This is the first time that I had attended in many years – not only had the venue changed but the experience had too. Personally I was disappointed. There is so much talent and potential bubbling in and around the Afro hair and beauty industries but in my opinion it was not reflected in the show. So, here are some pics and my thoughts….
Afrobella was a great ambassador for the Caribbean, America, Bloggers, black women and Beautiful Textures who brought her over. She is so humble lovely and gracious and it was lovely to see her there.
Wassi Carnival brought carnival spirit, glamour and amazing body confidence (could you walk around in a bikini and a head dress all day) to the show. Fabulous.
ORS – thank you for my tickets
Global – it was lovely to see brands from all over the world in the one space.
Exhibitors who did not want to engage with the public and did not know either their product, didn’t have business cards, didn’t sort out their social media presence before exhibiting. Consumers are really savvy and we want to know where we can get more information. You do your product a disservice when you are not prepared.
Brand to Watch – Noire Essence
Brainchild of a black pharmacist, this range of products that cater specifically to the needs of black hair. I was very impressed with her passion to get the correct information out to the consumer and the fact that she is coming from a place of knowledge. I bought the scalp oil and I have been using it since the event and loving it. Review to follow.
Suggestions to improve Afro Hair and Beauty 2014.
Have a room for bloggers to blog from. There were several rooms on the upper level (where the seminars were being held) which would have been perfect. Some power points so that phones and phones and tablets would be really helpful. Most bloggers have inclusive minutes so wi fi is not an issue but it is important not to put bloggers in the basement because a signal is vital.
Boots have a range of foundation for ALL skintones, they put a machine against your face and tell you which shade you are – can we get them to come next year. Boots is a British company, there is one a 5 minute walk from the Business Design Centre
Benefit is almost opposite the Design Centre, Space NK is down the road and there are salons up and down Upper Street. Get them involved. It is great that there was lots of global, but what about the local, the really local… the down the street local?
Don’t let the skin whitening firms have a stand. I don’t care how much money they are prepared to spend on a stand – Afro Hair and Beauty is supposed to be celebrate us, not encourage us to change the colour of our skin by putting dangerous chemicals on our faces. Just stop it. Please.
Do we need a ‘Natural Zone’? Would you have a ‘Weave and Wig Zone? Or a ‘Relaxed Zone’? I don’t think so. If you are going to do that you need to clearly define the zone, but why separate the different elements of the hair industry. Why don’t you just integrate the brands?
We were given A LOT of information, some of which was useful, others, not so much, please give us an opportunity to recycle onsite.
Some brands had beautiful displays and presentations and makeovers and they enticed you with all the different things that you could so with the product… but you could not buy it. Why not? Why send me to the local beauty retail (yes, I was told to go to Paks) when the product is right there? If you are not selling your product why exhibit at the expo?.
Testers and Samples
For consumers there is no better place to try a product then at an expo. It is a great way to engage with the customer and engender loyalty. I appreciate that there is a cost associated with producing samples, but at least let me try the product at the stand. Please, let me smell it, rub it into my skin/hair, look at the packaging and check the ingredients listing. Some brands were fantastic…others…hmmmm not so much.
It was really loud and made speaking to people really difficult. I am talking about the incidental music not the during the catwalk shows. Afro Hair and Beauty is not a dance or a rave, it is an expo, can you turn the music down or off please.
By the time the exhibitors put up a poster a small table and two chairs the stands were already over crowded, if we are looking at products we need space to do so. Please make the stands slightly wider.
If you went upstairs to the cafeteria bit, you will know what I am talking about. The coconut cake was magnificent. Seriously delicious. Can we have more of that please.