Episode 159 – Coffee N5 – Luxurious Blends of International Events with Iryna Kremin

Discover the secrets to navigating the event space and mastering collaboration in the latest episode of Coffee N° 5. Join host Lara and special guest Iryna Kremin as they explore how international events can elevate brands, offering invaluable learning opportunities. Learn how to tailor events to work for your brand and why it’s essential to think beyond retailer attention. Find out the importance of adding a unique twist to events and brand establishment. Tune in for expert insights on making events a key driver of brand growth and success.

We’ll talk about:

  • How to navigate the event space and the intricacies of collaboration
  • What brands can learn at international events
  • How to make events work for your brand
  • The importance of looking beyond retailer attention when growing your brand
  • Why it’s crucial to do everything, from events to establishing your brand, “with a twist”

For more information, visit INNOCOS‘s Website.

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About Iryna Kremin

Iryna Kremin is the founder of the INNOCOS club (which stands for INNO-vation & COS-metics), an international thought leadership platform to keep up with the latest trends and innovations in beauty. We build a community of brands’ founders and executives who help each other to create fast-growing brands that positively impact the health and well-being of individuals, the planet and society.

Successful businesses are built on good relationships, and it’s incredible how a personal touch can go a long way. To form such relationships, we create unforgettable experiences that are educational, inspirational and fun!

Our startup competitions at live summits worldwide are legendary, and our Awards are influential! Blue Beauty & Biohackers’ Choice Beauty and Wellness Awards carry a mission to unite beauty professionals with a common goal to build profitable, sustainable and purpose-driven beauty businesses and never stop innovating!

Current obsession: Biohacking, longevity, and exploring the convergence of beauty, health, and wellness and how it impacts our lives, commerce, and all things in the future! My purpose: To empower people to live more adventurous, joyful, and fulfilling lives while supporting each other’s business growth and collaboration.

Lara Schmoisman
00:05
This is Coffee Number Five. I’m your host, Lara Schmoisman. Hello, everyone. Welcome back to Coffee Number Five. Today, as always, we have a new guest. Most of the time, I’m excited as always, too, because I can believe the amazing people that I got to know through this podcast. This podcast gave me the opportunity to meet people that I don’t think I would ever meet otherwise, or even if our path crossed somehow. We never have the opportunity to have these deep conversations. So today I want to talk and bring you back to the events arena, because I’ve seen a lot of companies lately. I’ve been talking with a lot of beauty wellness.

Lara Schmoisman
00:57
Actually, yesterday, I was at Expo West here in Los Angeles, in Anaheim, and I’ve been talking to a lot of companies in PCG, and everyone thinks that they need to be part of the events and do collaborations, and it’s confusing because there are a lot of them. I mean, in the beauty industry, I just got a list the other day of events that I might consider doing, and it’s, like, so much. And it’s not that I only work with beauty. I work with fashion, with luxury industries, with so many industries that it’s really challenging to choose where to go to. But I met Iryna Kremin. Did I say it right?

Iryna Kremin
01:46
Yes.

Lara Schmoisman
01:47
So welcome. I met you a while ago. I think I met you at an event a while ago, but then were reintroduced, and I thought it would be. I mean, I love to bring more people with accents, so we get the audience a little confused with all of accents. But I think it’s so important to understand the event space and why there is the need of one more event, because you have incredible events. You have one coming up in Napa Valley. Then you have one in Greece and Singapore. And Singapore. So this is incredible to go all over the world. It’s not easy to put together an event. Let’s start with that and then do it internationally. So I would love for you to tell us a little more about why you started these events. And let’s start with that.

Lara Schmoisman
02:43
You have your background in businesses and why you started this event.

Iryna Kremin
02:51
Like, everything sometimes comes around very natural. I did start business economics in Ukraine, and then I did my MBA in Poland, in Warsaw, of management and marketing. And I always wanted to be like a businesswoman, but somehow along the way, I always managed to organize some events around it. I was the first organized party in my school, in my primary school when my parents were away, and I was organizing the events for expatriates when I was living in Poland. And the first job I got when I moved to the Netherlands was also in the international events company. And it’s just like I was all the time drawn to this industry.

