The National Women’s Show 2016 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre lived up to its reputation as the biggest trade show in Toronto for women. All the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of this annual women’s show, which took place Nov. 4-6, 2016, were overwhelming. There were so many delicious samples to try, so for the $15 price of admission, this show offers amazing value.
The National Women’s Show featured over 450 businesses competing to bring their products and services to the crowd’s attention. The first 500 entrants each day received a gift bag worth over $60. The bag contained a box of spaghetti, low fat chocolate shake powders, sauces, soups and two bottled beverages. Smart visitors checked these heavy gift bags after entering so they didn’t have to carry the swag with them all day.
In addition to giving away one of the most valuable general admission trade show swag bags in Toronto, the convention was also a magnet for people looking to partner with food, fitness, health and beauty business owners.
Mary Bratko is the editor of WeddingGirl, which explores matrimonial subjects. Mary was on a mission to make contacts with beauty professionals who could help grow her PrettyBird app, Canada’s first on-demand mobile beauty app. An UBER-like app for beauty that harnesses the myriad of beauty workers living among us, her innovation could have a disrupting effect on salons and spas.
One of the beauty vendors in the show who encouraged the idea of mobile beauty workers was Ursula Eshragi, CEO of DermVisage Anti Aging Skin Care Products, who was hosting a popular interactive science experience. The DermVisage booth was popular because Ursula used the trade show to teach people about their own skin tissue.
Ursala and her staff used their skin analysis tool to read each person’s skin type. The analysis focused on three factors: moisture, oiliness and elasticity.
Down the aisle, the glam resurfaced as each booth in the center corridor had music and lights and some high value giveaways for participants.
When visitors turned the corner at the bottom of the centre aisle, the unpasteurized honey people caught your eye and waved you in with a spoonful of pure Canadian honey on a cute little stick. Who could say no?
Across the way, artfully positioned at the point where the beauty products turned to candy at the start of the food section, the Sweets Canada booth was thronged with hungry visitors. The crowd was salivating over the fruit-covered chocolate, dark chocolate and white chocolate bars.
Sam Dhutia, the President of QFoods Canada, developed Sweets Canada gourmet chocolate bars and other chocolate delicacies, which can be delivered right to your door. One of the main attractions on his table was the edible flower chocolate bars, which are made by pouring chocolate over flower blossoms. I asked Sam, “Where do you get all the flower blossoms?” and Sam answered, “My friend, there are a lot of beautiful flowers in this world that people never see.”
Laura Bilotta of Single in the City hosted The Dating Game on the show’s Main Stage. When Laura started performing her game show, the place was deserted, but by the time she finished, there were only a few empty seats. With thousands of people in the room, the Main Stage is also a magnet for showcasing new musical acts and entertainment.
Laura Bilotta used the event to make herself and Single in the City better known to successful professionals at the National Women’s Show; her show specials appealed to both male and female professionals in demanding careers who have little time for dating. They need a matchmaker who knows their challenges and who can find them a match among millions of people.
The Dating Game simulation was like the classic television show in which a contestant asks three people of the opposite sex questions about themselves before selecting one to accompany him or her on a luxury date. In this reiteration of the classic TV show, Celebrity Chef Jagger Gordon volunteered to be the bachelor, and on the other side of the curtain, three women vied for his attention by answering his questions as smartly as they could.
After just three questions, Jagger selected Contestant No. 3, although he said it could have gone either way.
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