The front page of the show website - www.expowest.com - has links for Education, Events, and Exhibitor Searches.
There are plenty of all of these! And you can find them all on the web.
The website is probably more important than ever this year. To not print millions of pages of paper and to save many hundred trees, there will not be a show program printed this year. There is a slick feature for you to log in to the Expo West website and build an itinerary of what booths you want to visit, seminars that you want to attend, etc.. You can then print your map and schedule or access it via a web-enabled phone! (Instructions are all on line! There is event a Video Tutorial to walk you through the process!)
The Exhibitor list is massive! I would recommend your trying to walk the whole floor to see what products you should add to your store - and to touch base with vendors of your current products. Build a base of brands that you know that you need to see - and be sure to check out their neighbors! (Remember that Hall E opens a half hour before the rest of the show floor each morning!)
The Education line-up is quite impressive. Take some time before the show to see what sessions hit needs that your or your store have. There are great sessions on industry trends, new research and raw materials, and specific market opportunities. To recommend just a few:
Saturday - 3 PM to 6 PM - There is an impressive line-up of industry veterans sharing a very broad set of vital topics for retail success - "The Retail Toolbox." It is in Room 204-A & B. I will be introducing the speakers at this event and am looking forward to the presentation!
Saturday 12:30 to 2 PM - There is a session about women's health that comes from proprietary research conducted with over 5000 women - "For Women, Healthy is Not What You Think." The breadth and depth of the material is staggering - and quite insightful! Nancy Coulter-Parker of Delicious Living and Catherine Balsam-Schwaber of iVillage will be giving this presentation. It is also in Room 204-A & B
Finally - I will be doing a seminar from 1:00 to 2:00 PM on Friday, the 12th. I had some fun with the title of this one and call it "How to Dot Your T's Without Crossing Your Eyes." We talk with the dual, and sometimes conflicting demands of being both a "leader" and a "manager" in a retail store. This is the first time that I've shared this material in the Western U.S. We'll be in Room 205-B.
Events - There are almost too many to mention! From a healthy breakfast, to various receptions, and a music party! One of the many great things about our industry is the community that we enjoy. Relax, unwind, and enjoy meeting industry members from other parts of industry - and other parts of the country!
I'm looking forward to my time in Anaheim - my 18th Expo West! I hope that you have a great time and that you make great connections to help your store grow and thrive!