Lara Schmoisman
03:46
Yeah. Which is incredible. First of all, you’re so international already that you are born in one country and then you went to another country to learn. But why beauty? Why beauty and wellness? Why you think that we need another event in that space? And what can you bring to the table that is different than other events?

Iryna Kremin
04:11
Yeah, I mean, good questions. Beauty. I start doing events in beauty just from the pure research because I find that it’s one of the most competitive and industry and innovation, it has one of the shortest life cycle actually, that you need to innovate like every couple of months sometimes. And this is one of the most dynamic and competitive industry. And I find that’s what draws my attention. And of course it was very hard to put together the first event when you go so much so niche in the industry. But look, I was determined and I want to make a success. So beauty is events, which I started when I went on my own after working for many years in other organizations. And I wanted to start with a clean slate. I didn’t want to just bring the clients from the other company.

Iryna Kremin
05:07
I just wanted to do something totally new, totally fresh, and just somehow I get very excited about the beauty.

Lara Schmoisman
05:14
I have to agree that the beauty industry changes all the time and marketing changes all the time, is what I love, that it keep us on my toes. And me and my team, we always need to be catching up about new technologies. But also in the beauty industry, there is so much innovation all the time.

Iryna Kremin
05:32
Yeah, very exciting industry. And it’s also industry does good. The beauty is positive things. It’s about woman empowerment. It’s about right now, especially health and wellness. It’s just like such a positive, good industry. I’m just really enjoying to make friends in it.

Lara Schmoisman
05:52
Okay, so you can go to an event, when you go to an event, you go as a brand, you can go also as a retailer, you can go as an industry member. What people can take away from these events when they go.

Iryna Kremin
06:09
Yeah, from the very beginning, when I started doing my events, I went to several exhibitions and big shows just to do my market research. And when I was speaking with exhibitors, with participants, I was asking, what is your perfect event? What would you pay for it? Where would you go? And everybody said that we would like to hear what you want to hear from. And everybody want to hear from the brands, everybody want to hear the case studies, their successes, their failures, like just real stories. And this became like the basic of my events. I’m targeting mostly brands of all sizes. I’m trying to get a very nice diversity in terms of the countries participating, size of the brands, ethnicity, everything.

Lara Schmoisman
07:01
Yesterday, for example, I was a little disappointed, I would have to say, how some brands were treating the event yesterday and that there were brands only. They go there for retail. They’re trying to get the retailer attention and they don’t understand that the brand awareness is what it will get the retailer.

Iryna Kremin
07:25
Yeah, there is much more into it. And this is why our events, we are covering marketing, product innovations and retail, everything. We’re trying to cover so many different topics. We’ve been speaking about our next conference. We have like Hannah Ben Shabat, who will be speaking about Generation Z and not just how they are as consumers, because we already have plenty of information about it, but how to employ them, how they are as employee. And so we try to give this very multifaceted topics. And you’re right. I have met some brands who are like, only after distributors. They’re hunting after distributors. They don’t think if they perfected their brand story, if they have a message, they focus on whatever ingredients they put it in this skin carrier that don’t see if they have enough audience for that, if the audience want it.

Iryna Kremin
08:25
So, yeah, this is why it’s important to go to these strategic conferences where you have this overview on different areas of innovation, marketing, product, and hear the real story. And especially pain points, actually, especially failures. I really encourage brands to, oh my.

Lara Schmoisman
08:45
God, you learn so much from the failures of mistakes. I love that. I love those happen. And I think we need to celebrate those mistakes from other people because they help us to better as a brand. I think in every conversation that I’ve been having in a podcast lately, it’s coming the brand story and how that can make it or break it for a brand and how important it is.

Iryna Kremin
09:08
Yeah. Because also when you have a story and when you have a mission, I think as a brand founder, you have this extra energy of motivations of doing the good or change the world or whatever you want. And that gives you this extra energy which is so needed for the new brands. Right. Because you need to put a lot of energy in it. And it’s important if you are like.

