Expo West 2012: Not-to-miss education opportunities

Expo West 2012: Not-to-miss education opportunities

At Natural Products Expo West 2012, industry thought leaders will explore timely topics such as GMOs, organic personal care standards and sunscreen safety, as well as strategies to tap expanding markets, use technology successfully and retain valuable employees.

As Expo West has grown, the education program has also expanded, so please note that all sessions will now be presented in the Platinum Ballrooms at the Anaheim Marriott (located next to the convention center).

The Platinum Education Series

Also new for 2012, the Platinum Education Series is a set of eight premium seminars that focus on professional development. Each session is $55; or you may upgrade your registration with an all-access pass to the eight sessions for $195. Here’s a preview of the series:

  • Gluten Free
    Long-term trend or short-term fad? Hear the latest on product innovation, market performance, and consumer behavior and attitudes in this popular category.
    Thursday, March 8, 12 p.m.-1:30 p.m.; Ballroom 7
  • Marketing to the Hispanic and Latino Populations
    Martin Lopez, owner of Herbs of Mexico, a natural market in Los Angeles that will be featured on the store tour, provides practical tips to better serve your Latino customers.
    Friday, March 9, 10:30 a.m.-11:45 a.m.; Ballroom 8
  • Marketing to Moms
    How to reach the most influential mothers and then transform these women into powerful word-of-mouth evangelists for your products or stores.
    Friday, March 9, 3:45 p.m.-5 p.m.; Ballroom 8
  • How to Personalize Your Brand on Social Media
    Simple techniques for applying personality to your brand to create meaningful relationships that translate into lifelong customers.
    Thursday, March 8, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.; Ballroom 6

Keynote and featured speakers

Expo West still offers many free seminars. Be sure to check out keynote speaker Paul Greenberg, author of Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food (Penguin, 2010) at 9 a.m. on Saturday in Ballroom 6. He will discuss how retailers can help save the disappearing fish population.

You also won’t want to miss Meg Cadoux Hirshberg, wife of Stonyfield Farm Founder Gary Hirshberg and author of For Better or For Work: A Survival Guide for Entrepreneurs and Their Families (Inc., 2012). She shares how she and her husband grew a small family farm into an organic dairy empire and how she managed to balance business and home life. Talk runs from 9 a.m. -10:15 a.m. on Friday; Ballroom 6.

We also recommend Penelope Trunk, cofounder of BrazenCareerist.com, who will offer advice on attracting and retaining talented employees from 3:45 p.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday; Ballroom 6.

More retail-focused sessions

We know your time at Expo is tight, so here are our top picks for retail-focused sessions that you’ll want to plan to attend. (These are free to all badge holders.)

Local Food Chains: Making it Work
Learn how to make the local and regional food trend work for your business. Mark Lipson, the USDA’s organic and sustainable agriculture policy advisor, will discuss resources available to retailers under the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative. Retailer Sam Mogannam, owner of Bi-Rite Market, a San Francisco store specializing in local food, will offer advice on sourcing and selling local products. Mogannam will also sign copies of his book, Eat Good Food: A Grocer’s Guide to Shopping, Cooking & Creating Community Through Food (Ten Speed Press, 2011).
Thursday, March 8, 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.; Ballroom 4

Managing the GMO Message
Can you sufficiently answer your customers’ questions about GMOs? Panelists from Jimbo’s Naturally Stores and Nature’s Path Foods will teach you how best to educate your staff and your shoppers on this hot-button issue.
Thursday, March 8, 10 a.m.-11:15 a.m; Ballroom 8

Organic Personal Care: COPA’s Impact
You may be stocking your health-and-beauty section with products that make “organic” claims, but are they compliant with the California Organic Products Act (COPA), which requires personal care labeled as “organic” to contain at least 70 percent USDA Organic ingredients? Find out how COPA will affect your shelves and sales—even if your store is not in California.
Friday, March 9, 10:30 a.m.-11:45 a.m.; Ballroom 7

Future of Wellness: Retailing Insights
Find out what New Hope Natural Media’s consumer research reveals about the future of wellness and what this means for retailers.
Friday, March 9, 12:15 p.m.-1:30 p.m.; Ballroom 7

The State of the Industry
Carlotta Mast, editor-in-chief of NFM and newhope360.com, and Marc Brush, editor-in-chief of Nutrition Business Journal, will offer a deep dive into industry sales performance and share their market predictions.
Saturday, March 10, 10:45 a.m.-12 p.m.; Ballroom 7

Shedding Light on Natural Sunscreen Markets
Discover what every retailer should know about the FDA’s new sunscreen requirements.
Saturday, March 10, 2:15 p.m.-3:30 p.m.; Ballroom 8

Get full descriptions and speaker bios for all these sessions

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