An announcement went out on May 8 from Eddie Berger, vice president of BTB Marketing and president of the Eastern Buying Conference (EBC), stating that a decision had been made by the EBC committee to merge its annual conference with the Western Buying Conference (WBC), held each January in Las Vegas, Nevada. The EBC committee is made up of representatives of the seven manufacturing rep groups that host the EBC every spring.
EBC 2018 took place on April 14-15 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. “This past EBC seemed to have been a great event. The food was really good and the casino night was the best ever. Our attendance by both manufacturers and customers were very good but unfortunately not great,” stated Berger in the announcement.
The EBC’s origins can be traced back 35 years when the Northeast manufacturing rep groups got together and started a show called the Northeast Beauty Rep Association (NEBRA). The first NEBRA show was held at the Loews Glenpointe Hotel in Teaneck, New Jersey. As more manufacturers entered the professional beauty industry and rep groups expanded, the show expanded, too—eventually taking over more and larger rooms at the Loews Glenpointe. Full-service distributors and a mix of beauty supply stores attended. And the tradition of the show's Saturday night event began, which allowed attendees and exhibitors to mingle together over cocktails, dinner and fun. Eventually, the name was changed to the Eastern Buying Conference to incorporate rep groups from the Southeast and Midwest territories into the show.
The EBC and WBC show manager, Patty Paletto, will continue to stay on board to ensure a smooth transition and the future success of the newly merged show, which has yet to be officially named.
A bittersweet ending, Berger stated hopefully, “EBC has come to the end of the road, but our journey still continues.”