Fashion and beauty summit BeautyCon is a fairly new conference that has quickly gained traction, mostly due to the reach of the YouTube stars featured. The first public event was last year Los Angeles last year and received 10,000 RSVPs in the first week! BeautyCon made its NYC debut this weekend, and it was definitely a success. As I walked pass the bright yellow BeautyCon taxicab with bright pink balloons, I expected your typical conference. However, as I entered the large Pier 36 space, it was filled with screaming fans meeting their favorite YouTube stars. The event space was filled with photo booths and brands interacting with a younger, fashion-conscious audience in fun ways. It was almost like a digital carnival – yes, there was even a bounce house. The thing that impressed me the most about BeautyCon was the brand activation. Every single brand that participated had a creative way of interacting with their audience.
Hashtag Vending Machine
Boohoo.com, a global online fashion retailer, had the most compelling interaction, and possibly the second longest line (no surprise, the gift bag line wrapped around the building). Boohoo engaged their fans with a hashtag vending machine. As guests approached the shiny black boohoo-branded vending machine, they showed the representative their tweet with #boohoobeautycon. Upon tweeting and following @boohoo, the shiny machine released a secret Boohoo product. Most guests got Boohoo totes and sunglasses. Some got gift cards, jewelry and accessories! What was interesting is a lot of girls downloaded Twitter at the vending machine, which said a lot about the demographic – it’s said teenagers don’t really tweet. However, boohoo.com was trending by the afternoon. Maybelline and StyleHaul did a similar tweet exchange with a tweet for a free Maybelline lipstick. The Maybelline x StyleHaul booth had meet and greets with YouTube stars and lipstick matching.
Other makeup brands such as Tarte and Bare Minerals did shade matching, and sold out of their inventory before lunch. Tattly left their mark with temporary tattoos, including some custom BeautyCon tattlys.
Makers Studios, a new media company which runs several YouTube verticals, had a line at their booth, despite not selling a product. Girls and guys were lined up to take the ultimate slow-mo video to share on their social networks. This will draw more attention to the YouTubers on the Makers Studios network. The slow-mo video that takes the cake was created by @devonleecarlson (click for the video) of Wildflower Cases. Wildflower Cases also had a booth at the conference and were sold out by noon.
BeautyCon NYC was a great fan event with ample time to meet and interact with YouTube idols. From a brand perspective, the interactive experiences and giveaways proved to be crucial and led to sales at the event and online engagement. It’s a great demonstration of successfully bridging the gap between real life and digital life and engaging the next generation of fans.
Stay tuned to BeautyCon’s website for upcoming conferences in Los Angeles, Dallas and London.
Featured image via BeautyCon Facebook Page.