5 things you didn’t know about the SANA trade fair

Sana Trade Fair

5 things you didn’t know about the SANA trade fair

Outside image of SANA 2023 entrance, an international exhibition/trade fair for organic and natural products held in Bologna Fiere.
Photo by Chiara Vecchi

SANA is an international exhibition of organic and natural products, held every September in the beautiful Italian city of Bologna.

I’ve attended since 2019 and for me, it’s one of the most enjoyable trade shows I go to. The atmosphere is welcoming and relaxed, especially if you avoid the weekend. This year, SANA will celebrate its 35th anniversary, so it’ll be even more special.

If you’re thinking of exhibiting as a cosmetics or beauty brand, or if you’re simply interested in attending as a visitor, here are a few points that might help you make it a great success.

I don’t have any affiliate deals with SANA — this is my own experience from both attending and talking to exhibitors and customers.

1. SANA is a small fair for organic and natural products

Snapshot of a natural and organic cosmetics stall at SANA 2023.
Photo by Chiara Vecchi

Compared to other beauty & cosmetics industry exhibitions, such as Cosmoprof, SANA isn’t very big. It usually takes up just 5 to 6 pavilions, while Cosmoprof extends to over 20! (The latter uses the same premises in March each year.) This makes SANA a fantastic event if you prefer to start small.

While most companies are from Italy, there’s a fair number of international brands. To find out who was exhibiting in 2022, simply browse SANA’s old exhibitors’ catalogue.

2. It’s not just for people working in the industry

Cosmetic glass vials on a decorative background, representing organic, natural and healthy cosmetics and supplements.
Photo by Mareefe on Pixabay

SANA is one of the most affordable events I’ve attended. You can even get discounted tickets for potential visitors if you’re an exhibitor. This ensures you’ll not only meet beauty and cosmetics industry staff, but also members of the public. Many of them are bloggers, influencers, and independent shop owners who want to discover up-and-coming trends and try new products.

Do you already have an online store? Then this is your chance to raise awareness of your natural or organic products and services. After people have tried and tested your products at SANA, you can easily direct them to your online shop for future purchases.

Since most visitors will come from Italy, your online store should be available in Italian. After all, you want to make it as easy as possible to navigate and shop. The same applies for any marketing materials you display at your booth.

3. You’ll save (lots of) money

Image of a person carefully holding a white piggy bank. SANA's exhibition of organic cosmetics won't break the bank!
Photo by Charles Thompson on Pixabay

SANA is not as big and renowned as Cosmoprof. But that’s not a bad thing. Everything—from renting a booth to advertising on its channels—is much cheaper than at bigger international fairs. This also means that Bologna doesn’t get as crowded: you’ll still be able to find affordable accommodation, which isn’t the case with larger exhibitions.

If you plan to fly, plane tickets also will be a lot cheaper because of this. Or, if you’re driving, you’ll reach the fair pretty easily without queuing for a long time. (I know what it’s like: it can be stressful when you have to rush to a booth…)

Attending and/or exhibiting a trade fair is always a big investment in terms of time, money and preparation, so cutting some expenses without compromising on quality is always a good thing.

4. You’re more likely to stand out

Image of a person getting a facial wellness mud mask. Natural products like these are popular at SANA.
Photo by Raphael Lovaski on Unsplash

Although there is a fair share of international companies at SANA’s trade show, the number of beauty & cosmetics companies coming from outside Italy is relatively low. This is great, as you’ll definitely have a chance to shine.

The limited size of the event makes it easy to visit every pavilion: potential customers, partners, or buyers will undoubtedly spot your booth. To be on the safe side, raise awareness about your attendance on social media.

5. You’ll be spoilt for choice — not just with natural cosmetics

Image of healthy toner containing botanical herbs and fruit like lemon, cucumber, and aloe vera.
Photo by Seksak Kerdkanno on Pixabay

The organic and natural products and services shown at SANA are diverse: from technology and food to lifestyle and fashion. As it covers so many sectors, it’s a great way to explore general trends in the green, organic, and natural industry.

A couple of years ago, for example, I bought a teddy bear to help save moon bears from exploitation in China. After that, I got a pair of special sunglasses to relax my eyes after spending a lot of time staring at screens. As you can see, it’s an interesting mix of interests and product sectors.

Last, but not least, if you wander around the food area, you’ll likely end up tasting and buying many delicacies. There are always pavilions dedicated to food products—from traditional cheese to meat alternatives—and they are hard to resist!

Any questions?

Image of lavender soap. Distributors selling vegetarian and vegan soaps (along with new industry innovations) are popular at Sana 2023.
Photo by Silvia on Pixabay

All the above factors are important when deciding whether to attend SANA’s international exhibition. It’s not just about exploring new trends, but also about potentially forging new business relationships.

Let me know if you’re planning to go to SANA 2023! And, if you have further questions, or if you need an Italian beauty & cosmetics translator to help your brand stand out at SANA or elsewhere, I’d be happy to chat with you by email or in an informal call.