Meet the new Expo queen

Cory Watson has recently taken on the role as event director for Beauty Expo Australia, Beauty Expo Melbourne and Hair Expo Australia.

Therefore, just one week before she oversees her first event in her new role, we asked Australia’s  new ‘queen’ of beauty expos a few questions to get to know her better:

Why did you decide to take on the role as event portfolio director for Professional Hair & Beauty at Reed Exhibitions?
I’ve been involved in the Australian Events Industry for almost 15 years, so I’ve known about Reed for a long time. I’ve always admired the quality and standard of the events they deliver and the way that they put the customer first in everything they do ‒ whether that be exhibitors, partners or visitors. When the event director role in the Hair & Beauty Portfolio became available, it was a no-brainer for me. I love what Reed stands for, and now I get to be a part of that. What’s more, it’s evident that the hair and beauty industries are made up of creative, passionate and hard-working people and it’s so exciting to be able to help deliver inspiring events that keep them motivated and informed.

Although you are only new to role, are you planning to implement any major changes to the events in the next 12 months?
As a whole, the events look to be in great shape; however my job is to fine-tune them. The most important thing for me, initially, is to see each event with a fresh set of eyes, and to look for opportunities on how we can deliver even better ROI for our exhibitors and partners ‒ and a valuable, informative and exciting experience for our visitors. I’m looking forward to immersing myself in the world of beauty (and hair) to get a deeper understanding of the industry’s needs and how we can help to fulfil them. 

What do you believe are the biggest changes that need to be made to ensure all the events remain relevant to the industry?
To be relevant to the industry, we have to be part of it. Getting out and talking to everyone will be a big focus for me over the next few months. It’s imperative that we are forward-thinking and remain informed on current trends and industry challenges. We need to really understand our customer’s needs so that we can continue to deliver above and beyond what the industry expects us to.

Do you expect that dealing with exhibitors/visitors in the beauty industry will be significantly different to exhibitors/visitors in your previous roles?
I’m lucky as I’ve had the opportunity to work across a variety of events over the years, both in the B2B and consumer sectors, with a huge diversity in exhibitors and visitors. Despite the differences in the subject matter of the events, it all comes down to passion. On the visitor side, whether it’s new and expectant parents or salon owners and beauty therapists, the thing that ties them together is passion, and they come to our events to discover, sample, learn and be entertained. The same goes for our exhibitors and partners. No matter what event it is, our job is to deliver an audience to them that they might not be able to otherwise reach, and give them the opportunity to connect with these people – whether that’s to retail, launch new products, grow their databases, or to meet their prospective clients face-to-face. They’re all just as passionate about their businesses as the visitors are about discovering them. What we do is connect these people – it’s a pretty special and powerful thing to be a part of.

Have you noticed any nuances that seem to be unique to the beauty industry?
I worked on fashion events a few years ago, so I’ve had some experience with beauty before. I love the passion, energy and creativity of this industry so I don’t find anything peculiar at all – I think it’s wonderful and I’m thrilled to be involved with it again!

What are you looking forward to most at Beauty Expo Melbourne?
I’m excited to see the event in its entirety, including all of the wonderful products and services and the chance to pop in to some of our incredible education sessions. But mostly, I’m looking forward to getting out and meeting every exhibitor and partner on the show floor – what better way to start my new role but to jump straight in at Beauty Expo Melbourne!

Beauty Expo Melbourne will be held on March 24-25 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Beauty Expo Australia will be held on September 8-9 at the International Convention Centre Sydney.

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