IMATS, is held every year and has 6 shows around the world (London, NY, Sydney, Vancouver, Pasadena, Toronto). If you love makeup and a great bargain and don't mind long lines. You must attend this if there's a show around your area. Not only are there booths with discounted makeup but there are also makeup classes, a fashion show and some of the attendees are award winning makeup artist and beauty gurus!
PRO CARDS: SOME booths will give pro cards/memberships w/o asking for any sort of credentials. A pro card is basically a discount card, so applying for this is great if you want an extra EXTRA deal. Whether you're a professional makeup artist or not you might be able to apply depending on the booth.
1. Plan Ahead!
Make sure you buy your tickets on their website, beacuse some times they sell out and turn people away at the door. Pre-sell ends a couple of days before the trade show starts, so get your tickets online at their website. www.imats.net
Get there early. There's a line to pick up your pre-sell wristbands, a line to buy your tickets at the door, a line to get into the convention center and a line at popular booths.
2. Get informed
Check out the IMATS website. Browse around and get familiar with the floor plan, class schedule and dates and times. This way you'll know what day you want to attend and who is going to be where. Prices vary from person to person and every year, it seems to be getting more expensive.
Follow your favorite people on twitter, most of the time, they'll let you know where they're at and what they're doing. This is great if there's a specific person you want to see or take a picture with, most of the time they'll let you know on Twitter, if they're going and where they're at.
Also, certain makeup companies will let you know what's going on at their booth, on Twitter.
3. Make a shopping list
If you go to the IMATS website, they have an exhibitor list of all the companies that are going to be there and if you click on the company, they'll take you to their online-store. Check their online store out, and do some window online shopping. This way you'll know what you want to buy at what booth and you can make a list.
Some years are crazier and more packed than others, so if you get there early you might be able to have time to swatch, and if you're there both days, you might be able to dedicate one day to swatching and browsing and the next day to purchasing.
But if you get there late or its super packed, a lot of the stuff you're looking for especially if its a "HOT ITEM" might be sold out, so that's why I say do window online shopping.
Also, check out IMATS Haul videos on YT, this is great to see what people have gotten in the past and maybe you'll want to check that out too.
4. Pack Right!
Take your print out ticket, if you bought your ticket online. Money. Camera and an extra battery. Snacks. Flats and/or comfy shoes.
Don't take a huge handbag, the walking space is slim and you're going to get bumped in to! So bring a small handbag or a cross body satchel.
Some people go dressed comfortable, some go all decked out as if they're going to the club and some people even go dressed in costume. Which every the case may be for you, know that you will be walking around a lot and standing in line A LOT, so be prepared!
Take different forms of $$$. Debit card. Cash. Checks, you never know who's going to be accepting what, so be prepared.
Bring a camera and an extra battery. There's LOTS of cool stuff to see and you're going to want to take pictures of everything. There's great special effects makeup. Award winning makeup artist. Fashion Show. Beauty Gurus.
Bring snacks! You're not going to want to get out of line, to go eat. Especially because the places to eat outside of the convention center are always super packed. Also, the food there is kind of pricey and kind of blows, meh. So bring your own stuff to munch on.
5. Check out the deals
There are free standing store of specific brands but also there are beauty supply stores that sell this brand too and one booth might have a better deal than the other. So check out both and know your options. Also, if you're a certified professional makeup artist ask about pro cards and the pro events. If you're not a certified MUA ask about a pro card anyways, some booths are just handing them out.
6. Take a buddy
This is a great experience take a friend to enjoy this with. You'll have a nicer time, if you take someone with you. Also, you can take a buddy and split up your shopping list and cover more ground.
7. Be nice!
This one is pretty straight forward, and it seems dumb but when it comes to deals and its wall to wall madness, it gets crazy. Make sure you keep your cool and be nice.
Creator of Sugarpill Cosmetics!
INGLOT's first year in LA, its was crazy!!!
She was so sweet and nice!
Outside of convention center, Pasadena, CA
We got there early and it was super lonely