Modern Salon is the official publication of America’s Beauty Show, which will observe its 86th consecutive show March 27-29 as it again returns to McCormick Place, Chicago’s iconic lake front convention center. ABS is owned by Cosmetologists Chicago (CC), an association of more than 5,000 salon professionals. MODERN Recently talked to the man who pulls it all together, Paul Dykstra, CEO of both CC and ABS and a 22-year veteran of the professional salon industry.
MODERN: How would you compare this year’s show, 30 days out from ABS 2009?
Dykstra: The best way to compare 2010 to 2009 is with the old adage, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Last year, the mood was somber. Some exhibitors cut back on educational shows and personnel. Now, industry leaders are looking to the future and investing in ABS to communicate directly with their salon customers.
We are so enthusiastic about the huge show of support from the largest companies: L’Oreal Professionnel with major exhibits for all its brands and P&G Salon Professional with Hi Touch, a new way to reach and teach salon customers. We welcome the return of several key companies not in ABS 2009 and the on-going alliance of our smaller hair care and appliance companies, as well as strong support from the nail and skin care segments.
MODERN: To what do you attribute this change?
Dykstra: Two main reasons: our personal service for exhibitors and their recognition of ABS as truly America’s Beauty Show, where they can meet, teach and sell to all levels of salon professionals from all areas of the country. Our central location in Chicago helps drive this national attendance, as does the fact that Cosmetologists Chicago’s active board of directors and educational committee actually plan the show based on what they need in the salon.
MODERN: What is different about the 2010 ABS from 2009?
Dykstra: We have expanded our ABS Lead Retrieval program for exhibitors to help both distributors and manufacturers reach new and interested salon owner customers for year-round contact beyond the three days of ABS. I urge all exhibitors to take advantage of this program.
Attendees want education. Several new events at ABS will focus on business building, including Salon Business success for Salon Owners and MODERN’s Celebrate Texture.
Returning events include SalonSpa Sustainability Summit, International Nail Technicians Association Conference, Student Assembly and African-American Hair! 2010. This year, Face&Body-Midwest is co-located with ABS for our skin care professionals.
MODERN: Any final words before the show?
Dykstra: Know that ABS show management has worked diligently to help exhibitors contain the costs of exhibiting at the show. We’ve negotiated extremely good hotel rates, worked with McCormick Place management to reduce costs and have a concierge program to help our exhibitors in every way we can. We’ve even worked out special meal deals right on the show floor. Finally, if you have a problem, call us.
If not, see you at the show!
All the ABS details are at americasbeautyshow.com including a detailed program, show registration and how to make all your exhibit arrangements.
Paul Dykstra, CEO of Cosmetologists Chicago and America's Beauty Show, is preparing to welcome thousands of salon professionals to ABS 2010 March 27-29.
America's Beauty Show is returning to McCormick Place West in downtown Chicago this year.