Lara Schmoisman
09:35
I’m going to say something that I always tell to all my clients, but I also tell to colleagues, even from in other spaces. It’s all about making meaningful connections. It’s not about solicitating or begging or insisting on a product. You need to be in the right place at the right time. But also those connections that people feel comfortable working with you, that they get to know your personality. And that happened with you as an event planner, leader, or like when they work with me with an agency, when I talk to someone, I really want to feel and create that connection, that I feel I can work with that person. Actually, today I said no to a brand also because I don’t believe that I can work well with them. And it’s a hard decision as a small company sometimes to make those decisions.

Lara Schmoisman
10:26
But I think in the long run, you need to follow your gut feeling.

Iryna Kremin
10:31
Yeah. Oh, absolutely. Because gut feeling is not just gut feeling. It’s like a summary of a lot of little signs which your brain seed, but maybe you don’t process that so fast. But speaking about meaningful collections, what makes the connections meaningful is literally amount of hours you spend with this person, one to one. I read some books, I don’t remember what this was. The number. It’s like 17 hours or something like that. Or 20 hours or something like that. Because in our time we are so fast, our attention span is very short and we go to these big events, we quickly exchanging the business cards. And you smile, big smile and everything. But it doesn’t mean that we really connect it very well. Right. We need to talk a little bit more on a personal level.

Iryna Kremin
11:22
And this is what I give with my events. I give plenty of times because two and a half days is we integrate so many networking receptions and all kind of.

Lara Schmoisman
11:33
And sometimes it’s just not about the business.

Iryna Kremin
11:36
It’s about just connect with someone. Do you have a dog?

Lara Schmoisman
11:39
You have something in common. Do you like the same food or the same drink?

Iryna Kremin
11:43
Sure. Because we are not businesses doing business. Not with businesses. Businesses doing. It’s a people doing businesses with people.

Lara Schmoisman
11:55
Right.

Iryna Kremin
11:56
And if you make some friends, if you make friends in a kind of like work environment. Right. Then it’s easier to do business together. Absolutely.

Lara Schmoisman
12:07
When you feel friendly with someone, and I have some clients that I felt so comfortable with them that it’s so much easier to do business because you know that you understand each other, that you talk in the same language. So I have a question, because you have these very curated events, I see the agenda and it’s fantastic. But also you have fantastic attendance and guests. How do you get people to come to these more remote places in the world, in different places? How do you get them to come? And how do you pick your speakers?

Iryna Kremin
12:43
Yeah, I have to say, it is harder to get people to travel. It’s much easier if you’re doing a conference in New York and there is everybody around and things like that. It is harder, right. But how you find it? I’m attending many events myself and I’m looking for going to the conference and I pick up like one or two the best speakers and I introduce myself and I’m literally like begging them to come at you.

Lara Schmoisman
13:11
No shame.

Iryna Kremin
13:12
If I find somebody very interesting, I would be totally open for it. And I will say that I’m so impressed and I want you so much. And I would be doing it sometimes, maybe not this year, but next year. I am quite persistent because I’m trying to get, I think I want to believe that I have a good feeling for the people, for the interesting people. And I like to collect these collections of these amazing leaders and amazing founders and who are enjoying actually to be together. Absolutely.

Lara Schmoisman
13:45
And I saw some names that they’re going to be already there. And I’m so excited. I’m going to see these people, or these people. I haven’t seen them in a long time. And that’s exciting when you get to know people in each space. That’s why I always recommend all my clients, all my founders, like, found who is your community? You will learn so much from them and having the opportunity, hey, can I pick your mind about that or this? And that’s okay because you have that connection already. It’s not a business transaction anymore.

Iryna Kremin
14:20
Yeah, it’s because it’s not what you know, it’s who you know often in business. And sometimes the founders got stuck little bit in their focus on the products or ingredients and things like that, and they just forget that they need to build a network. This is what I feel like I build.

Lara Schmoisman
14:41
And that’s exactly what I always tell my clients. You need the support.

Iryna Kremin
14:45
Also.

Lara Schmoisman
14:47
I see so many founders stuck in doing not only their products, but doing their Instagram posts, their TikToks, trying to do absolutely everything at this. You’re forgetting really important things to do, that is networking, talking to retail or whatever space you want to do and do sales for your.

