Everyone Loves a Trade Show, Don't They...?

Every year around the world there are tens of thousands of trade shows and exhibitions where – you know the score – companies from the same industry get together in a huge space for a few days to sell their wares, increase awareness, show off new kit and tech and most importantly, schmoose clients, customers and suppliers at long boozy lunches!


But where did it all start? Why do we continue to find the need to gather in non-descript warehouses on the outskirts of major cities when we can now do everything online?


Apparently, it’s inbuilt in us. In his seminal book Exhibit Design, Robert B. Konikow, widely regarded as the authority on the history and meaning of trade shows and exhibitions suggests that to understand the concept of trade shows, we must think about how long people have been buying and selling goods.


Buying and selling hasn’t really changed since prehistoric times. It’s a fundamental principle of basic human survival – wares are displayed, discussed and then traded using currency or with bartered goods or services. These local marketplaces offered sellers a chance to explain why their goods were better than the guy next door to get more sales – like we said, nothing much has changed.


This way of displaying, buying and selling carried on for many thousands of years until the ancient Middle Eastern traders set up huge bazaars on certain days of the week which would attract other traders from all over the region who would bring their own offerings to sell or trade, and so it went on.


As we arrive in late medieval Europe and the advent of merchant capitalism, farmers and craftsmen would travel laden with goods to open-market trade fairs all over their local region and often further afield if the pickings were rich enough to sell their goods. Come the 1700s, it all exploded.


By the 1750s, trade shows and exhibitions were common in North America and Europe with entire cities competing to see who could put on the biggest, most lavish shows and if we fast forward to today, there's a smell of similarity about the whole thing!


The makeup and cosmetics industry is no different. Around the world every year there are dozens and dozens of excellent trade shows for our little corner of the global marketplace and the events are getting better and more sophisticated every year. BeautyUK, IMATS, UMAe, MonsterPalooza (celebrating the art of monsters and movie magic and was on last weekend in LA) and the dozens and dozens of others are all fighting for space but the truth is, there’s room for everyone and as an industry we must ensure that they are all well supported.


These events, upcoming and past, are vital for the development of new products, to showcase skills and techniques and to be the place where everyone, from the super-talented newbies coming into the industry to the most legendary names we have, can get together and learn from each other.


Talking of upcoming events – see what we did there – PAM will be exhibiting at UMAe at the Novotel London West (29th – 30th April) and after a short break to regroup, we’ll be at IMATS from the 19th – 21st May at Olympia so if you’re there, don’t forget to pop by our stand, say hi and as we’ve explained, follow a millennia-old tradition and buy something!

Posted: 13th Apr 17

Everyone Loves a Trade Show, Don't They...?