"Korean entertainers look very beautiful when they put on makeup. I will teach you the secrets of K-Beauty makeup,” shouted Edward Avila to the audience.
On Aug. 19, the “beauty broker” addressed the K-Beauty Session of the KCon stage at the L.A. Convention Center, which included half a million people (including those tuned on YouTube).
Avila has some 252,000 Instagram followers.
Three hundred people packed into a conference room for beauty lessons entitled, “Putting Makeup on like Korean entertainers,” which was lead by Avila. They appeared to appreciate the lecture by giving him a round of applause. There were no Koreans among the crowd. Avila’s events are emblematic of where the Hallyu stands today. Hallyu fans all over the world are consuming Korean culture at an insatiable rate, including movies, music, drama, beauty and cuisine. Many share their experiences online through social media sites such as YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, further spreading Korean culture throughout the world.
CJ Entertainment said KCon 2017 attracted some 85,000 people to the Staples Center and LA Convention Center from Aug. 18-20, the largest crowd ever for KCon. Only 10,000 people gathered at the first KCon in 2012. For the first time since the event was launched six years ago, it ended in the black, demonstrating that K-businesses can make a profit when they’re organized and presented well.
KCon started as an event to expand Hallyu, and it has grown to be an iconic and integrated cultural platform designed to channel the Korean culture around the world, a CJ Entertainment officials said. The company organized its first KCon in 2012 at Irvine, California, to spread K-pop with such icons as GD, the Age of Girls, IU, Exxo, and 4 Minute, among others. Their popularity grew from word of mouth. The Bullet Proof Boys Team, which appeared at KCon, have become global stars, surpassing their domestic reputation.
KCon no longer deals with only K-pop, and has been taking charge of spreading the overseas popularity of a full range of Korean culture, including fashion, beauty, cuisine and music. There are 116 representative programs.
The programs have been attracting viewers as prime life-style events uniquely Korean when they are presented overseas.
The overseas viewers don’t want to attend the shows simply to watch them, but also want to participate to actually taste traditional Korean cuisine and enjoy live music, wearing K-Beauty makeup so much so that KCon has been expanded across the wider range of Korean culture.
KCon contents have been expanded to include ones such as the Panel Tents, where various lecturers talk about the arts and culture of Korea. They also include talks on Korean food, especially those that are easily available to the foreign residents in Korea.
K-culture is being regarded as having a great future, as an increasing number of people in their 20s and 30s are seen among the crowd at overseas events.
The popularity of K-culture has trickled down to teens in recent year, with many of them turning up at the K-culture events overseas. Such business giants as AT&T, State Farm and others have participated in the concert as partners, alongside 68 Korean SMEs. Korean beauty and healthcare firms signed contracts worth 3.5 billion won at the event in LA alone.
CJ E&M plowed 40 billion won into KCon concerts in the past six years in cities such as New York and Los Angeles. The continued investments paid off this year with ticket sales priced at $800 to $1,500 and sponsor fees coming to 10.5 billion won. The company cleared around 500 million won in profit for the first time.