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Where can you find the most cosmetic chemists on the planet?

I walked out of the New York Hilton and waved down a cab. The drive got out of his taxi and I said, “Can I get a ride to LaGuardia?” “Sure,” he says as he went back to his car to open the trunk.

Just then a man and his wife asked if I wanted to share the cab. They were going to the airport too. I momentarily hesitated, then said, “Alright.”

The entire cab ride we discussed the event that we had both just attended: The National Society of Cosmetic Chemists annual  meeting. We talked the posters, the talks, and different ideas for beauty products. It turns out he was a dermatologist from Florida who attends SCC meetings to inspire new ideas. We had a great talk. When we finally got to the airport, I was happy to have shared the cab. It also occurred to me that this one ride illustrated some of best reasons to attend a National SCC meeting. Here are my top five.

1. Best talks about the latest science in our industry.

This year’s meeting featured over 35 presentations about skin, hair, testing methods, sustainability, and fundamentals of polymer/surfactant delivery systems. It featured many of the industry’s biggest and best speakers including Dr. Manuel Gamez-Garcia, Dr. Robert Lochead, Dr. Yash Kamath, and Dr. James Gruber. Even the famous dermatologist Dr. Zoe Draelos presented. It was the best line-up seen at any industry meeting in years and attendees learned a ton of new stuff.

2. Information about over 100 new raw material product offerings

Chemists from small companies rarely get proper attention from big raw material suppliers, missing out on their latest technologies. And chemists from big companies, may not take meetings with small raw material suppliers, so they might have missed some unique, little-known technologies. At the National SCC meeting, you can over come both of those problems. In the poster session you can find all types of new and interesting technologies. If you can’t get a new idea here, you just aren’t trying. At the very least, you should be able to get an invite to one of the hospitality suites for drinks and food later.

3. Meet more friendly cosmetic chemists than anywhere on the planet

While you may meet a few new people at a local SCC meeting, that’s nothing compared to the number of fellow cosmetic chemists you can meet at a national event. Attendance this year was well over 1100 people and the majority of them are cosmetic scientists. You can find out all sorts of useful information like how things work at other companies, what techniques they use to develop products, and maybe even learn what new approaches to solving problems. Making friends throughout the industry is great for your career.

4. Inspire new ideas

Perhaps the best reason to go to a National SCC meeting is that you will come back brimming with ideas. It might be from a talk you heard, a poster session you attended, or even a conversation over a couple of beers at the hotel bar. Just remember to write them down and follow-up when you get back home. I came up with 15 new ideas that will directly help my business.

5. Help other people get what they want.

If you want to sell something, get something, or just develop more friendships, there is no better way than to figure out what people want and give it to them. The National SCC meeting provides an excellent opportunity to meet people and discover what they want. You can then spend time figuring out how to help. If you’re sincere and offer real solutions, they’ll be inclined to help you when you need it.

Does YOUR industry have a trade show or association meeting similar to the Society of Cosmetic Chemists? Do you find the meetings helpful? Leave a comment and share your experience with the rest of the Beauty Brains community.