Its a Wrap for HBA

By Tom Branna, Editorial Director | November 4, 2010

Attendance tops 16,000 as industry executives flocked to New York City to learn the latest about the trends dominating the global beauty industry.

The all-important holiday selling season is right around the corner, but if tradeshows are any barometer of the health of an industry, beauty company executives can breath a sigh of relief come Dec. 26. That’s because HBA Global Expo only confirmed that the recovery is underway and beauty markets are growing again. Attendance reached 16,479 at the event, which was held Sept. 28-30 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.

Pamela Baxter, president and chief executive officer, LVMH Perfumes and Cosmetics, opened the event with a keynote address that urged the audience to take risks and job opportunities that add to one’s skill set. For her part, Baxter got her start in the industry by selling cosmetics in department stores. From there, she became a Charles of the Ritz makeup artist, before joining Revlon as an account executive. By the 1980s, she had joined Estée Lauder, first in sales and later in marketing.

“I moved to New York City to take the marketing job, without having any idea what marketing did,” recalled Baxter. Along the way, she was put in charge of La Mer and urged the audience to read“The Tipping Point” to learn more about the value of word-of-mouth advertising.

After that, she herded Jo Malone into the Lauder fold when the brand was acquired in the mid-1990s. Six years ago, Baxter joined LVMH, adding fashion to her resume after more than 30 years in the beauty industry.

“What I say to you is to get as many different experiences as you can,” she told the audience. “If you are in marketing, take the plunge in sales. Take finance to learn how to read a P&L.”

At the same time, some knowledge of human resources helps in finding the right people, but Baxter offered a shortcut that’s sure to work: “Hire people who are smarter than you,” she told the audience.

But wherever one’s career path takes her, Baxter insisted that passion plays a key role in one’s success.

“Be passionate. Be creative. CFT (cosmetics, fragrance and toiletries) is a little luxury, so put some passion in your business.”

That passion should be carried over into other parts of executives’ lives. For her part, Baxter is very involved with mentoring students in the Fashion Institute of Technology program.

“If you don’t have a mentor—find one,” she insisted. “You need someone whom you can bounce ideas off. As you grow, help someone else and mentor them.”

Baxter also urged the audience to look beyond the business and help others. To that end, she supports the industry’s “Look Good…Feel Better” program that helps cancer patients.

“We are a generous industry that comes together to support the women who buy our products,” she concluded. “So give back!”

Baxter’s passion about the industry’s goals and social program dovetailed with the presentation of the Positively Beautiful Award to Christie Brinkley for her work with SmileTrain, an organization that provides free cleft surgery for millions of children in developing countries and free cleft-related training for doctors and medical professionals.

Following the keynote and Positively Beautiful Award presentation, attendees were free to visit more than 500 booths on the exhibit show floor or sit in on one or more of the 50 conference sessions devoted to technical and marketing issues, green trends, global perspectives and more.

In the News
“As the event for trend-spotting, this year’s HBA Global didn’t disappoint,” said Jill Birkett, brand director, beauty and wellness. “From one hall of the Javits Center to the next, beauty and personal care innovations were being displayed, discussed and demonstrated to the leading manufacturers of cosmetics, personal care, skin care and fragrant products, including specific trends presentations and new hands-on sampling and make-up application techniques.”

According to Birkett, these show floor activities made HBA not just a great business networking opportunity but also a place to have some fun and learn something new.

“Our attendees were excited about the new products that they saw on the show floor as well as the information, insight, and best business practices that they learned in the conference program,” explained Birkett. Overall, there were more than 50 conference sessions devoted to issues surrounding formulation, marketing and regulations.

The Best in Packaging
Once again the conference featured the HBA International Package Design Awards (IPDA). Sponsored by Beauty Packaging and Happi, IPDA showcases innovative packaging from designers, suppliers and marketing companies.

This year’s grand award winner was L’Oréal Paris True Match Roller Perfection Roll On Makeup.
Category winners included:
• Cosmetics Mass—L’Oréal Paris True Match Roller Perfection Roll On Makeup;
• Cosmetics Prestige—Eye Steppes by Jane Iredale;
• Fragrance Mass—Hanae Mori Butterfly Solid Perfume Rings by International Cosmetics & Perfumes;
• Fragrance Prestige: Bella Una by Kymberliegh Wechsler by Calm and Scents;
• Skin Care Mass—L’Oréal Paris Go 360 Clean;
• Skin Care Prestige—RE9 Advanced by Arbonne;
• Personal Care Mass—Signature Collection Men by Bath & Body Works;
• Personal Care Prestige—Hapuna Keratin Retexurizer Stylist Caddy by Paul Brown Hawaii; and
• Green Packaging—Pure Shea Butter Collection by Shea Radiance.

The winners in each category and the Grand Award were announced during the HBA IPDA Reception, sponsored by San Mar Laboratories, Inc.

Mark Your Calendar
The 2011 edition of the HBA Global Exposition & Conference will take place June 28-30 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
More info: www.hbaexpo.com
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