Iryna Kremin
15:10
Me.

Lara Schmoisman
15:10
I mean, you have this event coming up. So tell me a little bit some highlights that is going to happen in Napa and the dates and how people can. Do you have rooms still? Because I know that gets really busy last week.

Iryna Kremin
15:24
I think we are running out of the rooms in the hotel, but there are still some. The prices will go up, I think, for the hotel rooms next week, but yes, we do it in the Silverado Resort because our events are taking place in resorts only.

Lara Schmoisman
15:43
Why you choose Napa?

Iryna Kremin
15:46
I always ask people where you would like to go next. And we go sometimes east coast, west coast. We’re changing. And who doesn’t like Napa? Napa is always associated with a good time, having wine and watching the sunset. This is what we’re going to do.

Lara Schmoisman
16:03
I am sure you’re going to get really good wine too.

Iryna Kremin
16:06
Yeah. We’re also integrating wellness workshops these days. We do like baths and meditations, a little bit of. We even do like code – before the conference for the small group who like to do it because health and wellness and speaking about themes, what we are covering, health, wellness and longevity is the biggest theme this year because this is where the beauty is coming and I feel like we are not coming back. The conference which was in the beginning, it’s focusing on beauty and personal care, cosmetics, personal care. Now health and wellness is integral part of this beauty and it’s not coming back, let’s say. Right, so it’s in the product space, it’s health and wellness and of course sustainability as always. And these are the biggest topics, technology and AI, which is likely changing industry right now.

Iryna Kremin
17:02
And we are looking for brands to share some case studies and some stories, how they’re using it. Not only technology, we have some interesting technology company presenting, but we’ll have some brands who are speaking about how they use for the product creations, marketing. You say data is all about data. It’s all about data, about your customers. So technology playing so big role in it. So of course the technology is the second big theme, let’s say there is a big theme. So like four themes in the total. The third one is scaling and grow your brand because that’s a big one.

Lara Schmoisman
17:40
That’s a challenging one for the brand.

Iryna Kremin
17:42
And how to use ecommerce, how to use social media and all kind of strategy, how to grow your brand and scale. And we have a couple of very interesting experience speakers who actually like Mariban Prague from like consider us transformation.

Lara Schmoisman
18:04
She’s amazing.

Iryna Kremin
18:06
Yes. And the more of these kind of companies, and they will have retailers as well who will be speaking about what it takes to get onto their retailers shelves, which I think is good for the new brands. And we will be speaking about the future, about what is next, who is next customer. Yeah.

Lara Schmoisman
18:26
Because the beauty industry is already changing as we speak. I mean, if you talk to manufacturing, they’re already working in what we’re going to be seeing in the shelf in two to three years.

Iryna Kremin
18:40
Yeah. And I think that especially AI here is really making the biggest waves and actually it gives a lot of possibility for new brands actually to scale very fast. I feel like this AI, we are like, if you use metaphor, AI is like iceberg and we are like in Titanic and we are still dancing. We sort of realize and there will be some changes, but we don’t really realize in the full scale how big they are.

Lara Schmoisman
19:16
There are so many entrepreneurs out there that they start in careers like you, like economics, and then they’re looking to do the shift and it’s scary. You took a really big leap by doing this. How did it started? There was a clarity moment that you say, this is when I decided that I cannot do this anymore or that I want to switch.

Iryna Kremin
19:44
As I said that I was working in the industry and for many years and I like it very much, but I felt like it’s very hard when you’re working with someone, it’s very hard to make, implement changes and I have done some, but every time you need to implement changes, you really need to sell it internally and it takes a lot of energy for the small changes. And I always like to challenge, I think I’m a quite creative person. I like to change things and I like to challenge things and that was difficult for me to working for someone. And this is why I’ve started on my own. But I have to tell you, when I started my own business, I have not immediately start making dramatic changes. Because you’re afraid to take risk in the beginning.

Iryna Kremin
20:33
I think maybe I stick little bit too many years a little bit in the traditional way.

