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One week to Expo West 2011! Are you ready?

One week to Expo West 2011! Are you ready?

The importance of preparing for Expo West is often understated.   Spending a little time getting ready for your annual trip to Expo West will have you patting yourself on the back as you walk the show floor.

Your first priority is to register, book your hotel, and make travel arrangements.   Once you’ve done that, it’s time to start thinking about what your business needs are at the show.  New Products, new categories, new exhibitors and new relationships should all be goals as you prepare for Expo West 2011.  Some retailers make a list of their top priorities at the show, which guides them to the exhibits they need to see, the education they need to attend and the people they need to meet.

This year we’ve made it easier than ever, with our new tool, Network Now.   Once you’ve registered, use your ecode to login and you have entered the community of Expo West.   From Network Now, you’ll be able to make appointments with exhibitors, peruse new products, schedule your education sessions and events, as well as connect with others.    Planning out your education and key exhibitors or categories you want to focus on while there will help to give you a smoother experience.

Our education offering this year is more robust than ever, so take the time to make sure you don’t miss crucial sessions, such as organic personal care, food safety management, adulterated supplements and marketing to Latino populations.   We’ve also added a retail track to the Expo West Business Program, which will give you the tools to be more successful in your retail marketing, operations and sales.

Speaking of sales, every retailer knows that new products are the lifeblood of our industry.   This year has no shortage of new products, with over 1800 exhibitors and their products.   What categories in your store could use an infusion of new products?  What customers are you not currently attracting and what products would bring them into your store?   Are you as efficient in your business as you could be?  There are exhibitors who offer the technology and business services to help you achieve that next level.

You can also keep up with all the happenings on the show floor, education and events by following our Twitter hashtag, #expowest, or following us at @natprodexpo.  Look for a tweet up notification!

Expo West can be a lot to absorb in four days, but being focused and coming up with a clear plan and goals will help you have a successful return on your trip to Anaheim.

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