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Top Natural Products Expo West to-dos

Natural Products Expo West breakfast
Here's your guide to Natural Products Expo West events you'll want to know about.

Products might be what first comes to mind when you think of Natural Products Expo West. But to take full advantage of this business event, be sure to mark your calendar with these tours, networking opportunities and education options.

Come to learn a lot at the Natural Products Expo West conference, hosted sessions and special education opportunities. Sessions fill the conference calendar Thursday, March 6, through Saturday, March 8. A $95 conference fee earns attendees admittance to all education events, the keynote address and Engredea show sessions.

Plan how to attack the show with the Natural Products Expo West /Engredea iPhone app. Just search “Expo West” in the app store, download and enter your badge number and ZIP code to use the tool to your fullest advantage. The app includes schedules, maps and exhibitor specials as well as personal planning  tools so you don’t miss an education session or vendor booth visit.

Map how you will approach the pavilions. The main show floor bubbles with excitement, but you won’t want to miss the newest, up-and-coming products and brands showcasing in a tabletop environment in the NEXT Pavilion ballroom upstairs. Downstairs in Hall E, you will find the Hot Products Pavilion, a well-known first stop for trend spotting.

Natural Products Expo West Women in Naturals
The Natural Products Expo West Women in Naturals event combines networking and insights from female leaders.
Serve your specialty diet customers better with the knowledge you’ll attain at the pre-show Specialty Diets Forum from 8:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, March 6, in Platinum Ballrooms 2 and 3 at the Anaheim Marriott. Expert trainers, marketers, retailers and chefs will examine the gluten-free, Muslim and plant-based markets. The forum requires separate registration but includes a full conference pass. Cost is $295 for attendees and $195 for exhibitors.

Tour regional retailers during the annual Retail Store Tour to see, learn and discuss what’s happening in natural retailing today. Catch the bus at the Anaheim Hilton for breakfast and an 8 a.m. departure Thursday, March 6. Attendees will see three stores and return at about 2 p.m. Cost is $60. Lunch is on your own at participating outlets.

Take an educational walk through the Fullerton Arboretum’s 26-acre botanical garden during the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) Herb Walk from 1 to 5 p.m. Thursday, March 6. The bus departs from the Anaheim Hilton; and the tour costs $60. Learn about culinary and medicinal herbs and their traditional uses from California State University faculty.

Attract moms (and dads, too) with the tips and tools you’ll gain at the Marketing to Moms Workshop from noon to 5 p.m. Thursday, March 6, in Elite Ballroom 1-3 at the Anaheim Marriott. Explore the modern family, daddy trends, online marketing and, of course, moms in this in-depth workshop.  The sessions require separate registration but admission includes a full conference pass. Cost is $295 for attendees and $195 for exhibitors.

Survey an abundance of organic opportunities at the Fresh Ideas Organic Marketplace from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 6, under the big white tent outside of the Anaheim Marriott. Find interesting organic products and meet the people who produce them during this intimate, farmers market-style event.

Mark Vitamin Angels’ 20th anniversary during a special celebration from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, March 6, at Angel Stadium. Register in advance for $75.

Look to the future during a “Town Hall” meeting to discuss the natural products industry’s role in defining “natural” for ourselves and consumers. Participate via Twitter using the hashtag #DefineNatural. The gathering takes place from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. Friday, March 7, in Platinum Ballroom 8 at the Anaheim Marriott.

Celebrate women in business during the annual Women in Naturals Networking Event from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday, March 8, on the Anaheim Hilton Lanai Deck. Share in food and drink, and learn the secrets of vibrant life and business from Janie Hoffman, Mamma Chia’s founder.

Prep for the show floor with free breakfast from 7:30 to 10 a.m. Friday, March 7, at the Anaheim Marriott. Eat, network and learn about Boulder Brands’ latest products (and acquisition).

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