The 2008 Sydney International Spa & Beauty Expo attracted over 300 exhibitors and 11,000-plus industry professionals in August. The 16th annual expo introduced a few new features and set an industry benchmark, launching The Low Carbon Spa and Beauty Initiative.
 
Visitors found the new categorised floorplan much easier to navigate to find companies most relevant to their business. Mineral makeup, organic skin treatments and natural cosmetics proved popular, as did the tanning demonstrations, teeth whitening booths, 3D nail art and a “Cleopatra Facial” complete with 1000 gold spheres.
 
The highlight of this year’s expo was the Concept Spa: a fully functioning luxurious spa showcasing innovative designs, technologies and merchandising techniques along with practical environmental sustainability solutions for spas and salons. Green walls covered with vegetation provided an oxygen-rich environment and a stunning HydroGlass treatment bed – an aquarium-based glass bed – featured seahorses and a school of luminescent tropical fish.
 
The spa’s two treatment rooms, retail zone and Platinum Spa Lounge was designed by leading spa architects, Pike Withers. Concept Spa sponsors included Dermalogica, Pevonia Botanica, Sothys Paris, LI’TYA, HydroCo, AsiaSpa Magazine, Spa Australasia Magazine, Carbon Reduction Institute, Greenwall Company, H2O Designs, Reece and Spa Sounds.
 
“This was a world first in spa innovations and we are so proud Australia is leading the way in presenting practical environmental sustainability solutions,” said Lauren Ebbeck, Exhibition Director, International Spa & Beauty Expo.
 
Headlining the 2008 Seminar Series was Rob Cawthorne of the Carbon Reduction Institute speaking on Corporate Social Responsibility. This session provided detailed information on improving the corporate and environmental sustainability of spas and salons. Other expert speakers included Jaclyn Hughes from Ultimate Training Solutions who discussed how to maximise revenues from retailing; and Emma Hobson of the International Dermal Institute who spoke on delivering the ultimate customer experience. Narelle Chanery from One Group covered ingredient properties of organic versus natural products while Dr Doug Grose from ASAP Products showed how to choose the right products and equipment to grow a business.
 
Special expo guests included Danné Montague King from the US, Daniella Russell from Wafi Health and Leisure in Dubai, Marco Guidetti from Switzerland for Clinical Skincare, and a special appearance by Olympic Gold Medallist, Leisel Jones, ambassador for Thalgo.
 
The Makeup Awards 2008 impressed once again, as did an exclusive onstage demonstration by celebrity makeup artist Rae Morris, author of MAKEUP: The Ultimate Guide. Morris said she was “totally inspired” by the makeup artists participating in the Fantasy Makeup. This year’s winner in the Bridal Category was Kasey Walker and runner-up was Karla McMang, while the Fantasy Makeup Winner was Sharon Hsiang-Yi Min and runner-up was Ruth Brown.
 
Nail artists from across the country also had a chance to display their skills as they competed in Australia’s largest and most prestigious nail competition. Open to all aspiring artists, from students to masters, the Nail Awards 2008 was made up of six categories: Tips & Overlay, Sculptured Nails, Nail Art 3D, French Twist, Speed Class and Flat Nail Art. The Rob Bowery Perpetual Trophy was awarded to Tanya Wilds who placed 1st in the Open Speed Class; 2nd in the Masters Category for Sculptured Nails, French Twist, Tips & Overlay as well as the Combination Judging.
The new, sell-out Interactive Workshop Program was facilitated by Elly Lukas College of Beauty Therapy, provided hands-on practical training on Indian Head Massage and Ear Candling.
 
Live onstage demonstrations included Xtreme Lashes, Nfu.Oh Australia by Viv Simmonds from VIVid Nail & Beauty, Inika Mineral Cosmetics and Vani-T sunless tanning.
 
Continued growth is predicted for the spa and beauty industry over the next five years. Reed Exhibitions stated that in Australia alone, the estimated total expenditure on personal care services for 2007-2008 was $700 million, with one of the key factors of success being noted as “providing specialist equipment, facilities or products”. Australians spent $300m on non-surgical anti-ageing procedures in 2007 alone. (IBIS world industry report February 2008).
 

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