The dust has barely settled on this year?s Natural Products Expo East/ Organic Products Expo-BioFach America, but big changes are already in place for next year?s event. After five years in Washington, D.C., the Expo will return to Baltimore, where it was held from 1988 to 2000, minus a two-year stint in Philadelphia in 1989 and 1990. The scheduling of the show has been altered slightly as well. Instead of running from Thursday through Sunday, Natural Products Expo East 2006 will take place Wednesday through Saturday.
?In speaking with customers and industry members during the past few years, one of the main pieces of feedback we?ve received is that Baltimore is a better gathering place for the natural products community,? said Fredrik Linder, president of New Hope Natural Media, which produces the event. ?The move back to Baltimore is a direct result of extensive customer input.?
Natural Products Expo East, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, will be held in the Baltimore Convention Center, located on the city?s scenic and vibrant waterfront, making the convention a more centralized, intimate event. Additionally, thanks to a recent Olympic bid, the city of Baltimore now offers more hotel rooms in varied price ranges than in the previous years it played host to Expo East.
In 2006, Expo East will be co-located with the newly revitalized National Nutritional Foods Association East. The association, dedicated to retailers, will be holding its annual gathering and board of directors meeting at the show and will also coordinate other events.
?We were excited that New Hope recognized the critical business interest we share in preserving access to natural products,? said NNFA East President Adrienne Mastrobattista. ?NNFA East will have a prominent, growing presence at the show.?
In other Expo East news, as part of this year?s ?Your Going Does Good? program, a portion of the proceeds from Expo East 2005 were donated to Heifer International (www.heifer.org), a nonprofit organization that provides farm animals to families in need all over the world.
Attendees also made donations to victims of Hurricane Katrina through the Natural Products Foundation?s drop boxes on the convention floor. The donations were distributed to the National Nutritional Foods Association Retailer Relief Fund for natural products retailers in the affected areas and the American Red Cross and Salvation Army hurricane relief funds.
For more Expo East 2005 coverage, go to www.expoeast.com.
Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVI/number 10/p. 1.