As promised, here is my IMATS Toronto 2015 tips! What kind of tips you asked? Tips on how to survive the tradeshow, of course (just kidding)! If it is your first time going to a tradeshow, I want to share some stuff that I think could be beneficial for first-time goers! I wished someone told me about all these stuff way back when I started going years a go. I felt like I missed out in a lot of stuff because I didn’t realize some of the things that were going on during the IMATS. So, over the years, I learnt from my experiences and decide to share these tips with you!
There were, are and will be a lot of things going on at the IMATS! So, let’s get on with the tips!
Wear comfortable shoes (and clothes)! Know that you will be walking a lot, and there will be a lot of people in the tradeshow. Wear comfortable shoes so you can walk around and check out all the booths. There isn’t many chairs available in the tradeshow, so again, wear comfortable shoes. Also, some booths will be jam packed with a lot of people, watch out for those toes if you’re planning to wear sandals. Some attendees might get over-excited, so there might be some pushing involved, therefore please wear comfortable shoes.
Bring water! You will be there for the whole day, you’ll be walking a lot. Keep yourselves hydrated. Have a water bottle in your bag, and drink plenty of water during the day. There are, of course, vending machines and people selling drinks at the show, but those are overpriced. I’d recommend bringing your own water bottle, save those bucks for the brushes!
GO TO THE WORKSHOPS! I cannot reiterate enough how important and amazing these workshops are. They are really informative and beneficial, especially since they will be taught by the industry’s experts! They are the masters, gurus, experts, professionals in the industry, you will learn a lot! Take notes, and ask questions! These speakers KNOW exactly what they are talking about. They are not some girls next door who made videos, these people work in the industry and they know what they are doing! Please, go to the workshops!
Check out the schedules before you attend the show, and familiarize yourselves with the speaker’s bio. By checking out the schedule prior to attending the show, you’ll be able to organize your time while shopping so you don’t miss out on the amazing speakers. Check out their bios so that you know who they are, and hey who knows, they might be sitting next to you when they are taking a break!
Make a list of what you want. There will be a lot of booths and brands attending the show, thus making it quite overwhelming. Make sure you check which brands are attending prior to going to the show. Make a list of which booths you want to attend, or which products you want to buy. That way you get to work on your budget. Trust me, if you don’t make a list, you might end up buying more than you expect. Making a list of products that you want will also make it easier for the sales people to assist you, especially if you have a lot of products you need.
Check the exhibitors list, and prioritize which one you want to go see first. By figuring out which brands are going to attend, you’ll be able to go to their booths first before things run out! For example, the Make Up For Ever booth is one of the most popular booths in the IMATS, most of their products run out pretty quick. So, if MUFE is in one of your list, you might want to stop by their booth first! The other brand that’s quite popular is Crown Brush, which I think you all should put that down on your list! Crown brushes are amazing in quality, and at the IMATS they are sold at a pretty affordable prices.
Bring cash! Some of the exhibitors don’t carry machines…well back then some of them don’t, but I think at this moment most of them do carry credit card machines. However, I still recommend bringing in cash, especially if you have a budget to adhere too.
Bring a backpack (or a large shoulder bag). I recommend a backpack since you might end up buying a lot of products, and your bag might start getting heavy especially since you have to walk around a lot. Having a backpack will ease your shoulder since the weight is equally distributed to both shoulders. A large shoulder bag would be useful too, so you can carry all the products in your bag, instead of having it in different plastic bags on your hand. Bringing a medium to large size bag is definitely beneficial. However, from my past experiences, the IMATS organizer do give out a large free shopping bag for everyone. Hopefully, this year they’ll do the same. I usually bring a backpack just because I prefer to have my hands free so I can do swatches.
Talking about swatches, don’t forget to bring wet wipes! I usually bring baby wipes to clean up my hands from all the swatches. I also bring anti-bacterial hand sanitizer because I’m a bit of a germaphobe. I tend to put sanitizer before and after doing swatches. I don’t want to be bringing bacteria into the samples, nor do I want bacterias on my hand after I swatch them.
Smile and have fun! It’s a really fun event to go to, so enjoy the experience and have fun! If you are tired or need a breather, go out and check out Front St for some food or drinks. You can always return after an hour or two, as long as you have the ticket/wristband with you.
Extra tips for bloggers/makeup artists – bring your name cards, be nice to everyone, and smile! You never know who you’ll meet, so always be kind to everyone.