It's been a long time since I went to a full two-day conference! I've attended the Food & Wine Show, the Women's Show, and other featured events but there's just SOMETHING about these weekend-long events, they're a whole new world!
What is Generation Beauty?
Generation Beauty is a beauty convention created by Ipsy, a beauty subscription service that I used to receive monthly bags of before the Canadian dollar dropped through the floor this winter. They've run these in New York and Los Angeles and this is the first year they've done one in Canada. The announcement of the event was strange, they started selling tickets BEFORE they allowed bloggers to apply, so I actually bought my $60 super-early-bird admission off of a friend who was accepted as an IpsyOS content creator after already buying a ticket (Thanks Alanna!) And despite being hesitant about spending my entire birthday weekend at a convention, I'm glad I did.
- The swag! There were some DOPE products for grabs at this event! Here's just a list of my favourite FULL-SIZE products: Tarteist mascara, Smashbox hydrating primer, NUDESTIX lipstick, NYX lip palette, Too Faced Born This Way concealer, PUR double-sided eyeliner pencil, a Tarte Amazonian brush and more. These were TOTALLY the type of products that I was excited for and they made my admission totally worth it.
- The atmosphere. It's fun to be in an environment where EVERYBODY is really into that thing you love. I know a lot of my readers are JUST AS EXCITED by makeup as I am, but where else can I go to LITERALLY JUST TALK ABOUT SHADOW FALLOUT in line for 30 minutes with a new friend? NOWHERE.
There's not much to DO. There's literally no tutorials, demonstrations, interactions or community development. The meet and greets are yet another example of line-management - you wait in line from anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, get one photo and a hug (if you're lucky) and then you go find another line. For a brand that talks about bringing beauty fans together, the only people I made friends with this entire weekend was people I stood behind in line for an hour.
Brands were NOT prepared. There were some brands who were SUPER PROS at this event. Too Faced got you colour-matched in line ahead of time, Smashbox had the MOST EFFICIENT line, IPSY's line went super quickly (when they weren't out of bags) and Benefit's was fast too. Unfortunately Caudelie had no samples on Saturday, their 'coupon' was for 10% off a purchase. Then they backpedaled, brought 500 on Sunday and were gone within 30 minutes. OGX gave out foil samples that I can get in Sample Source or other freebie mailers, and Pur~lisse gave me the smallest cream sample I've ever seen. It's smaller than KIEHLS.
Not REALLY a two-day event. I would RATHER to a 10 hour one-day event, than a 10 hour event split into 2 days. Because if you're already committed to staying the entire time, by breaking it up into a 6 hour and 4 hour day, you're literally doubling my commute time to get there and back. And I LIVE in the city. If there were event events for attendees, or a few 'unofficial' meetup spots, it's different, but there was literally nothing to do other than in the conference room.
- Lines. Lines. Lines. The entire convention is literally situated around lines. You line up to get your registration badge, you line up for the doors to open, you RUN through the doors to your first line, give them your coupon, get your swag and run to the next line. The ENTIRE EVENT is about lines. The most egregious was Make Up For Ever, whose line was closed most of the weekend, and took 1.5 hours. I literally could not line up for this brand all weekend and took a gamble at the end of Sunday and got 2 eyeliner pencils and a setting spray sample for my effort. Yay?
- Miscommunication. Lots of booth staff were LOVELY and sweet and worked their BUTTS off all weekend, but there was also a lot of misinformation spreading around. Some booth staff didn't give or inform people about what each booth entailed (what the coupon was for, whether there was a 'bonus' item for a social media post) and often staff would man the lines, bored, and then when you get to the front you have THIRTY SECONDS to follow the brand on Instagram or Twitter, or take a photo..something you could've done the entire hour you were in line. (I'm looking at you Nyx!)
In a nutshell, even though this convention is totally worth the price of admission for early-birds and $100 ticket buyers, I question the value that people got out of it at the $200 level. I also felt like I WORKED MY BUTT OFF for every product I received, so despite the fact that it was only $60, I'M STILL TIRED 24 HOURS LATER.
Would I do it again for $60? Probably, but if anything this event made me realize I need to up my social and blogging game so I can gain access to their events and actually get some face-time with stylists and brands.
So overally, Generation Beauty was a win. It's GREAT to have a big-buzz beauty convention in Toronto that isn't just IMATS, but there's a lot of improvement to do for 2017.