Every year the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild, Inc. hosts an Annual Conference. The conference location moves through different regions of the country on a rotating basis, providing easier access to members, exhibitors and sponsors. The 2015 Conference will be held in Indianapolis, April 18 - 20 (registration and half-day seminars on the 17th).
The conference runs three days, with registration starting on the evening before the first day. There may be optional seminars or other activities on the day of registration. Classes and presentations are held during the day and in the evening networking parties or events are held. Dinner on the last night is the Annual Awards Banquet.
Conference attendance is open to members and non-members of the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild, Inc. The registration fee includes attendance to all classes, demonstrations and workshops, participation in door prizes, drawings and prize awards, optional participation in the Soapers Showcase, and invitations to special hosted evening networking events and parties. Meals and snacks are provided as part of the conference fee. Special discounted prices for hotel rooms for conference attendees are negotiated by the HSCG.
Topics and Speakers
A variety of speakers, from both inside and outside the handcrafted soap and cosmetic industry, are scheduled each year, covering a wide range of subjects. Topics usually include various aspects of soapmaking, cosmetics, bath and body care, marketing, promotion, websites, labeling, and other business concerns.
For members wishing to participate in the Certification Program, sessions for examinations are scheduled several times during the Annual Conference.
Exhibitor space is available for vendors and suppliers who offer products and/or services to the industry. Throughout the conference, plenty of time is set aside for attendees to visit the Exhibitor Hall. This allows attendees to actually see and touch those products they view online or to be introduced to new products or services. This also provides an opportunity to talk to exhibitors and vendors face-to-face.
And Much, Much More!
The Annual Conference has LOTS going on in addition to speaker sessions! Attendees can bring their soaps to display in the Soapers Showcase, one of the highlights of the conference. What soapmaker doesn't like to show off soaps ... and look at everyone else's soap creations! Soaps in the Soapers Showcase are voted on by attendees, with awards given in six (6) categories and a trophy for "Best of Show".
Nightly events, sponsored by industry leaders, provide a way to relax and let loose a little. They are a great way to unwind after a jam-packed day.
HSCG Merchandise - t-shirts, aprons, hats, and more - as well as a variety of books on soap and cosmetic making and related subjects, give attendees goodies to take home to help them promote their soap and cosmetic making enterprises and handcrafted soap and cosmetics in general.
In addition, thousands of dollars worth of raffle and door prizes are donated by vendors and suppliers throughout the industry.
And the food! The HSCG Conference is known for great food. In fact, the 2008 Conference was held at the Vermont Culinary Institute in Burlington. Meals offer a great opportunity to meet new soap and cosmetic makers and spend time "talking soap and cosmetics."
Finally, for members, the HSCG Annual Membership meeting is held. Members hear about the activities of the HSCG over the past year and participate in elections, voting on important matters that will guide the HSCG into the future.