SECAUCUS, N.J.-More than 3,000 executives from dietary supplement, food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies gathered May 5-7 for the 5th Annual SupplySide East trade show and conference at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, N.J.
"This was the first time I attended the show, and I found it interesting and came back with some new ideas," said Jidong Sun, Ph.D., product development manager for nutrition at Perrigo. "It's a one-stop location to meet all the players and talk business."
The SupplySide East exhibit hall consisted of 254 companies occupying 327 booths. All available exhibit space was sold out for the fourth consecutive year. The show was up in attendance from 2,917 participants at SupplySide East 2002.
"The show was terrific, one of the best shows we've ever had," said Frank Assuma of Natural Health Science. "It was well attended and we had a lot of traffic at our booth, and a great response to what we're doing."
Other exhibitors agreed with the assessment. "SupplySide East brought in executives we were looking to do business with," said Ron Udell, president of Soft Gel Technologies. "Also, the first day of the show was one of the best we've ever had."
In addition to the sold-out exhibit hall, SupplySide East offered many educational and networking events.
On May 4, more than 120 industry members gathered for the FDA-Industry GMP Forum sponsored by NSF International. Representatives from the Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) presented information about the proposed Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) for dietary supplements and answered audience questions. Industry members were also able to hear the event live by telephone while following the slide presentations online.
"The GMP regulation will affect every business and person in this industry," said Jon Benninger, business development director at Virgo Publishing. "We were very pleased to be able to facilitate this exchange between industry and FDA."
May 5 brought the popular SupplySide East Golf Classic, co-sponsored by Nutri Granulations. The sold-out tournament attracted 144 golfers to Twin Brooks Country Club, and the winning foursome consisted of Greg Ris, Indena USA; Carl Ramjeet and Oscar Ramjeet, Nature's Value; and Andrew Compain, industry consultant.
The evening of May 5 brought together several hundred executives for the International Welcome Reception sponsored by Virgo Publishing. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) also attended this event and took the opportunity to talk with industry members about important issues.
The SupplySide East Education Program, sponsored by Loders Croklaan Lipid Nutrition, began May 6 and included presentations and panel discussions focused on science, regulation and business trends. The well-attended sessions featured speakers from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), NBTY, Nature's Sunshine, the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the National Nutritional Foods Association (NNFA), Frost & Sullivan, Tufts University, Integrated Marketing Group, Ullman, Shapiro & Ullman, and other leading organizations.
Among the hottest topics of discussion were the proposed GMP regulations, industry quality issues, consumer confidence, media coverage, intellectual property and insurance challenges.
Industry members also filled the room for the keynote address delivered by CNN lead anchor Aaron Brown. Brown discussed his experiences covering the September 11 attacks, the war in Iraq, and other stories. He impressed upon attendees that they control the types of programming that make in on the air by choosing what to watch.
Participants also enjoyed the popular Opening Reception the evening of May 6, co-sponsored by Natural Health Science and Roche Vitamins. The networking event began immediately after the exhibit hall closed and featured exceptional food and drink. On Wednesday afternoon, the Appreciation Party was held in the convention center. Sponsored by NSF International, exhibitors and attendees enjoyed a hosted bar, pizza and pastrami sandwiches.
In a new feature added to SupplySide East, Kemin Foods sponsored a live taping of the Danielle Lin Radio Show. The taping took place in the SupplySide registration area and featured interviews with many industry members. Another new feature was the expanded Executive Business Lounge sponsored by Unigen Pharmaceuticals.
"Once again, SupplySide provided the forum executives were looking for," said Peggy Jackson, director of publishing for Virgo Publishing. "From innovative product offerings to educational updates, plus outstanding networking opportunities, industry members connected to build business."
SupplySide West 2003 is scheduled for Oct. 1 to 3 at the Sands Expo Center and Venetian Resort Casino in Las Vegas. SupplySide East 2004 is scheduled for May 5 to 7 at the Baltimore Convention Center. Information about the events is available at www.supplysideshow.com, or by calling Virgo Publishing at (480) 990-1101.
Information about exhibiting or sponsoring is available from Todd Willis at ext. 1171, and information about attending is available from Stacy Davis at ext. 1718.
SupplySide is produced by Phoenix-based Virgo Publishing Inc., publisher of Natural Products Industry INSIDER and HSR: Health Supplement Retailer.