The list below highlights just some of the free educational opportunities you might want to add to your show plans.
Hot Trends in Organic Retail—Presented by the Organic Trade Association, this session will dig into how innovative retailers were able to grow their organic product sales in 2011 despite the still-sluggish economy. Come learn about and discuss best practices with leaders in the organic retail space. 9 to 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, room level 300, room 314
Transparency Made Real: Technology’s Role In Discovering What’s Really In Our Food—More companies are using apps and technology to peel back the curtain on our food supply. Learn what exists and what’s coming with the editor of Nutrition Business Journal and Danny Houghton of One Degree Organic Foods, a company that excels at telling the story of its products. 11 a.m. to noon Thursday, Sept. 20, room 318
Your Social Media Strategy: Turning “Fans” and “Likes” into Dollars and Cents—Whole Foods Market’s digital marketing manager, Ryan Amirault, shares how the company has created an online community with its blog, newsletter, mobile apps and social media accounts. 1 to 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, room 318
The Dr. Oz Effect: What to Do When He Pays You a Professional House Call—Listen to case studies of seven nutritional ingredients Dr. Oz anointed, from African mango to 7-keto, and hear about how sales rose in some cases by 1,000 percent. Suppliers, marketers, manufacturers and retailers will learn how to capitalize on the Dr. Oz effect. 1 to 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, room 319
Lessons From the Best: What Trader Joe’s Can Teach You—Len Lewis, author of The Trader Joe’s Adventure: Turning a Unique Approach to Business into a Retail and Cultural Phenomenon, explores the best practices and merchandising expertise that made the $2.6 billion maverick one of the greatest success stories in grocery retailing. 2 to 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, room 319
Best of the East: 3 Local Retailers and What They’re Doing Right—We’ve chosen three stellar retailers to share their cutting-edge marketing, sales, social media, merchandising, category management, employee-training and customer service practices. 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, room 319
Beyond Gluten-Free: Serving Your Special Diet Customer—Leave this session with the latest data on consumer buying habits, and practical advice for merchandising sales and marketing to consumers with special diet needs including vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, Kosher, diabetic and allergies. 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21, room 319