We often think of beauty influencers as the product- and experience-obsessed consumers who post to their hordes of followers everyday about the latest and greatest in hair-care, skin-care, nail-care, cosmetics, and grooming. But before those products reach those influencers, THESE massive influencers make the industry spin. We’re talking about the hair stylists, colorists, barbers, nail technicians, makeup artists, lash specialists, and estheticians – and these are the critical influencers Questex tapped to usher in the triumphant return of the International Beauty Show (IBS).
Questex is the leading provider of media products and services serving the wellness, life sciences, hospitality, travel and technology sectors. They offer some of the world’s most popular trade shows, conferences and business events for specific markets, as well as e-media, magazines, e-learning and other information products.
Chiefly among Questex’s portfolio is International Beauty Show (IBS) New York, a massive in-person event at NYC’s Javits Center – held in partnership with Questex’s sister show, the International Esthetics, Cosmetics & Spa Conference (IECSC). IBS New York was America's biggest and oldest professional-only beauty show. Until Covid-19.
The pandemic closed the salon doors on IBS New York in 2020 and 2021, and amid continued Covid concern due to the delta and omicron variants, the returning 2022 IBS New York event was seeing registrations significantly lagging with only one month to go before the conference. Questex charged agency Park & Battery to rapidly create buzz and momentum, spike registrations and drive attendance.
Park & Battery spun up an omni-channel strategy to engage the beauty professional community with impact and to create a powerful sense of FOMO. At the core of the initiative was a targeted influencer campaign across Instagram and TikTok with some of the most followed and engaged beauty and wellness professionals in the industry – empowering them with scripts, graphics and inspiration to speak to their audiences about IBS New York. The core strategy among these influencers: leverage FOMO-style language that make recipients feel like they miss something big if they don’t register and attend
We added to the “surround sound” with targeted digital display, streaming audio, and podcast advertising on Spotify, with spots running during regular programming as well as in such popular specialty podcasts as “Grow My Salon Business” with Anthony Witaker, the “Successful Hairstylists Podcast,” “The Hairpreneur Show with Ryan Weeden,” “Breaking Beauty” and “Table Talk Podcast for Massage Therapists.”
P&B also worked with the Questex events team to increase the urgency and FOMO factor of their own multi-channel marketing promotions, amping the language with “Limited capacity/spacing is running out,” “Reminder,” and “Time is running out” verbiage to reinforce the necessity to register; as well as emails dedicated to previewing specific high value speakers/session/classes.
With limited time and budget, the campaign launched with just weeks left before the show – and yielded a stunningly beautiful return to the industry’s biggest event.
Questex CEO Paul Miller stated: “To say that this has been a journey in persistence, resilience and customer focus is a massive understatement. The teams deserve every plaudit coming their way and the customer/attendee feedback was the most positive that I have ever heard at a trade show.”
Importantly, the campaign was so successful that it become the playbook for future events for Questex and Park & Battery – a playbook that immediately delivered for IBS/IECSC Las Vegas, which surpassed 2021 attendance by 30% with nearly 22,000 attendees. Now that’s a thing of real beauty.
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