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The Wrap: Brisbane Hair and Beauty Expo 2017

Quickly developing a reputation as the friendly and accessible expo for the hair and beauty industry, the third instalment of the Brisbane Hair and Beauty Expo spilled into an additional hall – proving there is opportunistic growth of the organic kind in Bris-Vegas, writes Cameron Pine.

Rapidly becoming one of Australia’s most dynamic cities – there’s been a lot of growth in Brisbane in recent years and the high level of engagement at the annual gathering of the Hair and Beauty industry is testament to the Sunshine state’s industry growth.

liloffthetop on stage

With the audacious goal to surpass 10,000 visitors at the show by 2020, an already impressive growth figure of 25 per cent more exhibitors compared to 2016 is sure to get the laid-back yet highly educational show well on the way to being one of the biggest in the country.

Pulling guests from regional Queensland, Northern NSW and as far Sydney, Melbourne and even New Zealand, an impressive 6,120 attended this year – 20 per cent up on 2016’s attendance numbers and more than double the inaugural event in 2015.

Expo founder Jason Grenhalgh is extremely pleased with the feedback for the show and it’s growth and is looking forward to “Moving into another hall in 2018 and continuing to smash our previous year figures out of the ballpark,” he said.

Rising star showcase

“A huge thanks to everyone involved and all our exhibitors including the competition managers in bringing people to our show – we are expecting to grow by even more than 30 per cent in 2018,” Jason said.

“The increases we experienced in every aspect of the event are phenomenal. The day after the event we received numerous new enquiries from market leading brands who came to the show and want to exhibit at the 2018 event. We have some exciting plans for next year that will help us achieve our 2020 growth goal” he said.

A key drawcard to the event has proved to not only be the free education on the main stage but the affordable education seminars where guests can hear from industry experts without having to shell out hundreds of dollars.

Jules Tognini on stage

Back by popular demand was the Champagne lounge in the centre of the venue, where guests were able to chill out while grabbing a good view of the hair competitions located centre stage as well as soak up the relaxed yet inspiring expo vibe.

What really added some further gumption to the show this year was the extensive range of extended education seminars across business management, creative, retail and social. All bases from practical skills to inspirational mindset management, how to run, build and manage a multi-salon empire to the latest colour and cutting tips from the cool kids were covered.

Hearing from our proven pros including Julie Piantadosi and Dario Cotroneo, we also heard from Natalie Anne about maximizing social, the liloffthetop crew imparted their magical notions of individuality while Papas and Pace pushed our creativity and American Crew All Stars mastered men’s grooming. There was also a great balance between beauty and hair – Dermalogica’s Emma Hobson spoke of the importance of communication and confidence in business – skills that transfer to both hair and beauty.

Lorna Evans, Jules Tognini, Laura Macleod also imparted invaluable knowledge to all – balancing a fine example of both entertainment and education for every level of salon professional. Meanwhile, the Spotlight stage and the Barbershop hosted a range of industry recognized presenters to further support the 89 companies on show on over 145 sites.

Guests also had the opportunity to gain a front row seat to an intimate seminar featuring leaders behind multi-salon franchises; Jimmy O’Brien founder of Jimmy Rod’s, Jaye Edwards of Edwards and Co and Francesca Webster from Brazilian Beauty spoke of the importance of not getting too carried away with growth and putting yourself in the position of your staff to understand what is really going to propel your business. It was a great way to gain raw ideas out on the table with differing opinions and business models but also finding similarities. Topics ranged from ‘online bookings making hair salons nervous’ to becoming an essential part of a growing beauty franchise, also spotlighting a model like Jimmy Rod’s where no bookings are taken at all. Salons left feeling enlightened about the possibility to step away and further grow their own businesses.

The productive first day of the expo was capped off by a networking event on site for exhibitors and industry leaders and positive conversations regarding the event all-round, 2018 is shaping up to be bigger and better. Monday afternoon saw the announcement of the cutting competitions (managed by Matters in Gray) and featuring 11 categories across all aspects of cutting and styling – it was the perfect way to inspire our next generation.

Eyes on the Sunshine state for 2018 – and if you want to hang out with 10,000 industry leaders in a more affordable and growing city in 2020, now’s the time to get on board.

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