Expo West's education program kicks off Thursday morning with some of the industry's top experts and strategists. This year's seminars reflect the feedback provided by attendees in a 2001 survey. "Retailers told us that they were looking for more discussions on organics, business strategies and natural healing," says Conference Manager Sharon Cook. "So we listened and responded."
The opening speaker, ethnobotanist Mark J. Plotkin, Ph.D., has been hailed by Time magazine as an environmental "hero for the planet." "Dr. Plotkin is known for his spellbinding stories about ancient traditions and medicine quests from the natural world," says Cook. "He provides a powerful argument for conserving wild plants for future medicines while protecting the cultural diversity of indigenous peoples."
Other highlights on Thursday include "How Independents Can Out-Market the Chains." "It's important, especially during a recession, to provide independent retailers with fresh ideas, creative options, survival techniques and successful new trends that can help them compete with the chains," Cook says.
Friday begins with keynote speaker Ken Schmidt, former director of communications for Harley-Davidson Motor Co., who will discuss the "The Rise, Fall and Rise of Harley-Davidson." For more information, see "."
Additional seminars to catch on Friday: "Planning with Passion: How to Create a Marketing Plan that Gets Used" and "From Grape to Glass: The Time is Ripe for Organic Wine."
On Saturday at the "100 Percent Organic Retail Concepts: Stores of the Future?" seminar, a panel of successful European retailers will discuss how supermarkets that carry exclusively organic food have been thriving.Natural Products Expo West 2002 wraps up on Sunday with the closing session featuring the godfather of fitness, Jack LaLanne. To read more about this industry pioneer, see"."
For a complete schedule of all seminars, see . To customize a printable schedule that lists the time and location of seminars you plan to attend, visit www.expowest.com/myexpo.
Personal Expo Map
Preshop the Expo trade show floor by creating your Personal Expo Planner at http://expowest.expoplanner.com. Search for the companies you want to visit by their names or products, then place the exhibitors in your Expo Planner. The program creates a printable show floor map featuring the exhibitors you plan to visit.
Eat Breakfast, Help The Environment Saturday morning, join a breakfast discussion on why the natural products industry should buy and sell herbs from environmentally, socially and economically sustainable sources. The "breakfast club" is hosted by the Herb Research Foundation, the World Wildlife Fund and the LDI Group.
The HRF wants to match suppliers of sustainably produced materials with forward-thinking buyers, says Maureen DeCoursey, HRF's director of sustainable development. "And many U.S. buyers are interested and willing to buy materials that would foster the ideals of global citizenship."
Retailers are also vital to this sustainability initiative, DeCoursey adds, because they can communicate information and success stories to consumers.
The breakfast meeting begins at 8 a.m. in room 201B of the convention center.
Ride Home On A Hog
You could win a Harley Davidson XL 883C Sportster at Expo. Just pick up an entry punch card at any info booth or at the registration desk, and visit all of the exhibitors listed on the entry form so they can punch your card. Then drop your card off in the International Lounge in Hall A for the final drawing on Sunday.
Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXIII/number 3/p. 44,48