We caught up with Redken Creative Director Mana Dave who has just returned from the 2019 Redken Symposium in Las Vegas. Mana Dave was excited when we asked him to tell us all about the event.
You have just come back from the 2019 Redken Symposium in Las Vegas, can you explain to us what the Symposium is all about and what attending this event meant for you?
“Symposium is the largest single manufacturer hair industry event in the world. It’s a biannual event held in Las Vegas that brings together thousands of Redken professionals from around the globe for a showcase of ‘edutainment’ on a grand scale. Redken Symposium 2019 was my ninth! Each time I’m reminded of that fact that I’m part of a global artistic network and it’s an opportunity for me to get a creative injection for the new year.
How many people do you estimate were at the event and where did they all come from?
“Including attendees and support team, there’s close to 10,000 people that are part of the Symposium event. There’s definitely a large American contingent with the fact that it’s based in the US, but people come from all over the world. From all over Europe, Asia, Latin America, South Africa, Dubai and of course our Redken crew from Australia and New Zealand.
Who were the main Redken Artist head liners?
“The great thing about Symposium is that it pulls together all of the Redken international artists from around the globe including our global artistic directors Sam Villa, Chris Baran, Kris Sorbie and global colour creative director Josh Wood. Celebrity hair colourist Tracey Cunningham and social media influencers like Cassandra Platinum and myself Mana Dave are all there, bringing their own unique story and approach to hair.
Did Redken release any new exciting innovations at the Symposium?
“Innovation is one of our Redken brand pillars and Symposium allows us to see the new and exciting things that will be unveiled for 2019. Product wise I’m definitely excited by our colour launches for including our new Color Gel Lacquers and our Flashlift with bond multiplier added. We’re also celebrating 30 years of Shades EQ Gloss with some brand new additional tones, so it’s definitely a big year for Redken hair colour.
As far as education was concerned, what types of learning workshops were available?
“Symposium this year was taken to the next level in terms of the range of learning platforms and content that was available to the attendees. A variety of hands on workshops for up to 500 attendees focussing on both hair colour and design.
Up close and personal classrooms with Josh Wood about his career and industry trends for colour and even stage presentations for both commercial and creative hair with the idea of being able to connect it all back into the salon environment to drive business growth. There was a huge digital push this year in all of the classes, including the business seminars with a real focus on using social media for salon business growth and brand building.
Did you come away with any new inspiring ideas and skills that you can share with us?
“One of my highlights this Symposium was working on the grand opening show. The number of looks that were showcased in the production was staggering. The creativity was mind blowing and having the opportunity to see how some of the sculptural pieces were created was such a great insight.
What would you say was the best thing about attending the Symposium?
“It’s the energy that’s created when you bring so many creative individuals together, it gives you a boost and gets you amped to start creating.
Did you manage to indulge in any of the Las Vegas night life while you were there?
“Symposium is amazing but it’s a very full schedule when you’re working the event so there wasn’t much time for many Las Vegas indulgences. I did manage, however, to squeeze in a cocktail at the Mandalay Bay Foundation Room rooftop bar with two of my Aussie Redken Crew Sheree Knobel from Bixie Colour and Marie Cain from Head Studio one night and also got in a quick powershop at the outlet stores before I flew back to NZ.”