Credo expands brand summit to include consumer-facing event

Credo is retooling its educational one-day summit for brand partners, launched as an annual event in 2019, by adding a second day for consumers.

On Feb. 8, over 30 brands including sheet-mask brand Bawdy, wellness brand Moon Juice and skin care-brand Tata Harper will host booths or offer services at Gallery 38 in San Francisco, where Credo is based. General admission tickets for the event are $45, while VIP tickets (which include a gift bag with a reported $800 retail value) are $125. The purpose of the event is to attract new customers to Credo. At the inaugural brand summit, there was a ticketed panel open to the public and new Credo customers purchased 50% of the tickets, which led to the creation of the 2020 event, said Lydia Kandel, Credo director of marketing. Credo’s 10 locations hosted 150 in-store events in 2019, but this is the retailer’s most significant event undertaking, as it expects 1,000 attendees.

“Based on the response we have seen with in-store events, we thought it was time to test them out on a bigger platform,” she said.

The event itself features five masterclasses on subjects like fragrance and gua sha facials, which will accommodate between 25 and 50 people. Beauty services like makeup application, mini facials and brow waxing will also available, and brand founder Indie Lee will conduct a fireside chat. Kandel declined to state the cost or profit of the consumer-facing event but said Credo was “breaking even.” Brand sponsorships, for its part, cost up to $2,000 depending on booth size.

Although Credo is expecting to bring in new customers, it has relied on its email database and social channels for promotion since Jan. 9, plus it’s counting on the voluntary social outreach of its brand partners.

“We’re working with brands that don’t necessarily have large marketing budgets,” she said. “We wanted to keep it authentic and focus on the services and masterclasses versus booth displays and Instagrammable moments, because we know attendees are coming to meet founders.”

“It makes sense for Credo to have a consumer-facing event because so much education is still needed. People don’t fully understand what qualifies clean beauty or the opportunities and benefits,” said Melissa Gonzalez, retail consultancy Lionesque Group CEO.

This low-key approach is part of a more significant trend to deviate from the bigger-and-bolder aesthetic established by other beauty events like Sephoria, Beautycon and Popsugar Playground. These events traditionally feature expensive booth buildouts and sponsorships, easily photographable activations and thousands of attendees. As the space has become crowded, events like Ipsy IRL, Beautycon Pop and Goop have formulated smaller and more intimate events.

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