24 March 2023

The International Salon and Spa Expo Long Beach reaches Record Attendance in 2015

Produced by the Professional Beauty Association (PBA), the 2015 International Salon and Spa Expo Long Beach (ISSE) continues to be the West Coast’s largest and most influential beauty event.

Reaching record attendance, ISSE Long Beach 2015 welcomed an energetic crowd of nearly 43,500 beauty professionals from around the world. PBA has set out to evolve ISSE Long Beach beyond the traditional “hair show” and become the industry’s most complete beauty event for professional hair, nails, cosmetics, esthetics, wellness, massage and advanced education. 

ISSE Long Beach is known for its diverse exhibitor base and 2015 was no exception. Known as the launch pad for new beauty products and services, this year’s event featured more than 379 exhibiting companies promoting 420 beauty brands. Ranging from international beauty leaders to indie trendsetters, exhibiting brands included AmikaAmerican Crew, CND, Enzo Milano, FHI, Matrix, OPI Products Inc., Sexy Hair Concepts, Vidal Sassoon, and Zotos International. Corporate event sponsor, Beauty Systems Group, continued their support in the ticket selling process and participate on the exhibit floor. Additionally, with SalonCentric returning to the event as a corporate show sponsor, ticket seller and exhibit floor participant, ISSE Long Beach was able to secure eight companies that had not exhibited in five years or more.

ISSE Long Beach 2015 Show Highlights

Education and Stage Presentations: ISSE Long Beach 2015 featured some of the biggest names in the industry. Attendees saw presentations from Ted Gibson, Beth Minardi, Ammon Carver, Lydia Sarfati, Adam Tran, and more. With three main stages to choose from, including Center Stage and the NAHA Stage and the new Cut, Color & Style Stage, ISSE Long Beach 2015 also featured more than 150 complimentary education sessions. Spanning all three days of the event, classes covered all aspects of hair, nails, makeup, skincare and wellness. Attendees could create a personalized schedule of professional sessions in hair, nails, skin and business, including a lineup of Hands-On Workshops, CIDESCO Section USA, and Student and Early Professional classes.

NAHA Stage: The North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA) continues to be the industry’s premier photographic hairstyling competition and awards ceremony. The NAHA Stage featured past NAHA winners and multi-category finalists in an intimate setting where attendees learned up close and personal from some of the industry’s biggest stars on how to take a winning NAHA collection from concept through submission. Presenters included Steve Elias, Charlie Price, Nicholas French and Chrystofer Benson.  

Hairbrained Teach In and Meet Up: Following the show on Sunday, January 25, attendees were invited to attend the first ever Hairbrained Teach In inside the Long Beach Convention Center. This event brought together some of Hairbrained’s most talented artists who shared their knowledge and passion with those in attendance. Afterwards, attendees mingled with peers during the official Hairbrained Meet Up.

Night Out Party: Exclusively for ISSE Long Beach attendees and exhibitors, PBA’s annual Night Out Party was a huge success this year. To carry on the excitement of the day, beauty professionals came together to mingle with fellow beauty enthusiasts and danced the night away. As part of the festivities, Ted Gibson, celebrity hairstylist and ISSE educator, also held a meet-and-greet photo opportunity with the attendees and announced the ISSE Long Beach 2015 “Best Of Show” winner, Daily Concepts Konjac Sponges.

New Blogger Cafe: New for 2015, ISSE was proud to launch the first ever Blogger Cafe. This new program united exhibitors with top online beauty influencers in a designated area on the show floor. Exhibitors could schedule one-on-one meetings with the participating influencers to discuss their latest and greatest brands. These beauty influencers also voted to determine the winners of the ISSE “Best Of” awards. Featured beauty influencers included Aquahearts Obsession, BangStyle, Beauty Frosting, Creative Age Publications, The Fabulous File, The Hair Nerds, LA-Story and Romy Raves. Attendees also had the chance to win the same VIP gift bag (valued at $1,000) distributed to the beauty influencers filled with the latest professional tools and products found on the show floor.

ISSE “Best Of” Awards: All exhibiting brands were eligible and judged by the beauty influencers who participated in the Blogger Cafe. After touring the show floor and selecting their favorite products, these influencers voted on the top five nominated products in each category. Winning brands include:

  1. Hair – Best New Product: Glam Palm Simple Touch Flat Iron; Best Established Product: Color Wow Root Cover Up
  2. Skin – Best New Product: Glycelene Rejuvenation Cream; Best Established Product: Daily Concepts Konjac Sponges
  3. Nails – Best New Product: Caption by Young Nails; Best Established Product: MoYou Nail Stamping Kits
  4. Best of Show: Daily Concepts Konjac Sponges

First Annual Southern California Beauty Career Fair: PBA was proud to host the first annual Southern California Beauty Career Fair at ISSE Long Beach 2015. Show attendees and beauty professionals could speak one-on-one with representatives from beauty companies and salons/spas about available job opportunities on Monday, January 26 in the Long Beach Convention Center. The Fair was also open to the public and free to attend. Participating companies included Dry Bar, Eighteen Eight Fine Men’s Salons, jcp salon and Polished Perfect. 
The Nail Spot and Cut, Color & Style Stage: Designed for nail professionals, The Nail Spot featured creative and technical education, Nailpro nail competitions, nail artistry and more. Nail professionals looking to enhance their knowledge, creativity and skills, found it at The Nail Spot. The new Cut, Color & Style stage featured the most sought after styles from top industry experts. Nick Arrojo, Keune, Michael O’Rourke and others unveiled innovative techniques and applications from the basics to the unique.

