International Makeup Artist Trade Show sign in Toronto 2011

These are some lessons I learned from visiting the International Make Up Artist Trade Show (IMATS) in Toronto of 2011 and 2010. 

Methods of Payment:

I highly suggest taking out any money you think you’ll need before you arrive at the show. There are limited machines depending on the venue, so the line ups can become quite long. It’s far more convenient to have your money on hand because even though most vendors accept debit and credit, some will only accept cash.

Best Day to Attend:

If you have never attended IMATS before, I suggest trying to go on the Saturday and head over to the booths you want to visit as early as possible. By Sunday afternoon a lot of the must have products have already been sold out and you’ll be left with a very limited selection to choose from. Saturday is also the busiest day in terms of the sheer volume of people on the floor, so if you’re put off by large, pushy crowds you may want to attend on Sunday instead which tends to be a little more relaxed.

Make a List:

Some people can become very aggressive when shopping because of the limited product available, so I suggest making a wish list and hitting the vendors that seem the least populated. You will have a much more stress free experience if you come prepared with a rough outline of what you want. You can easily hand the list to an artist at one of the vendors and they can set you up with your purchase right away.

Be Assertive:

I find you have to be fairly assertive when attempting to make your way to the front counter of any booth. With mobs of people clustered tightly around the counter, it can prove to be a little intimidating to the inexperienced IMATS shopper. If you stand there waiting quietly for too long, more people will crowd in front of you and you’ll end up waiting for hours at one booth. Don’t be afraid to make your presence known by tapping people on the shoulder and asking them to politely move over. It’s also helpful knowing when to quickly move up when you spot an opening (which I know can be a little tough for us shy gals) but it’s the only way to make any ground in a polite, non aggressive way.

Schedule Events:

There are so many different events going on at the show that it can make anyone feel overwhelmed. If you’re only attending one day, it is especially helpful to make a list of all the seminars or demonstration you wish to attend.  Everything is listed on the official IMATS Toronto website before the show, so make sure to check it out so you may pick and choose what you feel is important to attend. This way you can visit any desired booths in between and still ensure that you manage your time enough to experience everything the show has to offer.


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