I enjoyed the recent post by Dan Lohman “5 things exhibitors can do to improve their experience at Natural Products Expo West.” As usual, Dan offered a great set of wise and practical tips for those exhibiting at Expo West to get the most out of their time in Anaheim. I thought that I would follow Dan’s lead and share some tips for retailers attending the show.
Have a plan
Avail yourself of the information on the Expo West website and here on newhope360.com and create a plan of attack that will make the most of your time.
- Take a few minutes to check out the educational opportunities. Our industry thrives on information and there are many great sessions that you should be a part of. (I am doing a seminar on the value of having a positive workplace culture on Friday at 4 p.m. I’d love to see you there!)
- Use the exhibitor list. You can certainly find brands that you want to see, but you can also search by key words to find companies showing products that you are looking for. I typed in the word “bread” and found 115 exhibitors that matched.
- Remember that we are an industry built on “new.” Make sure that you check out the New Products Showcases in the lobbies. You can find many great new brands and products by checking out the NEXT pavilion on the third floor. Also, this is the first year that Expo West will be using the arena of the convention center!
- Remember the Expo West app that works on all platforms of smart phones. You can build a schedule and have it available to keep you heading in the right direction as you (and more than 60,000 of your closest friends) make your way through the convention center.
- There are tours, networking events, a Vitamin Angels event, morning yoga and even a free breakfast. While the show floor is a highlight, it is not the only thing to be aware of at this show.
If several people are coming from your store, enjoy your time together, but realize that you may need to “divide and conquer.” You can get a lot more done if you divide up the show floor and work through it on your own.
Carve out time for fun
A trade show, especially a large and vibrant one like Expo West, is a lot of work. Don’t let that work keep you from having fun. There is some great entertainment set to happen on the outdoor plaza on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Don’t tell anyone, but this old dog happens to really like Galactic! I will see you on the plaza for that group on Friday.