As the beauty festival circuit continues to heat up, Create & Cultivate, the 6-year-old career platform and conference, is amping up its beauty and wellness activations.
For its tentpole event on May 4 in New York City, 40% of Create & Cultivate’s 70-plus sponsors lie within the beauty and wellness space, including Dyson, Biossance and Moroccanoil. Depending on the type of activation (which include pop-ups, Instagrammable murals, gift bags and beauty services), sponsorship tiers for the Create & Cultivate NYC conference range from $17,500 up to $350,000. Beauty and wellness sponsors at the company’s events have increased 50% year over year, according to Jaclyn Johnson, founder and CEO of Create & Cultivate. Clearly, these brands see the opportunity of getting prime time with Create & Cultivate’s largely millennial, 1,500 attendees. (Tickets for Saturday’s event are $350 for general admission and $575 for VIPs.)
This mirrors what is happening on the content side of the event, as well: Anastasia Soare, founder and CEO of Anastasia Beverly Hills, will be speaking at Saturday’s conference, as will Robert Schaffler, CEO of DevaCurl. Create & Cultivate’s beauty and wellness emphasis will be played forward at its first Self Care Summit on July 20 in Los Angeles. Tickets for that event will start at $199, and participating speakers include Summer Fridays co-founder Lauren Gores.
“When we think about the type of entrepreneurial women who come to our conferences, thinking about beauty and wellness is definitely part of their lives,” said Johnson. “We want to work with brands that make sense for them, like Olly, the vitamin company focused on the busy woman who takes her vitamins on the go. Our attendees come to hear our panelists that are career-focused and to learn about starting a business, but they also want to experience brands that might inspire their careers down the line.”
Of the increased participation and interest from beauty and wellness brands, Johnson said Create & Cultivate’s core audience is not the beauty junkie one might find at Ipsy’s events or Beautycon. “Our attendees aren’t interested in YouTube-esque makeup or the next Fenty drop. They’re more about: ‘How do I get out the door without looking like crap?’ They are busy but still want to know about the best products and services,” said Johnson.
That millennial, career-oriented woman was a draw for new sponsors like makeup service Blushington, hair-tool company Good Hair Day (GHD) and QVC Beauty. QVC’s average shopper is between 35 to 64 years old and the company will be making its appearance at Create & Cultivate with Mally Beauty founder Mally Roncal. With a live video crew, QVC will film attendees doing product segments, both solo and with QVC host Elise Ivy and Roncal, featuring Mally Beauty’s Super-Size Dark Circle Corrector Trio. The concealer-like product is a best-seller on QVC and routinely sells out. These segments, which are the first of their kind for QVC at a live event, will be shared on the company’s social platforms (on Facebook, it has over 2.8 million followers, and on Instagram, it has 500,000). The videos will potentially be used in traditional QVC television spots, said Naomi Jacobs, QVC director of social media strategy.
“We wanted to bring our video storytelling to a live environment. We think live activations could have a real impact on how we talk about our brands and engage with our shoppers,” she said. Furthermore, Jacobs believes this QVC-Create & Cultivate experience will be useful to aspiring influencers and entrepreneurs at the conference, as a way to understand the behind-the-scenes business of video storytelling.
Interestingly, though QVC will be hosting its own festival in June dubbed “Beauty Bash” in Philadelphia, it did not see the Create & Cultivate experience as conflicting or competitive. (There have been some tensions between hosts of beauty events like Beautycon and Sephora.) “QVC’s ethos is about connection, and so we want to go where our women are or could be. We see it as being a part of the conversations they are interested in,” she said.
The same could be said of Create & Cultivate itself. Though beauty and wellness are growing areas of interest for its audience of 1 million online readers and attendees, the company has and will continue to participate in events like SXSW and Coachella in a beauty and wellness capacity, as well as career. At last month’s Coachella experience, Create & Cultivate attendees were able to receive Glamsquad makeovers and test Supergoop’s new eyeshadow.
“When you think about a merchandising a multifaceted event, you have to remember that women are multifaceted; they are interested in different experiences,” said Johnson. “Beauty and wellness brands want to work with us because we offer a different take on subjects within the larger lifestyle space.”