My friend Princess Zmunda asked me to create a post for first time attendee's of the IMATS show. I have never been to IMATS. I have been to The Makeup Show for the last three years and plan to go again this year. So I am only assuming they are similar, although I have heard that IMATS has more exhibitors and shows than The Makeup Show. So, I will be posting information based on my experience of the shows.
Make sure you have done your homework~There will be tons of companies that will lure you in. You want to make sure you have a plan before you go. Know what products you want to try or buy, and head for those first. Don't be dissuaded and get off track(trust me it's easy to do!).
Buy your tickets online~Make sure you purchase your tickets online so that you don't have to stand in the enormous line at the show! The online pre-sale ends on April 7th. You can purchase your tickets here. If you pre-pay you can pick them up at the show and just head on in.
Get to the show early(especially on Saturday)~Try to get to the show and get in line as early as possible! Some of the most popular brands like: Make Up For Ever, Inglot, and OCC will be sold out of their products very early on in the show. You want to make sure you get to these booths first if you plan on buying anything from them. This is where research comes in. If you already have your list you can just hand it to the sales associate to pull your products for you. Also, some of the booths have great goody bags for the early birds!
Wear comfortable clothes and shoes~This is not the time to wear your favorite club go get 'em girl shoes! You will be standing in lines that are a mile long, especially for the more popular brands. So be patient and be prepared to wait! Everyone is there for the same purpose to get major haulage, network, and learn a bit about makeup.
Don't pack a lot with you, because you will have a massive amount of bags to carry with you by the end of the day. You may want to dress in light layers. There may be a bit of a breeze outside, but once your adrenaline gets going from all of the beautiful makeup you see, your blood will get pumping!
Print out the list of exhibitors and classes~There will be classes, competitions, seminars, and much more going on. Make sure you print out a list of these things ahead of time and highlight which ones you would like to attend. Keep a watch or your cell phone handy to keep you aware of the time. You could even set the alarm on your phone or watch to buzz 15 minutes ahead of time so that you don't get caught up and miss a class you wanted to attend.
Bring cash with you~Make sure you have cash in hand. Most of the companies have debit card machines, but they can get wonky. Some booths may not have debit card machines and you could miss out on that product and deal you really wanted. Keep your budget in mind and make sure you get the items your really wanted first! A lot of the companies offer their pro discount so you should be able to get some really good deals. Make Up For Ever usually offers a 40% discount, so does MAC. Inglot I believe is somewhere between 20-30%.
Bring a camera~Some of you may be bloggers and you would like to get some good shots for your blog. You will see friends from online, exhibits, models, products and much, much more! Make sure you bring a camera so that you will have memories of everything you experienced. Don't forget to charge your battery so that you are fully loaded and ready to snap away!
Keep a mirror handy~You will probably want try on foundations, concealers, blushes, etc. Make sure you have a mirror in your bag, so that you don't have to fight for that one small mirror available at the booth(if they have one at all!).
Make sure you have makeup wipes and hand sanitizer~You are going to be swatching your little heart away! Make sure you have a way to remove all that makeup, unless you want to look like you are apart of the show.
Bring snacks~Food at the shows is usually very expensive and not very tasty! Make sure you have at least a bottle of water and some sort of snacks with you. You don't want to pass out while looking at your favorite product. Make sure you have all the energy you need, so that you can browse and buy until your hearts content!
Visit as many booths as possible~You never know what the next best thing may be. While most people will be focusing on the most popular brands, that one little unknown brand may be the next most popular. Don't overlook some of the newer brands, they may just be a hidden gem!
You are going to be in New York so you know you have to do all of the tourist-y things while your there:
Statue of Liberty
Grand Central Station
Monument to 9-11 disaster
Makeup Stores to visit:
Make Up For Ever boutique
8 East 12th Street
Mac Pro Warehouse(This is right next to the furniture store. You have to go inside the building to the back and then up the elevator.)
7 West 22nd Street
Inglot Cosmetics Times Square
1592 Broadway(at 48th Times Square)
322 West 49th Street
Ricky's(there are a lot of locations-great for makeup and hair products)
1412 Broadway(39th Street)
A few good places to eat:
9 East 18th Street
Gray's Papaya(hot dogs)
539 8th Ave.
F&B(wraps, seafood, hot dogs, salads)
269 W 23rd Street
Francisco's Centro Vasco(surf and turf)
159 West 23rd Street between 6th and 7th
Have fun, learn lots, and bring back some major haulage!