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Making your schedule for Expo West? Keep these sessions in mind, but don’t forget to check out exhibitor booth events and show specials as well.

9 Min Read
Retailers: What you want to do at Expo West

With 3,500 exhibitors at Natural Products Expo West and days filled with education sessions, workshops, breakfasts and evening mixers, it can be hard to figure out how to make the most of your days at the show. Of course adding to the challenge is the fact that retailers are the celebrities of the show. If you realize it's worth your while to purchase a Super Pass or education day pass, discounted prices are available until March 3. The passes also will be available on-site beginning March 4.

Finding balance

Let’s face it, the show can be a little bit overwhelming at times. So it’s best to start your day centered. Try a visit to your hotel fitness center, a jog through Disneyland, or one of these yoga or meditation sessions to help set your clarity lens for your time at the show. For the introverts among us (we know you’re there!), the outside benches or pavilion patios offer welcome places of retreat to catch your calm amid the on-the-go excitement of the show.

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Daily yoga
7:30-9 a.m. Wednesday-Saturday, March 6-9, at the Grand Plaza Stage

Come strike your warrior and tree poses at morning yoga to help find your balance for each day.

Morning meditations
8:15-9 a.m. Wednesday-Friday, March 6-8, at the Arena Plaza Stage

Help your mind turn off the daily to-do list and chatter and embrace being present in the here and now of Expo West with a simple meditation session each morning.

Related:8 tips to stay healthy, keep calm and feel good at Natural Products Expo

Mingling and networking

From field trips to morning breakfasts and after-show happy hours, there are opportunities for everyone to mingle at his or her own pace.

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Community Breakfast
7:30-10 a.m. Thursday, March 7, in the tent at Anaheim Marriott

Come mingle with peers at this free breakfast. And, on your way in, help build “Food Paks” for the Children’s Hunger Fund. The event goal is to provide 100,000 meals for L.A.-area families.

The SMART Retailers Breakfast
7:30-9 a.m. Friday, March 8, in Marriott  Grand Ballroom H

Not sure where to start on the floor? Check in with trend forecasters, brokers, innovative brands creative distributors and other industry experts to find out where to best focus your efforts at this “for retailers only” breakfast.  (Enter with a Super Pass or education day pass.)



Herb Walk Tour
1-5 p.m. Wednesday, March 6

Who doesn’t love a field trip? Enjoy a chance to get outside, catch up with old contacts or meet new peers. Join the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) to visit the nearby Fullerton Arboretum, a 26-acre botanical garden on the campus of California State University, which hosts a collection of more than 4,000 plant species from around the world. (This event is not included with Super Pass. It costs $75 and leaves from the Hilton bus loading zone.)

Related:Making your way around Expo West 2019

Fresh Ideas Organic Marketplace
11 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, in the big white tent at Anaheim Marriott

Check out certified organic products and meet organic producers and manufacturers in a lively, outdoor setting.

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Happy Hour at the Arena Plaza
4-6 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, March 6-8

Need a breath of fresh air? Enjoy live music, appetizers, something refreshing and good company at this outdoor event in the space just outside the North Halls.

Evenings on the Plaza
6-8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, March 6-8

Socialize with colleagues, old and new friends and listen (or dance) to Sister Sparrow on Wednesday; Con Brio on Thursday; or The Record Company on Friday.

Vitamin-Angels-logo-500x282.jpgLeague of Angels
5-8 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, at Disney California Adventure Park

Join Vitamin Angels in celebrating 25 years of service to women and children around the world. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Contact [email protected] to learn more.

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The Organic Center’s Annual Benefit Dinner
6-11 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, in the Marriott Marquis Ballroom

The growth of organic is something worth celebrating. Enjoy this annual dinner which brings together hundreds of organic visionaries, activities and businesses. The nonprofit will honor environmental health scientist Asa Bradman, Ph.D., with its Award of Excellence  


2019 Hall EW-highlights-hall-of-legends-500x255.jpgof Legends
6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 7, in the Anaheim Marriott

Join in the annual Hall of Legends ceremony to help celebrate individuals who have made significant contributions to the natural products industry. The NEXTY Gold winners will also be announced at this event. These newer brands represent the pinnacle of the natural product industry future—brands you’ll want on your show floor hit list.

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Diversity in Naturals Networking Event
5:30-7 p.m. Friday, March 8, on the Hilton Sunset Deck

Looking for a place to fit in? Try this. Before heading to the plaza, join this coming together of the natural products community to celebrate and recognize all of our individual differences. Hear from industry leaders that want to support a more just, diverse, equitable and inclusive natural products industry.


