Posted: 29 days ago
Category: Career Insider

Why working at the Olympia Beauty Show is a dream ticket for Laura...

If your ambition is to work in the marketing side of the beauty industry - read on! We've got a few inside career tips to share with you courtesy of Olympia Beauty Show Digital and Marketing Lead; Laura Tarling.

If you have bags of energy, can multi-task, are creative and want to combine your love of beauty and wellness, this could be the job for you!

Tell us a bit about your career background and your journey that led to your present role at the Olympia Beauty Show

My career in media started with a country music magazine titled Maverick. I started working on this magazine when I was nineteen as an aspiring journalist, working closely with the publisher and eventually interviewing world class country artists like Dolly Parton and Taylor Swift, alongside designing the magazine, managing its online existence and so much more. I was there for five years before moving to a publishing house with a portfolio of five business to business magazines and took the position as a Designer. Maverick also moved to this company and so I continued contributing to the magazine, alongside working across their portfolio of magazines and websites, social profiles etc.

Eventually I was made Studio Manager for the company, alongside Editor of Maverick and soon after Managing Editor of the portfolio, alongside managing a team of four. I was there for five years, but eventually felt ready for a change. When I left there I was very sure I wanted to do something different and felt the need to move away from publishing altogether, but I still loved media and writing. My skills had grown dramatically over the years and I wanted my next role to continue to develop my skills and challenge me personally.

When I met with Olympia Beauty’s Show Director Ian Archbold, I fell in love with the show, the team and everything about the role. It was the only position I applied for and my only concern when taking the job was that I’d get bored. Ian assured me that wasn’t possible and there’s not been a dull day since!

What does your role as Marketing and Digital Lead involve?

My role is to manage all of the marketing and digital elements surrounding the show, including all of the branding and design work. The show attracts almost 20,000 professional beauty visitors every year, but we also have four competitions, two stage programmes and more, and I manage all of these facets of the show too. My job is to create a buzz around all elements of the show in whatever way possible. That could be creating competitions to engage with our audience, sharing news of the latest goody bag gift or prize and telling our visitors about what they can expect when they arrive at the show, through to creating social posts and newsletters that communicate effectively with our audience.

One day I could be out on meetings talking with exhibitors, relevant associations, partners and sponsors about what they’re planning to do at the show and how I can provide any marketing assistance, to planning table decorations for our lounges and choosing carpet colours. My mind is in it 24/7 and though the lead up to the show is stressful, the show itself is so rewarding!

For someone wanting to enter this profession, what advice would you give to help them?

My advice for anyone wishing to enter this profession is to always be proactive. The creative and media industries are forever growing and it’s a popular field to get into. Finding a route into it, in whatever way is key, but in the lead up to that, be proactive. You need a portfolio, even if it’s a personal one, you need evidence of written work, of staying current. I’ve been writing throughout my career for free for magazines, blogs, websites or just for myself. I’ve always been creative at home and at work and one often feeds the other.

There are some incredible tools out there now that can help in whatever avenue you struggle with. YouTube videos can help teach you anything you don’t know and training courses are cheaper and more accessible than they’ve ever been. The only other key to this profession is organisation and in this respect whatever works for you is gold. I have numerous spreadsheets and tools on the go all of the time, but sometimes nothing can beat a notebook or a mind map and loads of brightly coloured pens. 

Take us through a working day in your role - what are the highs and lows?

There is no typical day in marketing which is why I love it so much, but a day in the office tends to start with emails. A lot of my time is spent communicating with so many people, so it’s key to have a good email filing system. I also spend this time updating my spreadsheets with the latest competition entries or changes to the marketing schedule.

The Show Director, Ian Archbold and I will then meet up to discuss an agenda I’ve created, which highlights anything that needs discussing or signing off, through to any queries or questions I may have. It’s at this time that we normally come up with new ideas too! From 11am onwards is usually my best design and creative time – if I need to create new logos, make website changes or write a new press release this is my optimum time to do so. In the late afternoon I schedule all of our social posts for the coming day. Again I have a spreadsheet with all of the tags and handles to use per profile, and there are tools to make the scheduling process much easier, but communicating the right message per account is important. 

Introduce the team you work alongside at the Olympia Beauty Show 

We have a great team at Olympia Beauty! Ian Archbold is the Show Director and has worked in this industry for over 30 years. He has run Olympia Beauty for fifteen years and is key to the show’s success and development. He’s also the brains behind a lot of our new launches.

James Derbyshire works in sales and has been working on the show for two years, but has been a part of the industry since he was young, so he knows the beauty industry inside out too. The three of us make up the full time team on the show, but we have loads of assistance outside of this to ensure the smooth running of the show. People with roles including operations, accounts, data handling, website management and so much more are all key to our success and many of them have been a part of the Olympia Beauty team for years. 

Can you share any upcoming news for the 2019 show that you're currently working on?

2019 is Olympia Beauty’s 15th year, so I can guarantee that there will be a few exciting celebrations throughout the show this year. Aside from that though, the show will be bigger and better than ever before!

Wellness Live will have a bigger presence this year with its own dedicated exhibition area and live demonstrations stage on the show floor. This area will be all about the very blurry line that now exists between beauty and wellness and the importance of our beauty professionals understanding the wellbeing of their client and the impact they can have on it.

The National Massage Championship is also inviting International competitors to take part for the first time and the Brush Wars competition will be around the theme of ‘The Genius of Alexander McQueen’ this year, which is going to be sensational for sure! Alongside this we have some fantastic brands we’re working with who will be adding their own vibrancy and buzz to the show floor!

What are your personal favourite memories of the shows you've worked on?

When I arrived at Olympia Beauty last year for set up my heart was racing. We’d all worked so hard, but I’d created all new branding for the show and some of the graphics I’d created were on the digital entrance boards as we arrived and looked incredible – that feeling is something I’ll never forget.

Aside from this, it was the most amazing thing standing on the Gallery level overlooking the show floor as it got busier and busier. The buzz from the show each year is so addictive, but 2018 was the first show I’d worked on from the moment we closed the doors in 2017, so it was the first one I felt I could really put my stamp on and it was my proudest moment to date.

Favourite go-to beauty products?

I was new to the beauty industry two years ago and can’t admit to really being a beauty fan when I joined the show team. However, being a part of this industry has opened my eyes to the wonderful world of beauty and has encouraged me to take more ‘me time’.

My favourite products at the moment are thisworks Deep Sleep Pillow Spray for guaranteeing a good night’s sleep and the Ultra Repair Cream from First Aid Beauty for my hands. I’ve also been using the Cleansing Micellar Water from Elemis and Charlotte’s Magic Cream from Charlotte Tilbury – both products I’ve fallen in love with! 

How do you relax?

I have a newfound love for yoga and reflexology and they are now a massive part of my life. I also love taking my dog out for walks whenever I can and am currently writing a 500 word story every day, with the hope of publishing them one day.

Have you booked your tickets?

Olympia Beauty 2019 will be taking place on 29 – 30 September at Olympia London and celebrates15 years of bringing the beauty industry together. Professionals of all backgrounds including Salon and Spa Owners, Directors and Managers, Qualified Therapists, Nail Technicians, Makeup Artists, Hairdressers, Stylists, Lecturers and more, unite in London every autumn to experience this incredible show.

Olympia Beauty is free to attend for all beauty professionals – simply complete your registration at https://www.olympiabeauty.co.uk