Midwest Goes American
New Name, New Place for National Show
The 85-year-old Midwest Beauty Show, owned by Cosmetologists Chicago, embraces a new identity March 1-3, with a re-branding as "America's Beauty Show" and a move to a massive exhibit space on Chicago's lakefront. Following a tour of the new McCormick Place location, CEO of Cosmetologists Chicago and Manager of America's Beauty Show Paul Dykstra talked about the news.
Q: Why the change in venue?
A: Two simple reasons. Our exhibitors told us they needed more space to deliver their key messages to salon professionals. Our attendees told us they want to come downtown to the exciting city of Chicago.
The name change from Chicago Midwest Beauty Show to America's Beauty Show reflects our growth beyond a regional show. Ours is the only sizable event in the U.S. that is wholly owned by an association of working cosmetologists. I, along with my management team, take direction from working cosmetologists who are members of CC. We don't decide what they may want; we listen and act on what they tell us they want.
Q: What's your projection on the size of the show?
A: We prefer to underestimate, but this year we are confident that at least 70,000 daily admissions will be issued.
All six exhibit halls at the Stephans Convention Center in Rosemont will fit into our space in McCormick's South Hall-with 100,000 square feet of space.
Imagine one dynamic "room" with a 40-foot ceiling and unobstructed viewing, where all exhibits, competitions, platform presentations and attendees will convene. Every exhibitor who has seen the space was blown away-and most made bigger plans for their exhibit than they had originally.
Q: What will all this upgrading cost the exhibitor?
A: Raw booth space costs did increase for 2008 due to contractual obligations with the international organizers of the World Championships of Beauty, [but] most other costs remain the same as 2007. The key labor "captains" at Regency Expo have all worked our show in Rosemont.
The City of Chicago welcomed America's Beauty Show back downtown. Rates in all our downtown block hotels, (except the Hyatt Regency McCormick) compare to or are lower than recent rates in Rosemont hotels.
Agreements are in place to ensure that union labor costs for carpenters, decorators, teamsters and riggers do not increase in 2008. Load-in and load-out time will decrease due to McCormick Place's state-of-the-art facilities.
Q: What's on tap this year besides the exhibits?
A: The 2008 America's Beauty Show will incorporate America's Expo for Salon & Spa for estheticians; America's Latino Beauty Congress to entice influential Latino cosmetologists; the International Nail Technicians Associations Conference; African-American Hair 2008!; America's Student Conference hosts at least 1,500 future cosmetologists; and our Meet the CEOs panel lets salon pros hear from corporate leaders. The industry's first Salon Sustainability Summit will address issues of salon profitability, community and environmental support. And the Organisation Mondiale Coiffure HairWorld Championships, will be hosted by the National Cosmetology Association.
Q: Are you working with distributors and reps this year?
A: We've always had a great relationship with local distributors and manufacturer's reps. We still sell a lot of tickets to the show through DSCs. I'd say both distributors and reps have a large role in the success of America's Beauty Show.
Q: How do ABS proceeds support the activities of CC?
A: The money raised from ABS goes back to improving the careers of working cosmetologists and building the salon industry. CC awards at least $25,000 each year for advanced education scholarships. CC was the only association to donate cash-$40,000-to the NCA Disaster Relief Fund/Katrina. Our annual education budget is close to $600,000. We offer live and online courses that qualify for continuing education hours. We educate nail salons about safety and sanitation. ABS revenue also supports the activities and benefits of our esthetics, nail and Latino subgroups that are not yet self-sustaining.