The International Salon and Spa Expo (ISSE), the largest cash-and-carry professional beauty event on the West Coast, celebrated the 20th anniversary of the show January 26th - January 28, 2019 at the Long Beach Convention Center. Produced by the Professional Beauty Association (PBA) trade organization representing the entire beauty industry, this year PBA merged their three biggest shows--ISSE, the North American Hairdressing Awards or NAHA, and Beacon-- for the first time ever.
With over 300 exhibitors in attendance and over 200 complementary and premium haircutting and styling, color, makeup artistry, business, and skin and nail care classes, ISSE introduced guests to new and innovative beauty products providing endless inspiration to boost attendee’s careers and creativity. The show brought together thousands of beauty professionals, influencers, educators, and other leading beauty figures from across the country to experience enriching educational classes, celebrate creativity, and shop the latest and greatest tools, products, and techniques featured on the exhibit floor.
"Now in its 20th year, the International Salon and Spa Expo remains the showcase event for the licensed beauty professiona," says Steve Sleeper, Executive Director of the Professional Beauty Association. "Through the newest and most innovative education, opportunities to connect face to face with brands, and three days of personal connection with peers across the country, ISSE embodies the heart and soul of the professional beauty industry."
Some of ISSE’s top highlights included:
● Awards: Best Booth award series recognized the most innovative and spirited exhibitor booths on the show floor.
● Competitions: The Major League Barber Brawl and Nail Competition were inspiring events for competitors and spectators, alike. Barber Brawl categories included Best Fade with Beard, Original Female Best Fade and Style, and more. The Nail Competition categories included Fantasy Nail Art, Chrome/Stamping among others.
● Live Stage Presentations: Two major draws of this event, the Inspiration Stage and Center Stage, showcased live demonstrations by well known brands including Matrix Remix, Ted Gibson EDU, Mainentrance, Blushes Salon, etc.
● Charitable Activations: PBA included new fundraising opportunities to the show which benefited charities like the Disaster Relief Fund, through a beauty bar, and CUT IT OUT, through a custom braid bar led by Jenny Strebe @confessionsofahairstylist and her influencer (including Larisa Love and Shelley Gregory) friends .
● The HUB by PBA: Headquarters for all things Professional Beauty Association, the Hub featured special interactive photo ops (props included), the PBA Membership booth, Government Affairs station, PBA Insurance Marketplace and the Beauty Cast Network Career Fair.
Launched in 1999 as the International Cosmetology Expo and later renamed in 2001, the International Salon and Spa expo is an international platform for Salon and Spa professionals and businesses bringing creative professionals the latest trends, newest products and live in-person education meant to help build careers and businesses. In 2019, ISSE aims to shift the focus away from product purchase and into innovative education to attract new generations of licensed professionals.