How To Survive A Beauty Trade Show

How to Survive A Beauty Trade Show - The Makeup Show Chicago

Are you thinking about attending a trade show for the first time?  Beauty trade shows are exciting and offer some of the best deals you can get your hands on. Even with all excitement of deals, meeting lots of people, and attending seminars, it can also be quite intimidating.

It’s that time again when different trade shows start popping up. Here is some advice on how first-timer’s can survive their first beauty trade show.

The Makeup Show Chicago Entrance

Be prepared. When it comes to shopping we can all get a little carried away. Give yourself a strict budget and research the brands and products you’re interested in looking at ahead of time. Only get what you absolutely need. If you’ve done well and have money left over, treat yourself a little bit. It might help to create a “shopping list.” Write down what products are an absolute need, what you’re thinking about getting, and what you’re merely interested in checking out well in advance of hitting the show room floor.

Ditch the heels. While beauty events like The Makeup Show (TMS) and the International Makeup Artist Trade Show (IMATS) are a great place to network and meet with companies and industry professionals, you want to make sure that you’re absolutely comfortable. Opt for a more comfortable pair of shoes and outfit. You can still dress for the occasion while staying comfy.

Plan in advance. IMATS and TMS, a pro-only event, is the perfect event to attend to learn about the industry through seminars and keynotes, planning ahead is the most important thing you can do. Keep track of which seminars and speakers you want to visit and coordinate that with the booths you’ll check out. You can easily spend 45 minutes at one booth alone.

Drink lots of water. After attending beauty trade shows in Chicago and Los Angeles, I can’t tell you how many times I was left dehydrated, wishing that I had water with me. Make sure you bring a large bottle of water and make sure you sip from it throughout the day. Even if the venue is large, you should expect a lot of people and for it to get really hot.

Besame Cosmetics Booth at the Makeup Show Chicago

Sephora Booth at the Makeup Show Chicago

Try new brands. We all get stuck in a bit of a makeup rut and commit to one of two brands. Beauty trade shows offer some of the best deals. This is your chance – and the best opportunity – to try new things. Try and purchase one or two things from brands you might not normally purchase. You never know what great must-have product you’ll find next.

Bring plenty of cash. A lot of the booths will offer credit cards, but it’s highly recommended to bring some cash. That way you won’t go too crazy with your credit card. Not to mention you won’t have to worry about charges you didn’t make. Like always, when carrying a lot of cash be careful. Make sure your money is secure and in plain site in your purse.

Patience is a virtue. No one likes standing in line. We’ve all gotten annoyed while standing in line at amusement parks or other places where a lot of people gather. Trade shows like the Makeup Show and IMATS will be no different. Be patient.

My final bit of advice – Have fun! Beauty trade shows are extremely enjoyable and I have some of the best memories attending them. Take everything in, meet new people and score some of the best deals on makeup.

Oh! and take lots of photos!

The Makeup Show Chicago collage

While The Makeup Show is only open to industry professionals, teachers, and students, the public is free to attend beauty trade shows like IMATS, PhamExpo, and Beautycon.

Have you been to a beauty trade show? What’s the best advice you would give to someone attending for the first time?

Disclaimer: The content of this post is non-sponsored, I was not compensated in any way in exchange for sharing my experience at the event(s) mentioned.


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About Angie


  1. This is great to know! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  2. Debra Holloway says:

    This was really an interesting article, I never knew these beauty trade shows were so hectic and fun!

  3. Ive never had the chance to go to one, but it looks like it would be a lot of fun!

  4. So many great tips. To be honest, I have never been to a trade show but I would love them! I know my wallet would hate me 😉

  5. denise low says:

    Thank you for sharing. This would be great to go to.

  6. patty.wright says:

    Looks like a lot of work and fun.

  7. Tracy Robertson says:

    Good tips! I especially agree with “stay hydrated” (I love my Bobble water bottle that I found on Amazon). It has a filter so I can refill it anywhere and get fresh, clean water. And “bring cash”. I never, ever use a credit card at a fair or trade show, it’s too risky!

  8. tat2gurlzrock says:

    That looks like a lot of fun. I would love to go to one and try new products!

  9. This is all great advice, especially about the water, which I think is something a lot of people won’t normally think about beforehand. I need to go to a trade show.

  10. gloria patterson says:

    learned something new I did not realize they sold products there. I just thougt it was look and sample products

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