Once a year the enthusiasm for organic natural products and a healthy lifestyle, in the western style, is exuded by a crowd of people at the Anaheim Convention Center in California. This overshadows all the cheer and happiness of the magical kingdom next door and the aura of all pretense.
Yes, it's that time again. The event thousands of natural food companies around the world have put a year of planning and strategy into. The moment almost a hundred thousand people have been waiting for. The monumental behemoth of an industry trade show humbly referenced by many as 'Expo West' but known to the city of Anaheim it takes over March 6th thru the 8th as Natural Products Expo West.
The excitement and enormity of the event itself can really be related to a triathlon because every day there exists three layers of exciting things to dig into, or become overwhelmed by. These fun challenges await!
#1 The Labyrinth of Free Food
Let's face it. Everyone at Expo West ends up well fed. This occurs one little sample at a time from a few thousand brands at a time. You can spot a veteran Expo attendee at a show, because they know exactly what brands they are going to visit, and are excellent at balanced grazing. For people new to the "Ways of the Expo West" sampling randomly can become a gastronomic problem. For Example: Trying every detox and juice sample in one day can easily result in over 15,000 percent the daily recommended intake of Vitamin C and this can be a problem (As new grazing USF employees find out each year). Surviving this portion of Expo West requires balance and a plan.
Our Suggestion: Thankfully the gracious folks who organize Expo West provide both a Map and a Mobile App which let you make your own schedule for each day. Use both, and come up with a game plan. If you own a retail store you can mark brands you already carry to find out about show specials the first day, and mark new ones to explore the next day. Anyone can do same. All the while you will want to be observing a balance of what you will and won't be sampling too much of in a single day.
Our Other Totally Biased Suggestion: The Ultimate Superfoods Booth 2375 at Expo West will feature a full range of foods to graze from. You will have brand new Earthling Organic Rawnola bars and cereals, Ojio Trail Mixes with nuts & berries, protein and energy from Ojio Sport, all of it designed to offer a simple balanced buffet of morsels. It won't be as flashy as the bigger booths but as much as we can do for everyone. We remain humble!
#2 From Yoga to Rock & Roll
Expo West isn't just about the food. It isn't just about bamboo clothing brands, or the next best water bottle to hit the shelves. The event is a layered onion of many smaller events happening each and every hour, of every day. This includes store tours, herbal arboretum walks, and VIP award dinners. The morning of every Friday and Saturday begins with free Yoga and each evening ends with incredible parties featuring music, drinks, and yes even more food with friends.
The hardest part about navigating the events is simply deciding which ones to attend and where you will need to be each day.
Our Suggestion: Go to the events page for the Natural Products Expo website and decide ahead of time where you need to be to have the most fun.
#3 Eat, Play, Learn; The Next Foodie Generation
The non-Organice, pro-GMO, producers of processed food have thier industry meetings, and so do the pro-Organic, anti-GMO businesses at Natural Products Expo West.
Want to share ideas about the future?
Those who have mastered the two prior parts of Expo West should also spend time attending at least some of the lively lectures and workshops during the actual Expo West Conference. Beyond the free food and incredible entertainment, this is the most important reason so many people in the business of keeping things more natural get together.
The lecture topics this year will range from how natural and orangic businesses can succeed, to how they are, or can be, protrayd by popular media on Thursday, to full non-GMO lectures on Friday, and ending with such great lectures as Women In Leadership and Digital Strategies for competing on Saturday.
Our Suggestion: There is a cost to attend The EWC each day so it is important to either pick a day of lectures with the most relevance to you, and speakers you will definitely want to hear, or explore the idea of purchasing their Super Pass which grants you access to everything the entire event has to offer. There are also many Exhibitor Sponsored events you can attend at hotels such as the Marriott across from the main event throughout the weekend as well. Simply check the schedule online.
Many of us at Ultimate Superfoods and its Ojio, Ojio Sport, Earthling Organics, and Bare Mixers, brands (made of people) have spent sleepless nights and many months preparing to tackle the excitement and challenges of the Natural Products Expo West event as a humble mid-level company.
Those of us returning to Expo West this year are reminded that sore feet are also accompanied with wide smiles and love. We must make sure our toes are ready to take on what the first full weekend of March has to offer.
The most important thing about Expo West is that we look forward to having people visit us at Booth 2375. We'll have plenty of things to offer you in return. Including a big honest hug if you ask for it.
Blog Post Type: News