Getting up to speed

We know there is a lot to stay on top of in this industry, what’s hot, what’s not, ketogenic versus plant based, dietary supplements and, well, how do you really stay on top of what’s happening with CBD? Of course, there are sessions specific to new ingredients, cognitive health or probiotics for the microbiome. For those, we leave it up to you to choose the specifics you need to know. We’ve handpicked a list of sessions here that are either retail specific, cover a broader scope of trends or hone in on something new—think CBD—that everyone is still trying to figure out. If you have to pick and choose, we think these sessions will help you leave the show well informed. For more information, see the complete schedule.

March 5

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Natural Products Hemp and CBD Summit
9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday, March 5, in Marriott Grand Ballroom F

Yes, we know, this is a long day but at the rate that hemp-derived products are taking off, you’ll want to join this session to hear what’s happening in this space from full-spectrum hemp oil to food and clothing, along with how to educate customers, prepare for regulators and how brands are standing out in the marketplace. (Enter with a Super Pass or education day pass.)

Pitch slam
Semi-finals: 5-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 5, in Marriott Marquis Ballroom North
Finals: 4:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, in Marriott Grand Ballroom F

The Pitch-Slam Semi-Finals Competition offers you the chance to see what is truly new, innovative and up-and-coming in the industry as entrepreneurs pitch their products to investors for the chance to win a valuable prize package.

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March 6

Cannabidiol: A Trillion Dollar Molecule
8:30-9:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 6, Marriott Platinum Ballroom 1 and 2

If you don’t have the time to attend the Hemp and CBD Summit, check out this session which will highlight CBD’s use across product categories, its role as an essential nutrient and debunk a few myths related to CBD’s safety and efficacy.

The State of Natural & Organic/Keynote
8:30-10 a.m. Wednesday, March 6, in the Marriott Marquis Ballroom Central

If there are two industry experts who are worth taking a moment out of your day to listen to, we would say New Hope Network’s Carlotta Mast, SVP of content and insights, and Walter Robb, former Co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, are two of them. We suggest making time for this session.

Why Natural Health Retailers are the Envy of their Competition
9-10 a.m. Wednesday, March 6, in Marriott, Platinum Ballroom 3 and 4

Instead of the keynote, you might prefer to sit and hear what Ryan Benn, president of Alive publishing has to say about the key differentiators to ensure a profitable, long-term business model as a natural health retailer.

Connecting with the Changing Consumer
10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, in Marriott Grand Ballroom F

Here’s your chance to look into the crystal ball to see who’s walking into your store next. In this session you’ll hear from researchers, strategists and influencers about today’s consumer and what’s important to them.  (Enter with a Super Pass or education day pass.)

Dietary Supplement Roundtable
10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, in Marriott Orange County Ballroom 1

Looking for an overview of what you need to know about dietary supplements? Here the industry’s experts will guide you through new trends, growth expectations and regulatory updates. (Enter with a Super Pass or education day pass.)

NEXT_RGB_422x292.pngWhat’s NEXT? Product Trends & Innovations Driving the Growth of Health & Wellness Brands
1-2 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, in Marriott Grand Ballroom F

Jump into this session to hear what new product trends and innovations are driving growth for health and wellness brands today.



March 7

Growing the Plant-Based Market
9-11:30 a.m. Thursday, March 7, in Marriott Grand Ballroom G

Join a group of industry experts to hear the latest on all that is plant based, from trends to certification to its benefits for the environment. (Enter with a Super Pass or education day pass.)

How Consumer Obsession is Driving a New Model of Snacking Innovation
11 a.m.-noon Thursday, March 7, in Marriott Platinum Ballroom 3 and 4

Consumers love their snacks, and these days it seems that everything counts as a snack. In this session, here what’s new in the “snackification” trend.

Collagen: The It Ingredient That’s Here to Stay
1:30-3 p.m. Thursday, March 7, Marriott Platinum Ballroom 3 and 4

Not to be overshadowed by the growth of CBD, collagen has had impressive growth as well in recent years. Check in to this session to hear why you need to continue to pay attention to this supplement. 

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Michigan

March 8

Fueling Sales in an Omnichannel World
10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Friday, March 8, in Marriott Grand Ballroom F

Check in on this session to learn more about changing consumer purchasing habits and opportunities at retail and online. (Enter with a Super Pass or education day pass.)

Selling CBD: Legal & Practical Advice for Retailers (panel discussion)
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Friday, March 8, in Marriott Platinum Ballroom 3 and 4

Navigating selling CBD can be a bit of a trick. Here’s what you need to know.

Friday Afternoon Keynote: U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow
12:30-1:30 p.m. Friday, March 8, in Marquis Ballroom Central

Join ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, and co-author of the 2018 Farm Bill, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow as she addresses the future of food in the United States.

The Hemp CBD Metamorphosis: From Fear to Fever
12:30-1:30 p.m. Friday, March 8, Marriott Platinum Ballroom 1 and 2

If you want the skinny on CBD, let CV Sciences VP of human nutrition help bring you up to speed on the difference between FDA-approved drug therapies and health food store hemp extracts, how to choose a trusted brand from the masses, and what the future holds in this category.

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