This year's HBA event, held in the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York, 27-29 November, was said to have attracted record attendance of 18,103 industry professionals - a figure that easily makes it the biggest health and beauty even in North America.
The CosmeticDesign.com team attended the event and reported that it was well by both industry professionals and exhibitors - although this year there was a distinct emphasis on packaging innovations, an area that has always been lucrative to the industry because of the premium margins it represents.
Arthur Lynch, president of Ultra Chemical, said of this year's event, "HBA was bigger and more diverse than ever. We did our best business at this year's show. Many of the cosmetics chemists we spoke to said that the conference program was of high quality and offered such a broad range of topics that it was tough to decide which day to attend."
The 14th annual HBA event is now scheduled for the same venue, but unlike last year, will also coincide with the Cosmeeting event, September 12-14. The move reflects tough competition within the cosmetics exhibitions circuit. Many experts believe that there are too many exhibitions chasing not enough business.
In Europe evidence of this has become clear from a clash of dates between the two main ingredients exhibitions - PCIE and In-Cosmetics. Both exhibitions were scheduled for the same week in March next year - PCIE in Paris and In-Cosmetics in Barcelona.
However the situation proved unworkable and one of the shows had to go. Step Exhibitions announced that it was pulling the plug on its PCIE show at the end of October, a decision that is likely to further boost the bigger In-Cosmetics event.
An indication of how intense competition was came in April of this year, when both the European ingredients exhibitions were simultaneously held in Berlin and Paris, resulting in many complaints from industry professionals finding themselves over-stretched to attend the two.
Although the situation between the Cosmeeting and HBA events is not the same as they are largely representing different geographical markets, it does seem likely that many of the industry players, particularly the smaller ones, will choose to represent themselves at one event and not both.
In many cases that will simply boil down to a matter of resources, as being in two places at one time for companies with limited human resources and/or budgets will prove impossible.
In the meantime, HBA has announced that it is continuing its mid-year educational forums with the PCITX High Performance Ingredients & Emerging Technology Conference, together with the Innovative Packaging Symposium, to be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in New York City on 18-19 April, 2006.