Lara Schmoisman
20:38
Because you also need to know that I have to invest. Invest time, invest money.

Iryna Kremin
20:44
Yes, exactly. It costs money. But slowly, when I start seeing some of the slowly, I start implementing this slowly. And I constantly like to challenge. Challenge. I don’t like to do conferences like everybody else because we need to be all different.

Lara Schmoisman
21:01
I always have a twist to be different. Even with my business. I always say that we are an agency with a twist. We do things different than other agency. You don’t want to be the same as everyone else?

Iryna Kremin
21:15
No, because everybody’s stuck in the same kind of things. Like it’s the same windowless rooms in the big hotels and it’s the same printing the big banners which you throw away. These are sponsors logo which you throw away after a day. I remember I did it in the past as well. Feels like sorry I have spent so much. I polluting so much just with one event, with all these printed banners and things, construction. And then I stop it. I even stopped doing the printing badges. I tried the conference without badges. I say, I want you to take a look at the face, each other face. But some people, little bit. Complaints of bringing badges back.

Lara Schmoisman
22:02
Well, it’s sometimes hard to remember the name of the people you meet. So many people.

Iryna Kremin
22:08
You know what I did? I printed the pictures of the delegates and I put it on the table, sort of like images and names. But anyways, it didn’t really work. But you have to try. If you don’t try, you will not get. Yeah, I like to challenge constantly. I don’t stop the.

Lara Schmoisman
22:31
So what’s the difference of creating an event in the US than one in.

Iryna Kremin
22:38
Singapore? I have done the event in Korea, now I’m going to Singapore for the reason is because a lot of headquarters of the biggest brands I’ve been working with then in Singapore. So I felt like it’s a little bit, you know, it’s a new market. It takes much longer to make. I already have some connections, but make a new one and things like that. But to work with you, I mean, it’s a different market. I have to tell you, America, Europe, Asia, they are very different culture. And this is exactly what I like, this is what I enjoy because I like to travel and I like to learn different cultures. Americans, they are much more enthusiastic, they’re much more busy with events. There is more emails coming, going, buying through.

Iryna Kremin
23:23
And Europeans are a little bit like more like laid back, I would say there is some difference in cultures and yeah, it’s kind of cool, but it’s.

Lara Schmoisman
23:35
Interesting how you need to adapt and also you need to create these events that everyone will feel comfortable from different cultures.

Iryna Kremin
23:44
Yeah, we are like family. We are coming to this conference. It’s like becoming a member of a family, literally. We have like a network which people who are becoming friends for life and not only in business. And in business, often they are like as a friends, they’re helping each other, even if they cannot work together directly. For example, they’re referring someone, they’re doing collaborations. There are a lot of these kinds of things happening because I think I create a really very relaxed. For me, it’s very important to breathe a very relaxed and luxury atmosphere so that people can relax and smell the roses. Let’s say that.

Lara Schmoisman
24:27
I’m sure it sounds like a really nice plan. Irina, thank you so much for being here today. It was a very enlightening conversation and I love to hear the backstories of events and I’m sure our audience enjoy it as well. So thank you so much for being here. And again, give us the dates of your events and where people can find you.

Iryna Kremin
24:52
Yeah, I’m super excited about the next event in Napa Valley is April 7 to nine. When I’m just going looking in the program, I’m already getting so much excited because each person is special, each speaker is amazing, and there are so many great personalities. So when you put them together, you get a lot of good time and a lot of good learning.

Lara Schmoisman
25:14
Yeah, absolutely.

Iryna Kremin
25:16
And it’s INNOCOS events. This s in the end. Yeah.

Lara Schmoisman
25:20
And where people can find you. What’s the website?

Iryna Kremin
25:23
INNOCOS in Instagram. And yeah, I’m mostly active on LinkedIn, of course.

Lara Schmoisman
25:28

Okay, well, thank you for being here today. It was really great to have coffee with you. And to you guys. I will see you next week with more Coffee Number Five. Find everything you need at LaraSchmoisman.com. Or in the episode notes right below. Don’t forget to subscribe. It was so good to have you here today. See you next time. Catch you on the flip side. Ciao. Ciao.

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