This week’s blog is all about why every beautypreneur should be going to events regularly and I’m going to dive straight in and boldly say that as a solopreneur YOU SHOULD BE ATTENDING AN EVENT AT LEAST ONCE A QUARTER. Industry events, networking events, conferences, courses, expos and trade shows should feature in your annual plans. At the start of each year I would advise you to sit down, work out which events you want to attend and get them booked and in the diary.
Many events are free and those that charge often have considerable early bird discounts so planning can save you pounds. The earlier you know about events the earlier you can book travel and hotels, another great way to keep the costs down.
Today I’m going to share my top seven reasons why every beautypreneur should be going to events regularly and then I’m going to list out my favourite annual industry events you might like to go to this year. I have also designed a FREE Indie Beauty Planner that details stacks of ‘must go to’ events. If you would like to claim your free copy then just click HERE.
Straight in at number one in the top ten reasons why every beautypeneur should be going to events regularly is NETWORKING. When you first launch your brand it’s highly likely you will do so as a solopreneur. If you are anything like me you will transition abruptly from a buzzing office environment to a solitary back bedroom office, with no one to talk to except the dogs and cats! You may also find that you leave behind a job where everyone around you understands what you do and suddenly find yourself talking to your husband who although totally supportive really doesn’t have a clue what you are doing. Events become your lifeline. At events you get to meet, chat and share with like-minded people. You make biz buddies who support, guide and mentor you. This is quite simply invaluable.
Second reason why every beautypreneur should be going to events regularly is VISIBILITY. If you want to be taken seriously in this industry you need to get out there and be seen. You need to be meeting other industry peeps and sharing your story and mission. Visibility leads to credibility and recognition. If you look at all the major players in the indie scene, like Sarah Brown, Founder of Pai, Tracey Woodward, former CEO of Aromatherapy Associates and Nicola Elliot, Founder of Neom Organics, one thing they all have in common is they are always at events doing presentations and talks. Like you however, they started by just going and getting noticed.
In at number three is INDUSTRY KNOWELEDGE. Part of your job as a brand founder is to be an expert in your industry. To be able to create your dream brand you need to have a deep and passionate understanding of everything. And I mean everything. If you are a vegan, certified cruelty free business you still need to know what’s happening in the wider industry. Industry knowledge helps you talk to your retail partners and your online customers. It guarantees you are aware of what competition is out there or on the horizon. It provides you with topics to talk about in your marketing and it allows you to spot trends and niches at an early stage. Many of the industry events have free, incredible educational programs, so take advantage of them.
The fourth reason why every beautypreneur should be going to events regularly is LEARNING. When you launch and develop your own business your job role suddenly expands to cover everything from accounts, VAT and tax to writing blogs, creating social media content and negotiating deals. There is no way to just blag you’re way through everything. There are always skills that you need to invest time and money in. Events and training courses are available at industry events and skills based events both at a local and national level. Some are free, so plan the skills you want to focus on and then do you’re research.
Coming in at number five is MARKETING CONTENT. The most asked question I get as a beauty brand mentor is, “how do I keep coming up with fresh, interesting things to talk about on my social media?” Events are a veritable festival of content. You can take your followers to the events with you and stream live on Facebook, Instagram Stories and Instagram Live. Check out a live broadcast I did from In Cosmetics Global 2018 below.
What's driving the growth of the natural and organic market and what trends can we expect to see coming through in the future. LIVE from In Cosmetics Global 2018
Posted by Rachel Whittaker at Indie Beauty Delivers on Wednesday, 18 April 2018
You can write blogs or posts about the trends and information you learn. My top tip for creating content off the back of events is to focus each blog or post on one subject. Don’t group everything together in one post, that’s a lot to take in for your followers and it means you use up all your content super quick. Always talk about as little as you can in each post so you can create lots of content.
The sixth reason beautypreneurs should be going to events regularly is CUSTOMER FEEDBACK. As a growing brand you should jump at every chance you can to get in front of your customers. Their feedback on your products and their understanding of our industry is super valuable. Feedback allows you to create products your customers love and understanding the industry through the eyes of your consumers helps you to create marketing content they find interesting and want to red.
In at number seven is OPPORTUNITY. Many events like Enterprise Nation’s Beauty Exchange provide opportunities to pitch to major retailers which would otherwise take you months if not years to secure. You also never know who is going to be at events. Many brands find investors at networking events where they have simply shared their passion and vision with a stranger. Seriously, it is just amazing who you can bump into and what opportunities can arise simply by getting out from behind your desk.
Have I convinced you to get yourself to some events this year yet?
Just to help you get a head start here are my favourite industry events.
In Cosmetics Global – It’s a 3 day extravaganza that celebrates all that is wonderful about our awesome industry. It’s a vibrant, noisy, energetic collision of suppliers, manufacturers, innovation, trends and networking. This year there will be over 800 exhibitors and over 500 newly launched ingredients. There is a special Indie Trail which will guide you to exhibitors who specialise in providing ingredients in 100kg or less production runs. There’s also 3 days of workshops, presentations and talks covering all aspects of our industry. If you need any more convincing then I better tell you its completely free. Just go to their website and register. And to top it all off it’s in Paris this year. That means a trip to Paris in Spring. Could it be any better?!
Enterprise Nation Beauty Exchange – The team over at Enterprise Nation are really passionate about the growth of our industry so much so they host a full day conference all about beauty in London every year. There is no date for this one as yet but keep your eyes peeled as I will update you as soon as it goes live. (Rumour has it, it could be I September.) The day is packed with non-stop presentations and talks on everything you need to grow your biz, from regulations to marketing, from logistics to insurance. There is also a chance to pitch to real buyers from some of the biggest names in high street and online retailers. It’s a fab day bursting with info and awesome networking opportunities. Exchange is one of the events with an entrance fee; however it is around £50 and definitely worth every penny. It’s a MUST. Keep your eyes open for the confirmed date.
SCS Formulate – is one of the last shows of the year. It’s free and is always in November at Coventry Arena. It’s a brilliantly compact show bringing together suppliers, manufactures, industry organisations and an awesome educational program. I had the honour of speaking at last year’s show and it was a wonderful experience and I highly recommend it.
If you are going to attend any of these events or if you have any recommendations for me please pop them in the comments below.
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Don’t forget to grab your FREE copy of my Indie Beauty Planner. Just click HERE.
On that note, grab your diary, start planning your events and I will look forward to meeting your personally at one of them this year!
Loads of indie hugs and love, Rachel xxx
P.S. If you enjoyed this blog you may like to read about how Rebecca, Founder of Emotiv Aromatherapy, met like minded biz buddies at various events that resulted in some pretty lucrative collaborations.