Barber Brawl Competitions: Due to the overwhelming success from last year, PBA was proud to host Major League Barber’s Hot Hands Barber Brawl competitions at ISSE Long Beach 2015. This year’s competitions kicked off with a Barber Summit where leading barbers and manufacturers shared the ins and outs of the industry. The competitions took place on Sunday, January 25 and over forty competitors competed in various categories. For a complete list of winners, please visit probeauty.org/competitions/isselb/.  

ISSE Hairstyling Competitions: ISSE Long Beach brought back its Hairstyling Competitions in 2015. Open to students and licensed professionals, the hair competitions allowed individuals to show off their skills and add to their portfolio. The competitions took place on Monday, January 26, and over forty competitors competed in either the senior or junior categories for Long Hair Bridal and Avant Garde – inspired by the North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA). For a complete list of winners, please visit probeauty.org/competitions/isselb/

Try-outs for OMC Hairworld 2016: New this year, tryouts for a chance to be on Team USA at OMC Hairworld 2016 in Seoul, Korea were held in conjunction with the ISSE Long Beach Hairstyling Competitions. The U.S. will be represented by four teams in 2016: Senior Ladies’ Technical, Senior Ladies’ Fashion, Junior Ladies’ Technical and Junior Ladies’ Fashion. OMC categories were open to all contestants. Competitors had to compete in both technical categories or both fashion categories to be eligible for the Team USA try-out. Ben de Cordova won both the technical creative and Hair by Night categories and will be taking the fourth and final spot in the Senior Ladies’ Technical Team. 

Nail Competitions: The Nailpro Nail Competitions, sponsored by Nailpro Magazine, featured eighty new and seasoned entrants in various categories. For a complete list of winners, please visit probeauty.org/competitions/isselb/

Best of Booth Awards: Many companies launched new and/or expanded booths at the 2015 event. From layout and signage updates to complete makeovers, firms invested in their image. Launched in 2011, ISSE Long Beach awards top honors for winners in each category. Booths were judged by industry and non-industry peers on corporate branding, product presentation, exhibit personnel and booth design. Winning booths include:

  1. Best Island/Peninsula Booth: MINDBODY(first place) | Millennium (second place) | BarBar (third place)       
  2. Best Island Booth: Uberliss (first place) | Brazilian Blowout (second place) | Sexy Hair (third place)
  3. Best Linear Booth: Viviscal Professional (first place) | STX (second place) | Salon Booker (third place)   

PBA Member Perks: PBA members enjoyed VIP perks at ISSE Long Beach. From discounts on expo tickets and paid education to exclusive access to the PBA Member Lounge and extra savings on the show floor through PBA’s Member-to-Member Program.

Sally Beauty Bus: The Sally Beauty Mobile Nail Studio visited ISSE Long Beach on Sunday, January 25. This beauty bus showcased the new Nail Studio that will be in all 3,000 Sally Beauty stores in the U.S. and Canada. The Nail Studio featured 750 polishes from OPI, China Glaze, FingerPaints, Orly and others. Attendees could select from the polishes on display and enjoy mini manicures throughout the day. 

PBA Scholarship Presentations: Cosmetology students and licensed professionals also benefited from generous donations at this year’s show. PBA’s Sally Beauty Scholarship Fund presented a $10,000 by Jan Roberts, director of corporate communications for Sally Beauty. As a long-time supporter of industry education, Sally Beauty is invested in maintaining the integrity of the professional beauty industry. The 2014 Minerva Beauty Cosmetology Scholarship winners were also honored at ISSE Long Beach. Earlier last year, Minerva Beauty awarded five $1,000 scholarships to students currently enrolled in an accredited cosmetology program. These winners were also honored at the scholarship presentation by Matt Beck and Martino Cartier, two of the top educators in the industry, on behalf of Minerva Beauty.

PBA Beauty Bar: The PBA Beauty Bar provided attendees with the opportunity to hand pick five deluxe product samples from select beauty brands in exchange for a donation to the PBA CUT IT OUT® Program. This initiative raised approximately $4,000 for CUT IT OUT®, a program dedicated to fight the epidemic of domestic abuse in communities across the U.S. by building awareness and training salon professionals to recognize warning signs and safely refer clients, colleagues, friends and family to local resources. The PBA Beauty Bar is just one of PBA’s charitable program that gives back to the professional beauty industry.

EstheticsAmerica & Wellness Pavilion: ISSE Long Beach 2015 saw the continued expansion of its increasingly popular EstheticsAmerica & Wellness Pavilion, which provides a dedicated environment for skin care, cosmetics, massage, wellness, and the latest in treatments and education for these rapidly expanding segments of the beauty industry. CIDESCO Section USA education was again offered in 2015 and continues to be a desirable option for many esthetic professionals looking to continue their education. PBA aims to continue the growth of the Pavilion in 2016 with even more esthetic and wellness brands and classes.

Next year’s International Salon & Spa Expo will take place January 30 – February 1, 2016 at the Long Beach Convention Center.

Photos: PBA



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