The 2020 America’s Beauty Show (April 18-20, 2020) will host 70,000 attendees, including salon owners, cosmetologists, colorists, nail techs, barbers, estheticians, exhibitor personnel and models, in downtown Chicago. ABS will feature hundreds of exhibits offering the latest in hair care and color, nails and skin care, tools and salon furnishings.
Strategic planning for this event will be guided by the new Chief Executive Officer of Cosmetologists Chicago (CC) and America’s Beauty Show (ABS), Frank P. Fulco. Fulco joins a select few of CEOs in Cosmetologists Chicago’s 100+ year history. We asked him to share some of the things he’s especially excited about for ABS 2020 and how he plans to CC’s legacy of support and growth for professionals and students.
MODERN SALON: Please share your beauty bio.
FRANK FULCO: First, I love the Professional Beauty Industry. It’s a great industry rich in relationships. I am very fortunate to have gotten my start as a college intern with a very special company in Chicago, Helene Curtis. At Helene Curtis and throughout my career, I have been blessed with many great mentors and colleagues that helped and taught me what our beautiful industry is all about—relationships. It’s hard to believe, but I have been in the industry now for 29 years. In that time, I’ve have held various leadership positions throughout the supply chain that have enabled me to serve the beauty professional. Additionally, I formerly served on the Board of Directors of Cosmetologists Chicago and currently serve on the Board of Directors at New Concepts Hair by Sthair.
MS: Where will be you be based?
FF: I will be based out of Chicago where Cosmetologists Chicago is headquartered and America’s Beauty Show takes place. My wife and I are both from Chicago and our extended family lives in the Chicagoland area. We are very excited to be back home.
MS: What were some of your priorities as you started in this new role?
FF: The #1 priority is our mission, to serve our membership community of beauty professionals. We are going to take a closer look at our membership services and see how we can better serve our members now and into the future.
Second, to build on the success of America’s Beauty Show and continue to reinvent, innovate, and personalize the attendee experience. We want every attendee of America’s Beauty Show to feel as if the entire event was made for them. Words that will describe each attendee’s experience: relevant, inspiring, inclusive and loved.
Third, to help unite our beautiful industry for the betterment of the beauty professional. Our mission is very clear, we are a non-profit serving the beauty professional.
MS: How are you incorporating technology into the show’s offerings for both exhibitors and attendees?
FF: Digital engagement is essential. We intend to leverage our digital offerings, social media platform, and RFID (a system using barcodes to identify using ‘radio frequency identification’) tags to create a more personalized experience for our guests and exhibitors at America’s Beauty Show. Getting back to our mission, to serve the beauty professional, we understand their time is precious so we will intend to leverage data for a more personalized experience. This is going to take time, but directionally, this is our course of action.
For exhibitors, we understand that participating in shows is an investment. We believe that it is our responsibility as the host to provide an investment that’s profitable for exhibitors. We are looking into alternative booth structures, attendee interactions and pricing models. What does this mean? Higher return on investment for each exhibitor and more engaged show attendees.
MS: How should an attendee approach ABS in a way to be most successful? What kind of pre-planning can they do?
FF: We would love for every attendee to sign up for our text messaging or email notifications at americasbeautyshow.com. This way we can communicate efficiently through their mobile device about updates regarding the show, classes, how to navigate the exhibit floor and so much more.
When you’re at ABS and find you have a question, just ask one of our colleagues, because we’re here to serve. Plus, our social media platforms are monitored by our customer service team members. Just ask in the comments or DM us!
Please know that our association is a non-profit. We welcome volunteers and like-minded professionals that want to serve our industry. So, if you are or know of a beauty professional that wants to volunteer, please let us know! We want every beauty professional to feel a part of our community and welcome volunteers. Each of us has a gift to give so please feel free to share your thoughts, experience and talent…and we want to hear from you!
MS: And exhibitors? What can they do to optimize their experience?
FF: We’re so excited for all of our exhibitors! ABS has rich history for being the event at which new products, education, and business concepts are introduced to beauty professionals. We intend to nurture that legacy by continuing to be the event at which brands are born, new items are launched, and general excitement and enthusiasm is paramount.
At ABS 2020, we have some clever ways brands can get discovered.
- “Beauty Unearthed” is an area for new brands to launch and be featured, and as part of that area we are working in partnership with our distributor exhibitors to schedule time for these brands to meet with the merchandising groups of those distributors. Essentially if companies participate at ABS, we will help them meet stylists and distributors for their brands.
- We are introducing low-cost exhibitor opportunities for new brands so they can spend their precious resources on sampling versus exhibitor related expenses. For brands that just want exposure, we are providing a low-cost way to engage with beauty professionals.
- We are leveraging our digital footprint to update our community about what our new exhibitors have to offer.
MS: Can you explain the relationship between ABS and CC?
FF: Cosmetologists Chicago (CC) is the non-profit organization that owns America’s Beauty Show. We are an association that produces a show, which is just one of the ways we serve our community.
Since 1912, Cosmetologists Chicago has been moving the industry forward through education, inspiration and good fellowship. Part of the way we serve the community is by producing and bringing them America’s Beauty Show, which has been around 97 years. In 2023 we will be celebrating our 100th ABS. Mark your calendars. We are very excited for this show and our community. This is a major milestone and we are already beginning the planning process. “Jubilee in 23!”
MS: What will be some of the can’t-miss highlights of ABS 2020?
FF: We are so fortunate to have a great line-up of gifted educators that are passionate about sharing their knowledge. Please see our line-up and begin planning your class schedule.
Another key highlight is the 2020 ABS Global Image Awards. This is an incredible, international photo competition that fuels intense creativity and passion for hairdressers, colorists, salon teams and our students. The winners of the world-wide photo competition will be recognized during ABS. We want everyone to shine so please encourage an artist that you know to participate.
Once again, ABS 2020 will co-locate with the International Esthetics Cosmetics and Spa Conference (IECSC), which will feature skincare, spa and makeup exhibits on a dynamic and interactive show floor. Beauty Professionals can access 200+ exhibitors and take advantage of new targeted learning tracks including CIDESCO USA education. Your ticket to ABS also gets you into IECSC, so make your plans.
America’s Beauty Show’s Educational Workshops include high-level classes in all areas of hairdressing, color, barbering, makeup, business, nails and skincare.
ABS is a party in itself, but special events include the annual Beauty Changes Lives Foundation Experience and more.
The City of Chicago, our hometown. We are in a world-class venue, surrounded by world class restaurants, dining and entertainment options.
Registration is open at americasbeautyshow.com. It’s a party and an experience salon and spa pros don’t want to miss. It’s where you belong. We look forward to seeing you at America’s Beauty Show!
About America’s Beauty Show
America’s Beauty Show (ABS) is owned and produced by Cosmetologists Chicago (CC). Professional cosmetologists, nail technicians, stylists and colorists from all over the world attend ABS every year to experience superior education and innovation in all aspects of beauty, as well as gain inspiration to take back to their salons. ABS is the financial driver of legislative protection for licensure & regulation, funds scholarships for advanced education, and boosts awareness of the excellence of professional beauty services. With more than 70,000 admissions including salon professionals and owners, aspiring students and teachers, headliners and educators, leading product manufacturers and distributor personnel showing their latest products and distributors, America’s Beauty Show is a great destination for serious beauty professionals. www.americasbeautyshow.com