*This post is for educational purposes only.
Cosmoprof North America is the only B2B beauty event that has representation from all sectors of the beauty industry. This includes products related to haircare, eye-care, anti-aging, nail care, and makeup, among others. This year the event was held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas from July 13 to July 15. More than 900 exhibitors participated on the event. There were also meetings, networking opportunities, as well as keynote speakers. Cosmoprof North America implemented an integrated marketing communications plan (IMC), which combined different channels, including the event website and mobile app, as well as social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. During the months prior to the show, the objective of the plan was to promote the event, beginning in January in order to encourage people to register. During the event, the strategy was to keep participants informed about every detail related to the trade show. After the event, the different channels were used to promote next year’s show and to thank everyone who attended.
Before the show
Before the show, the different social channels were used to create awareness about the event. There is a Facebook page, Cosmoprof North America, that was created in 2008 and which is used throughout the year to keep its 5,117 followers informed about industry news, as well as about the show. The Facebook page also features articles as links to Cosmoprof’s blog, CPNA Newsflash. The first announcement about the show on Facebook was in January, when the cover page of the photo was changed to the image at the beginning of this post. After that, there was not a lot of buzz about the event regarding the details. Registration was open and announced on Facebook on May 1st. During that month, they posted reminders to register and also included several posts about one of the main speakers, Mark Cuban. During the month of June, there was more buzz, more details about the event, which did not focus on the exhibitors, but on the keynote presenters, informative sessions, and the names of the bloggers at the event. Two weeks prior to the event, the only thing have about the show is post by a beauty blogger:
The Twitter page (@Cosmoprof) was created on 2010. There was no official announcement of the show and no mention, until February, when there was a post about the excitement with the show.
After May 1st, the strategy and content for Twitter was pretty much the same as Facebook. The only difference is that on Twitter, two weeks prior to the event, some exhibitors were promoting their booths and these posts were retweeted by Cosmoprof. So, even though there was a lack of content from Cosmoprof North America, they retweeted these messages on their page, like this one from John Russo:
I would have created an event inside the Facebook page or a separate page for the event so that information posted is only about the event and avoid the mixup with other content. The Instagram account (@cosmoprofna) was not used for anything related to promoting the event until it began on July 12, one day before it started, when they uploaded a couple of photos to generate excitement, including one illustrating where to pick up the tickets for the Marc Cuban keynote, one with the Interactive area container, and one inviting guests to register to win a car. This was a great opportunity to post more photos of the event set-up.
All social channels provided the website address of the event, as well as the event date and place. In my opinion, it’s strange to see that each of these accounts “about” section is related to the show, but there was not a lot of pre-show buzz.
During the show
Facebook: This was the least used channel during the show. In general, the purpose of the Facebook page was to provide content related to the show not related to exhibitors. Facebook was specifically the most used channel for posts about the bloggers that were at the event. This includes video event recaps from beauty bloggers. I think it’s a great way to provide endorsement to the event from respected industry representatives. This is a great strategy. However, knowing that the audience in Facebook is twice than Twitter, I would have posted more content here about other areas of the event. The post with the highest engagement had 5 likes.
Twitter: This was the most used social channel during the event. The main purpose of posting on Twitter was to promote the exhibitors, which I think it’s a great strategy. Those exhibitors pay a lot of money to participate and the fact that Cosmoprof North America mentions them is worth money! Twitter messages featured a call to action at the beginning (check out this, stop by this booth, you must head over to this booth), followed by a brief description of the product available at a particular booth. There was no consistency in terms of the use of hashtags. For example, sometimes they used hashtag prior to the booth number and other times they did not. The most used hashtags were the following: #cosmoproflv, #cpna2014, #DBSpotlight, #cosmetics, #makeup, but there was no clear trend or strategy related to when to use these. It would have great to always use #cosmoproflv and #cpna2014, as well as use hashtags for the product category available at that booth (#hair, #nails, #eyecare). This was the case for The Balm cosmetics:
In some instances, they used these hashtags, as well as the exhibitor’s Twitter handle, if available. Because there were so many exhibitors, it was very hard to include at least one photo for each post, but it was done in some cases. Here is an example of a post on Twitter with a photo of Young Nails:
Even though the YouTube videos of daily recaps from beauty bloggers were also included on this Twitter page, the majority of the posts were meant to promote exhibitors. The Twitter posts didn’t generate a lot of engagement from the audience regarding likes and retweets. I guess it’s hard to keep up with more than 60 posts per day! Because of the nature of Twitter, it is understandable that it was the most frequently used channel.
