Fashion Focus, formerly known as the Pennsylvania Beauty Expo, took place at the Valley Forge Convention Center in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania on April 25-26th, 2010. This beauty expo, for cosmetologists and beauty school students only, is a great way to see what’s happening in the beauty industry, learn some new tricks and techniques, take some classes and get great deals on beauty products from a number of major retailers. There is a lot to see and experience – and spend – in a short amount of time.
On Sunday, there were a variety of hands-on workshops provided from 9 am until 5 pm. There were presentations on Monday from 9 am until 4 pm. Prices for these workshops ranged from thirty dollars to around two hundred dollars per class. Most of the classes included supplies, such as mannequins and clamps and any other materials needed for the workshop. Some of the classes available on Sunday and Monday were: waxing by Gigi, ergonomic hair cutting by Cricket, Foiling techniques by Product Club, and many additional classes by Rusk, Paul Mitchell, and even OPI. Some of the classes touched on upselling, retailing, clipper cutting, and applying false eyelashes. The classes certainly were pricey, but well worth the inspiration, excitement, and skills that they instilled.
Sunday evening from 5 pm until 9 pm and all day Monday were demonstrations and shopping on the exhibit floor. Tickets at the door for just the exhibit floor were a steep fifty-four dollars, but were free with the cost of admission to a workshop or presentation. Along with the ticket came a blue bracelet to show your admission to the exhibit floor, a canvas tote-bag to store free samples, a catalog, a map of the exhibits, and a list of show deals.
The exhibit floor was a maze of large and small displays, demonstration stages, and models in gowns and hair styling capes. Goldwell had a large stage with ongoing demonstrations of color techniques, haircuts, and updo’s, with two presenters sharing their knowledge and skills, and of course, the Goldwell product and color lines. Paul Mitchell had the largest demonstration stage with models in all sorts of avant garde costumes and several big name stylists presenting amazing techniques and colors for hair. They had a large product line available, but quicklysold out of their very popular carving comb. Matrix also had several very avant garde-looking models showing off the new product line as well as a mannequin styling competition. Aquage had many gorgeous models in striking blue evening gowns circulating the exhibit floor handing out cards for an education drawing. Big Sexy Hair had their own stage, as did Nexxus, Farouk, and a few others. The demonstrations were impressive, the models thin and beautiful, and the techniques were up-to-the-minute.
Many retailers, such as Cricket, Andis, American Crew, and Oster, had great deals just for the show. There were representatives for Schoeneman’s Beauty Supply available to take orders, as well as representatives selling salon furniture, education books and CD’s, and many other types of salon necessities. Even Cinderella hair was there, applying hair extensions for five dollars a pop. Everything found in a hair salon, nail salon, or spa was readily availability and ready to take home. There were even shopping carts provided for those making many or large purchases.
There was music everywhere, as many of the demonstrators had their own DJ’s, slideshows, and presenters. There were two places on the exhibit floor to purchase alcohol, but surprisingly there was no food on the exhibit floor other than a small hot dog seller which very quickly sold out and closed down.
The Valley Forge Convention Center is attached to the Scanticon hotel, which provided wonderful accommodations for many of the beauty show guests. The hotel is home to several restaurants, a gift shop, and a night club with lots of easily accessible parking. Just a short drive away is the unrivaled King of Prussia mall, many restaurants, fast food places, and of course, Valley Forge Park. It is easily accessible from many major roads and highways. Anyone attending the Fashion Focus Beauty Show next year will have no lack of education, shopping, food, or entertainment. Just remember to bring your credit cards and comfy shoes for all that shopping!