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Top education and events at Expo West/Engredea 2012

Top education and events at Expo West/Engredea 2012

We know your time at Natural Products Expo West and Engredea is tight, so here are our top picks for the education and events you won't want to miss.

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 unless otherwise indicated, sessions will now be presented in the Platinum Ballrooms at the Anaheim Marriott (located next to the convention center). 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.

We know your time at Expo is tight, so here are our top picks for the education and events you won't want to miss. (Other than those designated with an *, these are free to all badge holders.)

Get full descriptions and speaker bios for all sessions

Thursday, March 8

Asterisk (*) indicates additional fee to attend.

  • Retail Store Tour*
    Here’s a fantastic opportunity to see what makes top Southern California-area natural products stores shine, gather ideas to implement in your store and meet fellow retailers. The bus-led tour allows you behind-the-scenes access to Herbs of Mexico in Los Angeles and Mother’s Market in Brea and Santa Ana. Managers and employees at all three stores will be on hand to answer questions. Cost is $60, which includes breakfast at the Hilton.
    8 a.m. to 2 p.m.; meet at Hilton bus loading area
     
  • 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.
    10 a.m.-11:15 a.m; Marriott Ballroom 8
     
  • 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).
    10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.; Marriott Ballroom 4
     
  • How to Personalize Your Brand on Social Media (Platinum Education Series*)
    Simple techniques for applying personality to your brand to create meaningful relationships that translate into lifelong customers.
    11 a.m.-12 p.m.; Marriott Ballroom 6
     
  • Organic Farming Research Foundation Benefit*
    Join more than 300 organic farmers and industry leaders at the 15th annual celebration of innovative and environmentally responsible farming. OFRF will share highlights from its first "Organic Farming for Health and Prosperity" report and introduce the new faces of organic farming in the United States. Cost for this luncheon is $75 per person; proceeds go to OFRF.
    11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; Ballrooms C & D in the convention center
     
  • Gluten Free (Platinum Education Series*)
    Long-term trend or short-term fad? Hear the latest on product innovation, market performance, and consumer behavior and attitudes in this popular category.
    12 p.m.-1:30 p.m.; Marriott Ballroom 7
     
  • Fresh Ideas Organic Marketplace
    Discover new and unique certified-organic products in an intimate, farmers’ market–like setting before the show floor opens on Friday. Sample organic truffles, artisan cheeses and sustainable spirits, and check out an array of herbs, flowers and textiles.
    12:30 to 5:30 p.m.; tent outside the Marriott
     
  • AHPA Herb Walk*
    Plan to join a group of world-renowned herbalists at the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) Herb Walk as they lead you on a tour of the nearby Fullerton Arboretum's beautiful 26-acre botanical gardens on the campus of California State University. Cost is $60; to register, call 866.458.4935 or add the 'AHPA Herb Walk' to your online registration at expowest.com.
    1:30 to 5:00 p.m.; meet at Hilton bus loading area
     
  • Hall of Legends Induction/Nutraward Reception
    We invite you to join us in honoring our industry’s legends. The inaugural event will honor 13 individuals who have devoted significant portions of their lives making this industry what it is today. Inductions will take place in conjunction with the annual NutrAward reception.
    5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Anaheim Hilton, California Ballroom D.
     
  • Welcome Reception
    This event is Expo West’s way of shouting, “Hail, hail, the gang’s all here!” Capture the buzz of the show’s start and enjoy cocktails, appetizers and live entertainment with colleagues old and new.
    6-8 p.m.; Palm Court (located outside convention center)

Friday, March 9

Asterisk (*) indicates additional fee to attend.

  • A Better Breakfast
    You want to fuel up with a healthy breakfast before hitting the show floor, so enjoy nutritious offerings from Earth Balance and Glutino while mingling with fellow attendees.
    7:30-10 a.m.; Marriott Platinum Ballroom
     
  • Featured Speaker: Meg Cadoux Hirshberg
    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.
    9-10:15 a.m., Marriott Ballroom 6.
     
