By Kristina Harris
The 2013 Natural Products Expo East is quickly approaching. The event will be held September 25-28 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Maryland. This event is always highly anticipated by retailers and buyers alike, as it is the largest natural, organic and healthy products trade show on the East Coast.
“Unlike its West Coast counterpart, the Expo East is a more intimate experience for both buyers and sellers,” says Adam Andersen, Natural Products Group Show Director. “We are a great place for regional brands to get exposure, but we also have larger companies here. It’s ideal for networking.”
The main theme of this year’s show is conscious capitalism, a movement that calls for businesses to be driven by values based on social and personal responsibility in addition to the goal of becoming financially profitable. Raj Sisodia, Ph.D., author, businessman and a local and global leader of the conscious capitalism movement, will be speaking as the Expo’s keynote speaker on Friday, September 27.
Sisodia believes that his message is extremely pertinent to natural product companies. “In today’s rapidly evolving world, it matters greatly not only what we produce, but also how we run our businesses,” he says. “Conscious businesses are driven by a higher purpose, built on love and care rather than fear and stress.”
Expo East organizers hope to cultivate an intimate setting within which show attendees can discuss Sisodia’s message and exchange ideas about how their own companies can adopt strategies to not only succeed, but also build conscious business practices at the same time.
An exciting event planned for this year’s Expo East will be the unveiling of the NEXT Accelerator program, previously soft-launched at the Natural Products Expo West earlier this year. The NEXT Natural Products Industry Accelerator gives entrepreneurial brands searchable access to the information, tools, service providers and networking contacts they need to launch and grow their natural products businesses.
“Basically, it’s an online portal where members of the industry can connect with each other,” says Andersen. This is the only “product-to-shelf workshop” program of its type in the natural market. It features fundraising, manufacturing, distribution, branding, sales and marketing topics.
There are also a number of highly valuable informational sessions planned for this year’s show that attendees will certainly want to take advantage of. According to Andersen, the planned retailer workshops are definitely educational, and are sure to be worth the time and money spent on them.
Finally, Anderson also urges those present at the show to attend one other special event: “Join us for our Community Celebration Event that precedes the Orioles Game on the 26th, from 5-7 p.m. at Camden Terrace. It’s going to be a tailgate theme that will officially kick off the Expo East.”