It’s that time of year again! Natural Products Expo West is one of my favorite events of the year. It is the world’s largest natural, healthy and organic event that occurs every year in Anaheim, California. I have been attending the show for several years now (it is like Disneyland for those with specialty diets), and am honored to be part of the New Hope Expo West Blogger Team for the 5th year. Since this is my five year anniversary in attending the show, I wanted to share a few ways to make the most out of your time at Expo West this year.
- Wear comfortable shoes – My very first year attending Expo West I was wearing a business suit and heels. Needless to say, that was not comfortable! The Anaheim convention center is huge, and I was not prepared for the amount of walking and standing we did. This is a trade show and a very important one for the brands who are exhibiting on the show floor (the event is not open to the public). Attire is business casual, but choose comfortable shoes along with clothing that you won’t have any issues with walking and standing for long periods of time.
- Bring a water bottle – You would think at a natural foods trade show you would have access to water, but it can be difficult to come by on the show floor. Make sure you are staying hydrated and bring a water bottle to refill during the day as necessary.
- Take time for yourself – Expo West can be a little overwhelming. Okay, maybe really overwhelming. If you are attending with friends or coworkers, do not feel obligated to stick with the group. It’s okay to sit down and take time for yourself or spend some extra time at booths talking to people. Make the most of it for yourself, and be sure to take breaks when you can. I like to try and take a minimum of one hour at the show to disconnect from technology and reflect when I can.
- Eat Meals – This may seem like a no brainer but when you’re out on the floor sampling foods, you may not remember to eat a full meal. I know you’ll want to try everything, but it’s okay to say no. This will keep you from feeling icky from too many samples. Try and keep track of what you’re eating. Start with a good breakfast in the morning and plan on something light for lunch.
- Plan your schedule – The halls are big so make a plan of who you want to see in advance and where they are located. Check out the Expo West website to search for a few of your favorite brands. I’ve done my homework and I’m excited to see these exhibits!
- Also – pen and paper! I know we are in the age of technology, but it’s great to have a mini notepad and pen on hand to take notes and get contact info.
- Business cards – This may seem like a no brainer, but a lot of us forget even the smallest and most important items!
Okay, I think that’s all. If you plan on attending I would love to meet up! You can message me through the website or tweet me here.