  • New Products Showcase
    Spend time scanning this pre-screened selection of exciting new items before diving into the exhibit-hall excitement. Grab a scanner, window-shop and then visit your favorite companies’ booths on the show floor for more info.
    10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 10 ; Sunday, March 11, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Anaheim Convention Center lobby
     
  • Marketing to the Hispanic and Latino Populations (Platinum Education Series*)
    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.
    10:30 a.m.-11:45 a.m.; Marriott 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.
    10:30 a.m.-11:45 a.m.; Marriott 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.
    12:15 p.m.-1:30 p.m.; Marriott Ballroom 7
     
  • Marketing to Moms (Platinum Education Series*)
    How to reach the most influential mothers and then transform these women into powerful word-of-mouth evangelists for your products or stores.
    3:45 p.m.-5 p.m.; Marriott Ballroom 8
     
  • Women in Naturals Networking Party
    This annual cocktail party aims to connect natural products industry women with one another and inspire them to pursue their dreams. Naomi Whittel, CEO of event sponsor Reserveage Organics, will share her story, followed by a presentation from Cynthia Barstow, president of Seed to Shelf: Marketing for Sustainability and a University of Massachusetts instructor who takes marketing students to Expo West each year. Barstow’s former students Sarah Nelson of Late July Organic Snacks and Zoë Gardner of Traditional Medicinals and current student Gabrielle DeAngelis of Seed to Shelf will also speak.
    5:30 to 7 p.m.; Hilton roofdeck
     
  • Live Music Party
    A perennial favorite, this jam- and dance-athon is a prime opportunity to let loose while socializing with colleagues and making new friends. Reggae royalty Ziggy Marley headlines this year’s concert to celebrate the launch of his Ziggy’s Coco’mon and Hemp Rules brands. (See more on Marley.)
    9 p.m. to midnight; Marriott Marquis Ballroom.

Saturday, March 10

Asterisk (*) indicates additional fee to attend.

  • Keynote: Paul Greenberg Join keynote speaker Paul Greenberg, author of Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food (Penguin, 2010) as he reveals how retailers can help save the disappearing fish population.
    9 a.m.; Marriott Ballroom 6
     
  • New Products Showcase
    Spend time scanning this pre-screened selection of exciting new items before diving into the exhibit-hall excitement. Grab a scanner, window-shop and then visit your favorite companies’ booths on the show floor for more info.
    10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, March 11, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Anaheim Convention Center lobby
     
  • 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.
    10:45 a.m.-12 p.m.; Marriott Ballroom 7
     
  • Shedding Light on Natural Sunscreen Markets
    Discover what every retailer should know about the FDA’s new sunscreen requirements.
    2:15 p.m.-3:30 p.m.; Marriott Ballroom 8
     
  • The NDI Guidance Issue: From Supply to Shelf
    This supply-to-shelf dialogue will examine what is in the NDI draft guidance that industry has found objectionable, what the current status is, what we can expect in upcoming months, and how, as retailers, manufacturers and ingredient suppliers, we should be acting and preparing for the futures of our businesses.
    3:30 p.m.-4:45 p.m.; Anaheim Convention Center, Ballroom A (third floor)
     
  • Featured speaker: Penelope Trunk
    We also recommend Penelope Trunk, cofounder of BrazenCareerist.com, who will offer advice on attracting and retaining talented employees.
    3:45 p.m.-5 p.m.; Marriott Ballroom 6

Sunday, March 11

Asterisk (*) indicates additional fee to attend.

  • New Products Showcase
    Spend time scanning this pre-screened selection of exciting new items before diving into the exhibit-hall excitement. Grab a scanner, window-shop and then visit your favorite companies’ booths on the show floor for more info.
    10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Anaheim Convention Center lobby
     
  • Social Media Sunday
    From getting started to breaking issues, this series of sessions will provide detailed information to help you build and maintain your social media strategy.
    • 10-10:30 a.m.—Breaking Social Media Issues
    • 11-11:45 a.m.—Social Networking 101: Understanding the true benefits of social media for suppliers
    • 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.—Social Media 201: Setting Social Media Goals
    • 2:00-2:45 p.m.—Social Media 301: Implementing Social Media to Increase Your Bottom Line
    • 2:45-3:30 p.m.—Social Media 401: Social Media Engagement & Best Practices
    Engredea Theater, Booth #110 Hall A
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