Instagram: Out of all 3 channels discussed here, Instagram was the one with the highest engagement. During the 3 days of the show, the highest amount of photos were uploaded on July 13 and 14. The average number of likes was 27, which is high compared to Facebook and Twitter. However, I think some of the photos lacked quality, light, and other technical details which would have made the images more appealing. Just like Facebook, the strategy for Instagram was to promote other areas of the 3-day event, including photos of the VIP reception, specific floor areas like Discover Beauty and Experience Interactive Area, blogger meetings and keynote speaker addresses.
After the show
The day after the event, as of 5pm, there have been no posts on the Facebook and Twitter pages. On Instagram, there are two photos, one of them very dark, at the Foundation Room at Mandalay Bay, but it is not clear what happened there.
In terms of image, colors, graphic, branding, and most content, I would say there was consistency across all channels. My only recommendation, which I already mentioned, was to open a page on each channel for the event itself, as well as to use hashtags consistently across all channels.
Website: The event website remained intact throughout the event. It is the only channel with the most detailed information about the event and it is also the one in which I guess people could register. I really like the part with the list of exhibitors that includes a floor map. Also, it includes information about the conferences, networking opportunities, forums, summits, as well as travel information (hotels, cars, restaurants). I always say websites should be the headquarters of companies and events like this one. In this case, this website is very complete and serves that purpose. The website contained all information necessary to stimulate people to register. This is the information that the social media channels lacked, particularly prior to the event. I guess the objective here was for the website to be used consistently prior to the event and the social media channels during and after the event. I also like that the website has links to social media channels, as well as a showcase of the blog on the right hand corner, which is essential in order to have an effective integrated marketing communications plan. The website is missing a mobile version, which is essential, considering people spend so much time on using their smartphones. The only thing updated after the event is the banner on the upper center, which promotes 2015’s show.
Mobile app (Android and Iphone): In my opinion, this was the highlight that stood out to me! It was a huge surprise. As a matter of fact, I was able to register in order to have access to the information on the app. The most notable thing is the feed, in which people at the trade show could post status and photos and others could like or comment. This was the channel that generated the most response. This was not Cosmoprof North America reporting from the event; this were the show attendants speaking from the booths and from the activities and self-promoting. This was the channel in which I could find more than one person giving thanks after the event and using words of gratitude and appreciation. This channel provided for the show attendants to narrate the event from their point of view and perspective.
The app is also an extension of the event website. This means that all information on the website is available here so that people could have it with them during the event, avoiding having to access the website. The strategy with the app was to make the experience more pleasant and easy to follow. People could create a profile and include their company information and photo. They could also post updates and use the GPS to select where they were at that moment.
What I even liked the most was that Cosmoprof North America sent an email once a day with the subject “Today at Cosmoprof North America.” The email included different sections, such as “What Attendees are saying,” which highlights some of the posts by attendees each day. Email is another channel that Cosmoprof used for event marketing communications. The ones I received were consistent with other channels in terms of branding. I’m sure they had an email campaign prior to the event. Finally, in order to invite people to visit other channels, there is a link on the website to Cosmoprof’s blog, CPNA Newsflash. That blog, which I mentioned in showcased on the event website, was also used to promote who was going to be speaking at the event. So the website directed people to the blog to read about Melissa and then back to the website for details about that particular event.
Regarding branding, I think Cosmoprof did a good job with consistency across all platforms. Also, they chose the most optimal social media channels to promote the event. In this area, there are opportunities for improvement in terms of content, generating awareness prior to the show and building excitement. Also, I recommend using the YouTube channel to post videos with daily recaps, as well as considering having a mobile version. Finally, I did not find any information about the sponsors.