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Revealed: Speakers for the IMF 2024



Industry leaders from across the hair and beauty industry will be discussing the challenges and solutions facing brand owners, manufacturers and distributors. The International Manufacturers and Distributors Forum is returning to ExCeL London, taking place at Professional Beauty London on 3-4 March 2024. The IMF is a unique global gathering that brings together like-minded individuals willing to discuss similar challenges that businesses are facing in today’s market.


Meet the confirmed speakers at this year's IMF London and find out the key points that will be discussed in each panel:


Join Global President & Co-Founder of Elemis - Noella Gabriel, Founder and Managing Director of Slow Ageing - David Lieber, and Founder of Ex1 Cosmetics - Farah Naz, speaking on ‘Brand stories: Overcoming setbacks and failures to achieving success’. This panel is about sharing experiences and “war stories” from brand owners and distributors who have spent years building their businesses from scratch in this industry. It's a unique opportunity for the delegates to interact with brand owners and distributors who seem to have made success look easy; but only they know the hurdles and challenges they had to overcome to ensure their businesses not just survived but thrived.

Sunday 3rd March at 10:30am


Attend the ‘Producing your own brand: Strategies to master formulation, packaging and production’ panel and hear from CEO of Beauty Bridge Labs - Chris Dodge, Director of Business Development of Eve Taylor - Chris Taylor, and Founder of Rhea Cosmetics - Gianmarco Alfonso, discuss how you go about building your product from scratch before you even get into the pricing, distribution and sales export mindset. The panel will dissect the case for building in-house vs outsourcing to a third party manufacturer; define the starting steps and building blocks of developing a product from scratch; how to navigate the new world of ethically mindful customers; how to remain regulatory compliant; how to choose a manufacturing partner and what essentially are the business ingredients to making your own product.

Sunday 3rd March at 11:15am


Join the disucssion between industry experts, Mark Woolley - Founder of Electric Hair, Corinne Barbereau - Founder of MBW Expertise, and Pierre-Louis Delapalme - Co-President of Biologique Recherche, on 'The price is right: Pricing your products for success, not long-term failure'. A strong pricing strategy helps your brand to expand overseas or move into a multi-channel distribution model. Have you got the price right for the long term? Learn what goes into building the right pricing model across various sales channels, how to price exports, as well as examples of how the wrong pricing strategy can damage a business’s growth plans and future.

Sunday 3rd March at 12:00pm


Listen to Founder of M4 Trinity - Michael Schummert, Managing Director of Care Cosmetics - Duco van Keimpema, and COO of Madi International - Rabih Madi, explore the question ‘How do professional brands execute a successful multi-channel strategy?’. This topic is increasingly a challenge for “professional” brands as the temptation to scale and see the bigger piece of the iceberg hits them even harder. And covid didn’t make this any easier as brands, distributors and salons battled for survival and looked to sell products anyhow they saw that a strong retail component was an important part of a professional brands strategy. But lines are getting blurred and we have seen in recent years many professional brands adopt the non-traditional channels of expansion, such as e-commerce and high street stores. This session deals with that conundrum that professional brands have when they go multi-channel and how to manage that expansion without alienating their professional customers.

Sunday 3rd March at 3:00pm


Bertrand Bernaud - International Business Development Director of Group Laf Sante, Josko Deletis - Business Director Middle West, Africa and South Asia of Asclepion Laser Technologies, Colleen Martorano - VP of Global Professional Distribution, and Ankit Virmani - Director of Esskay Group, will be exploring the topic ‘Finding and developing a great brand-distributor relationship in today’s environment’. This session is the crux of the IMF: the brand and distributor relationship. From what used to be a one-sided relationship, where brands were the dominant player in the relationship, to today where there is a more nuanced and balanced relationship that has good importers and distributors as important as the brands they partner with for their territories.

Sunday 3rd March at 3:35pm


Come and listen to Paul Bulman, Founder and CEO of PTB Consult, and Minna Laakkonen, Managing Director of Norris Cosmetics, explore the topic of ‘Wholesalers: where do they fit in your channel partner strategy?’. Here our panellists will discuss a key, but at times overlooked, part of the distribution strategy for brands: the role of wholesalers and how relevant they still are in the brand distribution model. During this session, our panel of industry experts will share insights on how brands should interact with wholesalers and highlight the distinctions between the roles of wholesalers and distributors in the overall brand distribution strategy. Monday 4th March at 10:30am


Participate in the panel discussion on ‘Launching into new markets: “I want to be a global brand! Get me out of here!”’. Listen to insights from Edouard Falguières - International Franchise Director of Guinot Mary Cohr, Fernando Duarte - International Sales Director of KLAPP Cosmetics, and Paul Bulman - Founder and CEO of PTB Consult, as they share the key points that brands should understand when thinking of expanding internationally. Learn how to identify which markets to launch into first and where to go from there, the right distributor and sales strategy for each market, and the most common mistakes when brands decide to go overseas.

Monday 4th March at 11:15am


The key question that is paramount to the brand and distributor relationship is how can they best service their spa and salon customers better. At the IMF we have a dedicated panel to just this: ‘Customer centricity: How brands and distributors can excel at delivering excellent customer service to their spa and salon customers’. CEO of Pure Spa & Beauty - Becky Lumsden and Co-Founder of Enrich Salons - Vikram Bhatt will explain that in a highly competitive environment the ability to service clients better is more and more paramount. Hear from brands as well as the salon and spa customer on: What motivates loyalty and helps the spa/salon to build their business with their chosen brand?; What are their expectations when working with brands? And examples of good and not so good service levels from brands and distributors.

Monday 4th March at 12:00pm


We have an incredible line up of brands who have education at the heart of their business model. Listen to insights from esteemed speakers: Rupert Schmid - Co-President of Biologique Recherche, Lydia Sarfati - Founder and CEO of Repêchage, Fabienne Lindholm - Founder of Fabienne Lindholm Consultancy, Margareta Bernauer - International Sales Director of REVIDERM Germany, and Debbie Merdjan - CEO of Thalgo UK and Owner of Camelot Spa Group. Join the discussion at their panel on ‘Education: the role of brands in skilling up the community‘ which will explore how differentiation is a key strategic concern for brands. Discover how education is one area where brands can highlight their advantages over competitors, fostering long-term brand loyalty and gaining a competitive edge. Monday 4th at 2:45pm


Demands increase daily for brands to deliver in an environmentally responsible way. What does this mean practically, and how can businesses turn this into a profitable advantage? Not to be missed, a thought-provoking panel: ‘Practical sustainability: How do brands and distributors adopt the sustainability path and achieve commercial viability?’ Join the discussion with Pauline Prescott - Founder of Formulae Prescott, Beatrice von Thurn und Taxis - International Sales Director of Team Dr Josef, Stevi Lowmass - Founder of The Camel Soap Factory, and Oriele Frank - Chief Product and Sustainability Officer & Co-Founder of Elemis.

Monday 4th March at 3:45pm

How much does it cost to attend the IMF?


IMF Delegate Passes are available to book now: 1 day delegate pass £195*, 2 day delegate pass £295*. *all prices are inclusive of VAT

**Your IMF delegate pass will give you access to Professional Beauty London, where you can meet and connect with the brands exhibiting at the show.


For enquiries regarding the IMF please contact Miranda Baron on miranda.b@thepbgroup.com

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