Live Sampling Box Experience Raises $11,000 for Charity

Daniela Ciocan, director of marketing for SoGeCos/Cosmoprof North America, gave GCI an update on the success of Beautique, a unique live sampling program launched at the 2013 Cosmoprof North America event.

To allow attendees to connect with brands they may have overlooked on the show floor, the Beautique program curated 20 product samples, allowing attendees to hand-pick seven deluxe samples for a nominal donation benefiting City of Hope. The program’s objective was to allow attendees to self-select products of most interest to them that they may have otherwise overlooked, as well as for exhibitors to connect with buyers that may not have gone to their booth through an innovative twist.

“No one has ever done this in a trade show environment, and we knew it was a smart way for the visiting companies to get involved,” says Ciocan. “We looked at trends in the consumer market and then tried to do something similar for the trade.”

The team began the planning of the concept in February 2013 for the July 2013 show. They worked with HCT Packaging to create a custom box, deciding on everything from the box material, finish and sturdiness to create the signature packaging for the Beautique program. After rolling out the program to exhibitors and gauging their excitement level, PR promotion was begun.

Ciocan and her team edited the products to ensure variety and then worked hand in hand with the selected brands to identify the right samples, sizes and quantities. However, even with the prep and buzz, Ciocan wasn’t sure how the newly launched program would be received.

“Whenever you launch something and take it to market, most of the time, you don’t know what to expect,” says Ciocan. “So we prepared and we really thought that we had a winning concept, but you never know. We were swamped! Not just attendees [but] with exhibitors as well who wanted to check it out. We had to hire more people to man the area.”

From the novelty of the concept to the ability to receive a box that wasn’t premade to the interaction between exhibitors and buyers, the program was an agreed-upon success. In addition, the Beautique experience raised $11,000 for City of Hope from the proceeds of the program.

Unable to confirm whether Beautique will be a mainstay at other Cosmoprof shows, Ciocan was still positive about its potential. “What I can say for sure is that it’s been so unique in concept and my team did such an amazing job in bringing the vision to life. It’s a project that’s not easy to implement, it takes a lot of manpower, but I believe this is something that’s going to be more visible at other trade shows.”