—the Ingredients & Lab sector dedicated to ingredients, fragrances, testing lab equipment and regulatory solutions. The area completes the product showcase of the entire beauty industry, offering professionals all segments of the supply chain. In addition to Ingredients & Lab, the Print & Label pavilion provides innovative solutions for secondary packaging including labeling, printing, inserts, cartons and cases in AWE.
In terms of customer experience, we invested in hosting special marketing initiatives to promote attendance to the show. This year, the spotlight event “SKINTONIC” is an integrated project between the two exhibition venues to provide visitors with a unique experience of the production process of a luxury cosmetic product, from design to innovative technologies used.
Jean-Yves Bourgeois: The ownership of Cosmoprof Hong Kong has undergone a major change this year with the acquisition of UBM, (co-shareholder with Bologna Fiere), by the Informa Group, which is, among other things, the organizer of China Beauty Expo. What changes are to be expected, if any, this year and in future years?
Michael Duck: The ownership of Cosmoprof Asia has not changed in that we are still UBM Asia and still our holding in CAHK is via the JV with BF. The ‘combination’ with Informa as it’s called is going ahead smoothly and we see little if any change.
Jean-Yves Bourgeois: Cosmoprof Hong Kong is a "flagship" event in Southeast Asia and around the world. The year-on-year ever-growing number of exhibitors and visitors remains very impressive. The downside: Isn't this “gigantism” going to do you a disservice in the future, with regard to exhibitors who, to be or remain visible, are forced to increase their exhibition space at the expense of smaller brands, which nonetheless represent the soul of this professional sector?
Michael Duck: Thank you for your comments. I do remind you that Cosmoprof Bologna is still significantly larger in area than CA HK…so we believe that customers are topmost in our mind to meet the maximum number of buyers.
Jean-Yves Bourgeois: Are conferences an important parameter in the success of such an important event? What will be the key themes addressed this year?
Michael Duck: Cosmoprof Asia represents the entire beauty experience and a reference point for the latest product trends, innovation, market information and regulation for the beauty community worldwide. Therefore, conferences are a crucial part of this customer engagement. This year, we have a busy calendar of 40 events with 70 speakers, focuses on the latest macro-trends from supply chain to finished products (with highlights to Natural & Organic and Hair), the Gen-X impacts on beauty, product safety and awareness, the development on digital, etc. Special focuses on Chinese e-commerce with topics like “SMEs on China e-Commerce Platforms: A Case Study on How to Create Brand Awareness and Sales Volumes,” “Singles’ Day and Beyond: How to Win in China E-Commerce" and how beauty brands can take advantage of Wechat new features, etc.
—From Jean-Yves Bourgeois, Beauty Packaging’s European Correspondent
PHOTO: Michael Duck