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To address the innovation issue, Rachmanis said, Techpack has just launched an innovation center in its Paris headquarters. "We are building a facility to host our designers, marketers and makeup creators, and also will have four makeup molding machines," he said.
Ed Kavanaugh, CTFA president, noted that the organization had begun scheduling industry speakers simply because, "this is what people want to hear now. Years ago, people wanted to hear from congressmen and Tom Brokaw." Kavanaugh added, "We want to do more of this." As for future meetings, he said that if there are four or five speaking slots, two or three should be filled with cosmetics industry executives.
A strong push for more relevant speakers reportedly came from Andrea Jung, Avon Products' chairman and chief executive officer, who made that a goal when she accepted the chairmanship of CTFA last year.
But even though Lauder's appearance broke new ground for CTFA, attendance at the meeting appeared to be suffering from fallout of Sept. 11 and the persistent drag of recession. Attendance has been slipping in recent years, and the trend continued this year. Without the benefit of seeing a final tally, Kavanaugh estimated the meeting attendance at 725 to 730 people, compared with 900 last year and just under 1,000 in 1999. "We did better than we thought we would," he said, referring to the recession's impact. In fact, he insisted that the mood in the industry has rebounded. "There is more optimism this year than in the last two years," he said.