Note: The following post is for educational purposes only.
This week, I followed the Cosmoprof North America Trade Show event before, during, and after it took place. To gain a better understanding of what exactly Cosmoprof is, I did a little front-end research by checking out their various social media platforms, looking over their website, and signing up for their newsletter.
Here are the basics:
Cosmoprof North America, organized by North American Beauty Events (NABE), Professional Beauty Association (PBA), and Bologna Fierce, is an annual trade show held in Las Vegas each summer. Over 900 exhibitors, from 37 countries, participated this past week and 26,000 visitors from 104 countries were in attendance.
These numbers really surprised me. What a great opportunity to reach and expand an audience! The audience is already persuaded: they’ve made plans to attend, purchased airline tickets and lodging, and probably mapped out the booths they would like to check out. Should be as simple as pie, right? Not so much.
Event marketing does not stop at ticket purchases. There are a lot of other factors and statistics involved in event marketing through the website and media. It takes much thought, careful planning, and a strong team to be able to cover all aspects of the event thoroughly. So, how does Cosmoprof measure up?
A Review of Social Media channels listed on Cosmoprof’s website:
Cosmoprof’s Facebook page currently has 5,133 likes, which is only 11 likes higher than before the event. They used their Facebook page to promote the event beforehand, but did not post as frequently as I would have thought.
There were a good number of posts promoting the event beforehand, however they were not consistent. A promotional post was put up on July 9th, and then nothing was posted again until the second day of the event (July 14th). During the event, a total of 8 Facebook posts were put up, between July 13th – 15th, with an average of 3 likes per post.
Cosmoprof’s Twitter page had 2,716 followers before the event, and 2.727 followers after – (oddly enough, the same growth as their Facebook page). Regardless, I noticed this platform was much more heavily used than their others.
In what looked like an attempt to call out almost every vendor booth in attendance, Cosmoprof sent a rush of tweets in a short time frame on July 15th, giving a brief description of what products the vendor was showing, along with their booth number. They started these tweets out with hashtagging the vendor’s booth, which did not prove to be very effective. After a while, they continued to tweet booth numbers, leaving off the hashtag. I did not see very many other hashtags used by Comsoprof, other than from others’ tweets that were retweeted.
The Twitter content mainly consisted of these vendor tweets and retweets. There has only been one tweet since the trade show ended on the 15th, and it was to congratulate the winner of the Discover Beauty Award.
Prior to the event, Cosmoprof’s LinkedIn page had 2,422 members – which increased by one member to 2,423 after the event (I was that member).
Daniela Ciocan, Marketing Director of Cosmoprof North America, was the main content contributor within the private group’s dicsussion board. She provided strong content with links to blog posts or articles about Cosmoprof’s success and brand marketing information that could be beneficial for their vendors. Daniela has not yet posted a wrap-up or re-cap of the 2014 trade show.
Cosmoprof’s Instagram button on their website will take you to Web.stagram, an Instagram web viewer, however, clicking the Instagram button, above, will direct you to the actual Cosmoprof Instagram page. Cosmoprof currently has 2,866 followers.
Oddly enough, Cosmoprof’s Instagram channel is not used nearly as much as their Twitter page, however, they received the most audience response on their Instagram posts than any other social media channel used. Like Facebook and Twitter, hashtags are rarely used by Cosmoprof on Instagram.
Their content posted through Instagram is different from Twitter and Facebook – it has a bit less of a business-oriented presence, and more of a casual “friend” feel. (See the Marketing Director enjoying a cigar below)
Cosmoprof’s Pinterest follows along with the trend we are beginning to see: there are only 52 pins across 7 boards. Cosmoprof has gained one Pinterest follower from the beginning of the show to the end, for a total of 275 followers. Although no hashtags are used to increase the number of possible viewers, their boards contain relevant, and up to date pins about Discover Beauty, blog posts, fashion, and beauty tips.
The Cosmoprof website contains all information that is needed to plan a trip to the Cosmoprof North America trade show. Almost anything a vendor or visitor might need is hidden within this website. Cosmoprof does an excellent job of describing the special guests that will be speaking at their event. Their interactive exhibition floor plan is user-friendly and very helpful as well. This is the platform where Cosmoprof shines, compared to their social media efforts.
Cosmoprof North America “News Flash” contains great blog posts for those in the beauty business, and does an excellent job of sharing published posts across their social media channels.
Cosmoprof could stand to use more marketing tips when it comes to their social media channels. The platforms that they use are not used to the best of their abilities: for instance, Twitter is the king of hashtags: they need to take advantage of this missed opportunity to reach prospective visitors for future events. Pinterest is a perfect platform for sharing beauty tips or ideas for beauty businesses: this channel should be utilized more. I was surprised to see how little was posted across all channels during the actual event. I assumed content would be posted frequently during the event to take advantage of the opportunity to reach a large number of interested consumers.
On the contrary, Cosmoprof does do an excellent job of sharing what other bloggers and attendees have to say about the event, which fosters a positive and caring relationship with consumers by giving them some spotlight. They made a point to call out many of their vendors on Twitter, suggesting visitors stop by their booth and showcasing their products. Other than links to blog posts, and vendor spotlight, very little content was posted to promote the event: the occasional promotional offer for registration was posted, but Cosmoprof only seemed to promote Vegas and various trade show lodging options on their website.
IMC: Present with Cosmoprof?
I signed up for the Cosmoprof newsletter two days before the event began, in hopes that I might receive a newsletter between then, and writing this post. Unfortunately, I received nothing…not even a “Thank you for signing up!” email. I signed up again, with a second email address, in case this was a fluke, and still have not received anything. Therefore, I cannot accurately report on the content of Cosmoprof’s newsletter.
However, their website contains a large list, showcasing articles and write-ups from other media affiliates, about the trade show. They have also included their own press releases, as well. This, along with the fact that they do have a newsletter, leads me to believe Cosmoprof does make an effort to engage in an IMC strategy.
The Cosmoprof logo is consistently used as a profile picture across all social media channels, and the majority of images used are professional and clear.
I noticed that the usernames on their social media channels are inconsistent, which could prohibit consumers from finding their profile. For example, on Facebook, Cosmoprof is called “Cosmoprof North America”, while on Twitter, it is called “@Cosmoproflv.” Cosmoprof could change their Twitter handle to “@Cosmoprofna” to avoid any possible confusion.
Overall, Cosmoprof makes much of an effort to promote their vendors and share Trade Show event reviews written by others. 45% of trade show attendees only visit one trade show, per year. Therefore, it is crucial that Cosmoprof engage with their attendants to ensure they remain at the top of their list. Their social marketing strategies could stand to use some additional content, with a goal to increase fans and followers engagement through added IMC efforts. They could achieve this by using relevant hashtags, such as #cosmoprof, #beautyprofessional, #beautytips, and more. Cosmoprof should also make an effort to share more than their blog posts across each of their social media platforms. Sharing an instagram picture on Twitter or Facebook could encourage fans to follow them on additional platforms.
With so many international attendants, Cosmoprof should also make an effort to promote the venue and any hotel or restaurant sponsorships/partnerships to assist attendants with travel plans and information about the Las Vegas area.
Thimmesch, M. (2013, August 17). 16 Powerful Stats on the Value of Trade Shows. . Retrieved July 18, 2014, from http://www.tsnn.com/news-blogs/16-powerful-stats-value-trade-shows