Australia’s largest beauty convention, Meccaland, took place this weekend, and is a revolutionary brand event for retailers.
Makeup lovers, rejoice. Meccaland returned for another year and was bigger than ever. The three-day beauty festival is one of Australia’s largest brand events, with over 15,000 beauty obsessives in attendance.
The event, hosted by creative agency, TABOO, is three times larger than the previous year’s event and featured 44 of Mecca’s brands. Located in Sydney, the event included Instagram-worthy neon lights, a Mecca-branded Ferris wheel, ‘PopStar Park’ and prop bubble baths.
Mecca Cosmetica opened over 20 years ago and has since become one of Australia’s largest destinations for beauty, skincare and hair products. Now there are more than 80 stores across Australia and New Zealand, as well as an e-commerce platform. They currently house more than 100 brands and offer a successful loyalty program, ‘Mecca Beauty Loop’, with three level tiers, complimentary makeup applications, lessons and quarterly gift boxes for customers.
Crowds lined to the doors on Saturday morning, with some attendees travelling interstate and internationally for the event. WWD has named Meccaland as the ‘Coachella for Cosmetics’, and has been shortlisted for the Glossy Awards, who recognises companies who transform the fashion and beauty industry internationally.
Meccaland advertised the event across social media and in-store, offering day passes and weekend passes to the beauty junkies. Some special guests included YouTube stars, Chloe Morello and Shani Grimmond, as well as Victoria’s Secret model, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, among others.
TABOO and Mecca took inspiration from the world’s most popular and well-received entertainment experiences from the past and funnelled it into Meccaland. The consumers who visited were immersed in five worlds of beauty, skincare, creativity and diverse self-expression. TABOO’s Creative Director, Reece Hobbins said: “Both TABOO and the Mecca team have aspired to evolve the beauty experience beyond anything done before. This means focusing on understanding what today’s “beauty junkie” truly values – not just in a brand or retail experience, but also the cultural relevancy, the entertainment & education factor, and what is actually worthy of their time.”
It’s clear that the event is a massive and innovative step forward for retailers. Meccaland took the thoughts, ideas and reviews from its customers, and curated a diverse and immersive event made for self-expression. Not only could consumers meet their favourite makeup artists, but they could also listen to them offer advice on panels, try new products and purchase Mecca’s merchandise with an exclusive discount.
“Digital – more specifically the social platforms have been the greatest gift to beauty, because I feel that everybody can express themselves … there are so many communities that have mushroomed up,” explained Jo Horgan, founder of Mecca Cosmetica.
Alongside the bright colours, loud dance music and endless beauty, the event heavily promoted the use of social media. Selfie-ready giant baths, oversized mirrors, booths, and branded walls were plastered on every corner, prompting event-goers to share their time at the festival on Instagram. Over 10,000 posts on Instagram feature the #meccaland hashtag.
According to Hobbins, Meccaland was not just an event to amass further sales, but to build trust with customers. “It’s getting exclusivity, it’s getting to customise products, it’s getting the ability to see what’s new and fresh before it comes out,” said Hobbins. The event creates an inclusive and one-of-a-kind insight to the billion dollar beauty industry, and makes the attendees feeling like they’re a part of something huge.
The inaugural Meccaland launched in Melbourne in 2018, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the beauty company. However, this year’s festival surpassed the previous event, making it Australia’s largest branding event.
So, what can other brands take away from this spectacular event? Well, building trust with customers shouldn’t just end at personalisation. Some advice from TABOO’s Group Director, Kate Prowse: “Adding real value doesn’t mean just giving away free product. It is also creating moments worth remembering.”Creating something, even if it’s not at the same epic size as Meccaland, that resonated with customers, and makes them feel as if they’re part of a special group and feel included, will help develop long-lasting trust between a retailer and its customer.