WorldNutra 2002 Annual: Yes Date: November 17-20, 2002
San Diego, Calfornia
Comparison to previous year: No numbers available for previous year, but organizers implied that attendance larger and exhibitors present for first time. Exhibitors pleased with industry presence and level of interaction with attendees. All coffee breaks were in exhibit hall.
Number of : Exhibitors 14 companies
Seminars and Poster presentations: 150+
Total Attendance: ~375.Attendance for: Associated Seminars Plenary sessions to start each day well attneded by several hundred participants from academia, industry and governement. Other sessions, especially sicentific sessions, attended on average by about 60 people including a few industry reps. Later sessions, as well as sessions the final day (20th) atended by approximately 25 people. Tradeshow/exhibits: floor traffic slow, but steady. Exhibitors reported several promising leads and good detailed conversation with the few parties interested.
The quality was generally high with a few that were difficult to understand because of language issues. Although many presentations were extremely technical, several presenters were able to brindge and offer commercial and general interest aspects of their presentations. Some, however related merely the status of their own work or the work in a particular subject area, information which could have been gathered from other sources without a conference. Exceptional presentations included one on "Health Care Costs and Functional Foods" by Ian Newton, (Roche), an entire session on business and financial issues with several industry leaders including Roger Wyse, Tom Aarts, and Tom Clough, and several product development presentations including National Starch (Rhonda Witwer-'From Whole Foods to Biomarkers' )and Roche Vitamins (Karen Todd-'How to Develop Functional Products with Bioactives'). The various regulatory environments were also presented and contrasted including the US, Canada and Europe. An introduction to nutragenomic products was provided by Dr. Ken Kornman from Interleukin Genetics.
Perception that the conference was better than previous year with a few interesting presentations of potential. Excellent scientific data presented. Commerical applicability and the successful business model were two issues raised repeatedly by attendees. In fact, in the Nutragenomics presentation, the presenter admitted the commercial viability needed work.
Hot, key and new products/services: (Partial List of what we observed )
Pangenomics-Introduced a pipeline of functional products including a product effective in treating collagen induced arthritis.
Bioriginal-Promoted Essential Fatty Acids and flax products and recent research.
KGK Synergize-Introduced science supported products with commerical potential and an intellectual property portfolio available for licensing.Organization:
Show Organization and Management:
All appeared to be in order. Very committed organizers. Some A/V issues caused headaches and reorganizing as did the non-appearance of several speakers.
Earlier final day.
More central location. (The location well away from downtown San Diego had many visitors essentially stranded. This forced a focus on the conference events however.)
This event fills a gap in the industry between the scientific community and the industry and its marketing efforts. It was interesting to observe who from industry attended and their reaction to what was being presented. The poster sessions were good but not emphasized in the show proceedings. Many in fact were presented both as posters and seminars
Limited flow between presentations. The seminars were organized into sessions with chairpeople who generally did a good job ensuring things ran smoothly. What we felt was missing was a discussion in many cases on context and significance. This could have involved commerical viability, the discrepency on the level of research and the media and therefore consumer perception or issues such as this. The content being presented would have lent itself well to this type of discussion.
Attendee Critical Issues:
This is one of the only venues in North America where the science and research can be presented and shared at this level.
Decent attendance and interest as noted earlier. Some excellent science and research presented.
How do you stimulate more interaction between the research community and marketers? Or even product developers? Is there any way to get mainstream media coverage for this event to disclose the level of research and science in meaningful context? How do you raise the consumer awareness and understanding?
Critical Discussion Points Raised:
How can the issue of Health Care Economics be used to drive more research and activity in nutritional products before we reach a health care catastrophe both on a financial level as well as on a nutritional deficiency level?
What is the formula and business model to take science to product concept and commercial success in this area? There are several failures and few successes. Is the market ready?
Show Management Comments:
Very pleased with conference and looking forward to next year's event.