Organized by the New Hope Network, the Natural Products Expo East brings together the health, wellness and eco-conscious community. With solutions for the complete supply chain from manufacturers, retailers/distributors, service providers and ingredient suppliers, the event helps businesses identify the people, products, partnerships and trends that create better opportunities and connections.

Held between 11-14 September at the Baltimore Convention Center in the US, the expo will boast over 1,500 exhibitors from all around the world. The 2018 expo was attended by more than 27,000 attendees and this year’s event promises to be even larger.

As with any major trade show, the best way to get the most out of your time there is to plan ahead. We’ve put together useful information and links in this guide, to get a healthy ROI from this year’s Natural Products Expo East.

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What is your main goal in attending the expo this year?

Much of the growth in health, wellness and natural products comes as a result of innovative and disruptive brands bringing fresh ideas to the expo floor and collaborating with other businesses. Whether you are a vendor looking to expand your distribution network or a retailer looking for new products, take the time to set objectives for your business and clearly define what you would like to get out of this year’s expo. 

If you are attending the show to learn more about the industry, the expo has an impressive number of educational events. Take a look at the expo schedule for the most exciting events planned, the speaker list to listen to some of the businesses at the forefront of the industry or sign up to be a speaker yourself by submitting a proposal to the show organisers online. Speaking at events like this is a great way to increase your brand’s visibility.

Who is in town?

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With more than 1,500 brands exhibiting the 2019 expo looks set to be at the epicenter of consumer demand and innovation in food and beverage, personal care and home, and supplements and ingredients. 

Take a look at the Exhibitor List for an alphabetical breakdown of all the attending brands this year. If you are looking for specific products but unsure which are the booths to go to, you can also refer the Product Directory. Hundreds of exhibitors have entered their product information into this dynamic directory, allowing you to search by product category, view images and dig deeper by viewing ingredients, marketing claims, certifications and more.

Expos and tradeshows are great for finding exclusive discounts and deals from suppliers and solution providers. If you are looking for a good deal, the event has even put to a list of Show Specials, featuring deals and discounts from various exhibitors.

Buyer resources: Getting ready to visit the expo

The Natural Products Expo East is a private trade show open to the trade only, and not open to the public. To attend you will need to register and purchase a ticket in advance. Refer to the Badge Registration and Pricing section for details on registering. 

The official event website has a plethora of useful information to make your trip as smooth and hassle-free as possible. The General Information section lists details like the address, opening hours, as well as important phone numbers. There is also a list of on-site services available such as information on the use of the event’s business center, first aid facilities on-site and more. 

If you are looking for a way to get around Baltimore, you can utilise the Super Shuttle service and book your transport in advance. If you are flying into Baltimore and need to book flights and a hotel, check out the expo website for a list of available hotels during that period as well as exclusive deals on flights

For international attendees you may need to obtain a visa before flying to the US. The expo website has an extensive section with resources on how to apply for a visa, as well as a currency converter

The expo organisers have also made the floor plans available in advance. Use the map to determine which areas you would like to focus on and plan a programme so that you can maximise your time at the show.

Tips for your time at the expo

tradegecko-2019-np-tipsNegotiate

Exhibitors are open to negotiating, as long as you make a well-researched reasonable offer. Industry specific expos are great for forging a long-term relationships and closing deals with business partners that are mutually beneficial. Go to the expo with a clear definition of your terms and speak to as many vendors as possible before making a choice. Keep in mind that vendors usually give larger discounts on higher quantity orders. Here are a few more tips for negotiating on the tradeshow floor.

Plan your itinerary

Especially if this is your first time at the expo and you are unfamiliar with the venue, take the time to plan your route ahead of your trip. The convention hall spans over 196,650 square feet, so wandering about, hoping to find a particular vendor without looking at the floor map may not be a productive use of time. 

Plan your time there by factoring in your requirements and preferences: local vs. international production, price vs. quality, etc. Set your standards and open-to-buys before you attend the show to make sure you know what you want to achieve from attending.

Be ready to network

Broadening your network of partners, potential suppliers and even customers is one of the key benefits of attending tradeshows. Be ready with ready with your business cards, introduce yourself, talk about your own business and expand your network within the industry.

Follow up after the show

Dropping an email or a phone call to the list of contacts you have made could make all the difference in growing your business connections. With huge expos such as this, thousands of interactions are happening every minute. Going the extra mile with a little contact will make your business more memorable.

One of the challenges at a large expo is keeping track of all the business relationships established during the event. For vendors, the challenge is twofold as many retailers may express an interest in place orders from their catalog. Consider investing in a simple mobile inventory and relationship management app that you can access from your mobile phone, both on and offline.

For Vendors Exhibiting at the Natural Products Expo East

As an exhibitor at the expo, you will:

  • Meet in-person with buyers of natural, organic, and healthy lifestyle products
  • Highlight new products and/or build brand awareness
  • Network with the natural products community
  • Keep up-to-date on new trends and innovative ideas
  • Interact with trade and consumer press
  • Boost your presence in the industry
  • Strengthen relationships with existing buyers, brokers, and distributors

If you are exhibiting at the expo, there is a whole section of resources dedicated to exhibitors on the website. For first time exhibitors the event organisers have put together a useful checklist and guide to get you ready for the big event. The guide includes information on:

All exhibitors are also assigned to dedicated account managers who are listed on the website. You can also view the show profile, the media attendee list, look at the different types of booths available and more.

You’re now ready to take the Natural Products Expo East 2019 by storm! All that’s left to do is get your mobile catalog ready, make sure your inventory is up to date, grab those line sheets and hit the road. Good luck!

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