5 Mistakes I Made at the Natural Products East Expo

I was given tickets to Natural Product Expo East in exchange for press coverage for the event. All my opinions are my own. My Full Disclosure Policy.

Natural Products Expo East

For the last three years, I have been told that I needed to attend Natural Products Expo West and East.  Every year I make in excuse but this year I finally did it all wrong.  I covered the Natural Expo East as a blogger. I have covered other events over the years. Attending very large expos like Idea World Convention and smaller expos like the Gluten-Free and Allergy Friendly expo which is now known as the Nourish Festival.  So I thought I knew what I was doing from what I have learned over the years.  Like go in with very little and bring a jacket.  Usually, that’s all I really need because I am in and out within a day.

Now, the same friends have shared the enormity of the expo but I still went in unprepared.  I was god smacked walking into the four floors Baltimore Convention Center of Vendors sharing Natural wellness goods, services, and products.  It was overwhelming from the beginning.  I marched in my super cute boots ready to take on the expo and make connections with the brands.  That was the first of many mistakes.

5 Mistakes I made at the Natural Products Expo East

1. Come Prepared and have a game plan

I allowed myself two days to tackle the entire event and that was not enough time. If I was better prepared it might have been more feasible but I was naive. If you plan on attending the Natural Products Expo East which will be hosted in the nearby metro area Philadelphia for 2020. Save the date.  I would make a game plan of the important vendors you want to connect with first.  You can easily get distracted and sidetracked with all of the options that are there I would make the list of the important brands and start there.

For me, I am an ambassador and affiliate for a few of the brands who attended.  Prior to my attendance, I had spoken with a few via email and we were supposed to connect at Expo East. Some of them I was unable to connect with because it was hard to find them and along the way, I got distracted by many distractions.  Next year, I will visit my friends first and then wander around.

2. Wear proper attire.

I work in a gym Mon-Thurs and rarely get to wear “real clothes” so when it was time to get dressed for the Natural Products Expo East. My plan was to look cute.  Completing my outfit with some leopard boots I got last year after the winter season. I have been dying to wear them but breaking in my new boots and the Natural Product Expo East was the wrong idea.  About Mid Day in my feet were tired, blistered and sore. Lesson learn, opt for comfy foot attire at a massive expo.

3. Give yourself time

I thought it would only take two days to check out the expo but there is a reason it is four days long.  I think it would have been a much more enjoyable experience if I didn’t feel rushed and could take my time.  When it comes to Philly I will make sure that I go at least three days and I will take my time with my game plan and comfortable shoes.  I won’t leave feeling so overwhelmed.

4. Use the resources

Natural Products Expo East was great about sending emails about the schedule daily as well as the Expo Booklet was informative.  At the beginning of my day, I utilized the maps but by the end, I had misplaced my book and was lost often. I get lost in a circle so next time I will keep my booklet available to me at all times.

5. Bring more business cards.

I usually don’t give out my business cards unless I make a really meaningful connection. They cost money and most people throw them away. I brought about 50 business cards without realizing how many companies that I was going to connect.  I handed out 47 business cards at the Expo.  There is the ability to scan your badge but my business cards are memorable.  Towards the end of the stack, I became stingy with my cards but if I had brought more I would not have worried about running out.

Learning from my Mistakes

Natural Products Expo East was so much more than I expected.  The people were amazing with their passion for their products, goods or service. It was well organized and it was a great opportunity for me to get from behind my computer and make connections.  I am so excited about the opportunities that have already started coming to my inbox and I can’t wait to attend next year better prepared and open for opportunity.

I got to experience so many amazing brands, products, and services.  It was great to actually touch, try and also hear the stories behind the product development. I have heard Natural Products Expo West is triple the size and passion.  One day I will get there but I don’t think it will be this year.  It’s also nice to know that there are people who have dietary issues, supplemental needs like me and there are companies that are serving them.  It’s almost taboo to be Natural so at the Natural Product Expo East, I found that I am not alone.  It was a great experience and I hope I learn from my mistakes for the next one.

Have you ever attended an expo? Are you interested in Natural Products?

6 Comments on “5 Mistakes I Made at the Natural Products East Expo”

  1. This looks like such a great event to learn about new products and vendors. I can guarantee that I would have made some of the same mistakes as I would have been so overwhelmed with all the vendor options!

  2. Whatwhat, they’re moving to PA? Definitely good to know! That’s close-ish to some of my friends so maybe I can sneak over to visit and check it out next year! 😛

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