LAS VEGAS More than 5,400 industry attendees from dietary supplement, food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies gathered Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 for the 8th Annual SupplySide West International Trade Show and Conference at the Sands Exposition Center and Venetian Resort Casino. SupplySide West is the world's largest executive conference on nutritional ingredients; attendance was up six percent this year to 5,441 attendees, while the exhibit hall included 460 companies occupying more than 670 booths.
"It would be difficult to imagine the show being much better," said Tim Gamble, vice president of sales and marketing with Nutraceutix. "We were impressed with the quantity of highly interested individuals visiting our booth and noted that the majority of conversations we had were with higher-level decision makers than those we often see at some of the other shows."
"As usual, SupplySide West was a fantastic opportunity addressing several needs," said Shane Durkee, director of nutritional science and new business with Bayer HealthCare. "The show floor was very busy, but not to the point where conversations were hard to have at each booth. The networking opportunities were abundant and the receptions were helpful in meeting new ingredient suppliers and catching up with ingredient suppliers I was already familiar with. In addition, my colleague and I took the divide and conquer approach to cover as many of the educational seminars as possible, which were all very helpful and interesting."
SupplySide West started on Wednesday with the 8th Annual Golf Tournament, sponsored by Pharmachem Laboratories. More than 250 golfers participated in the event, held on two courses, at the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort. Trophies were awarded for individual achievement and top scores for each course.
"This was the best SupplySide West ever," Said Dick Beitel, vice president of sales for Pharmachem Laboratories. "The golf tournament was fantastic with great course selection and first class food. In addition, the exhibit hall was great. We sent a record-breaking number of people this year. Our booth exploded as we could have doubled the size and still an overflow would have existed."
Networking receptions offered attendees additional opportunities to make new contacts and strengthen existing business connections. More than 500 executives from around the globe attended the International Welcome Reception, sponsored by KGK Synergize, OptiPure/Soft Gel Technologies and SourceOne Global Partners. A "Survivor" theme attracted over 2,500 people to the Opening Reception Thursday evening; the event was sponsored by ADM, DSM, Natural Health Science and PureWorld Botanicals. Finally, the closing Appreciation Party, held in the exhibit hall on Friday afternoon and sponsored by DNP, Fortitech, LeSaffre Group and NSF, brought industry members a hosted bar, Mexican and Italian food and a chance to conclude business in a relaxed atmosphere.
For the second year, the Education Program spanned three days, offering scientific research, marketing strategies and regulatory updates. Sponsored by Cognis Nutrition & Health, the seminars featured speakers from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), AOAC, American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), National Nutritional Foods Association (NNFA), Tufts University, Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) and more.
"Once again, this was a fantastic platform for education," said David Eckert, vice president, North America, Cognis Nutrition & Health. "We are proud to be working with Virgo in sponsoring an educational platform that promotes scientific research, fosters product innovation and addresses pressing industry issues."
Several seminars focused on the increasing focus on scientific substantiation for nutraceutical ingredients. In-depth examinations of the science on tocotrienols, French maritime pine bark extract, omega-3 fatty acids and minerals drew interested product development researchers, while a large crowd attended the featured speaker presentation by Jeffrey Blumberg, Ph.D., who pulled no punches while discussing The Lancet's take on antioxidants and cancer nor the industry's continued lack of product standards and mandatory GMPs (good manufacturing practices). Regulatory concerns took center stage during several seminars, including the state-of-the-industry roundtable and a featured speaker presentation by Susan Walker, M.D., from FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. In particular, Walker noted the agency is focusing on novel extracts of traditional botanicals, which may be considered new dietary ingredients under federal regulations.
The keynote presentation was given by accomplished actress, singer and writer Marilu Henner. Sponsored by Unigen Pharmaceuticals, Henner discussed her commitment to furthering widespread awareness of the importance of good health by enlisting the celebrity community to generate support for healthy living and the natural products industry. Eight days prior to her Sept. 30 appearance at SupplySide West 2004, the outspoken advocate testified before Congress regarding the importance of nutrition and dietary supplements.
"SupplySide West continues to set the industry standard as the premier executive business-to-business event," said Peggy Jackson, director of publishing with Virgo's Health & Nutrition Division. "In an increasingly challenging regulatory and business environment, forward-thinking executives are making connections to support long-term growth in the nutraceutical industry."
The following photos are available upon request: Marilu Henner delivering keynote, seminar rooms, networking receptions, golf tournament, exhibit hall and registration area.
For more information on SupplySide East 2005, scheduled for May 4 to 6 in Baltimore, or SupplySide West 2005, which will take place Nov. 9 to 11 in Las Vegas, visit www.supplysideshow.com.
Virgo Publishing Inc. produces the SupplySide Trade Shows and Conferences, the Focus on the Future Executive Conference and Retreat, and the online training Web site nutrilearn.com; and publishes Natural Products Industry INSIDER, HSR: Health Supplement Retailer and low carb retailer and magazines.
Jon Benninger, Director of Business Development
Virgo Publishing Inc.
(480)990-1101 ext. 1108; [email protected]
Amy Sharman, Marketing and Communications Manager
Virgo Publishing Inc.
(480) 990-1101 ext. 1543; [email protected]