The Natural Products Expo West (NPE West) will be coming back as a live, in-person event on March 8-12, 2022. The show promises to deliver its world-renowned networking opportunities for grocery stores, health experts, and innovators for the first time in over two years.
In 2021, NPE West converted its in-person tradeshow into a virtual setting that lasted a week in May. Then, a few months later, in October, offered a “Modern Health Pop-Up Event” in Las Vegas.
Meanwhile, NPE West’s sister show, Natural Product Expo East, hosted its first live in-person event since 2019. The question is this. What insights into key marketing and natural product trends can we learn from NPE East that will help prepare for NPE West’s return to in-person?
How Did NPE East Do It?
“An impressive achievement”–may be the best statement to describe the Natural Products Expo East (NPE) 2021. The New Hope Network, which produced the show, succeeded in bringing business and attendees back to the showroom floor and keeping their guests safe.
The result is NPE East 2021 becoming the largest tradeshow event since the first quarter, amassing 800 exhibitors and over 15,000 registered attendees despite the current climate of safety concerns.
Part of NPE East’s success is undoubtedly due to the New Hope Network’s directly addressing the safety concerns that come with hosting an in-person event. For instance, they provided a free Q&A in which a hired epidemiologist gave an expert opinion about health protocols and answered audience questions.
In addition to ensuring a protected environment for their clients, the educational sessions in the tradeshow were also made available via Livestream, along with an option to tour the exhibit floor virtually.
In light of this success, it’s good to look at the general trends and prepare for NPE West 2022. We’ll take a brief look at the direction of the natural products industry, the tradeshow industry, and the latest exhibiting trends to unlock critical strategies for increasing ROI at next year’s event.
Natural Products Trends
According to Business Wire projections, the “Global natural and organic personal care product market size will grow by almost USD 8.33 billion during 2019-2023.” This growth will put the natural product industry at just over 300 billion dollars. The crisis of 2020 has only served to make people more health-conscious, increasing the demand for sustainable health options. There has been no indication that the growth is slowing.
It’s very likely that because this is a massive industry, there are attempts to capitalize on its success by state governments. As the sale of natural products, especially dietary supplements and CBD oil, continues to rise, it’s essential for innovators to network to expand and protect their businesses. Hence, the importance of tradeshows like the NPE West.
As for the actual products that are gaining attention in the industry, sobriety is the new buzz. Many people during the lockdowns turned to drink for comfort and entertainment, and a lot realized alcohol’s adverse effects on the body along the way. This has led to renewed interest in non-alcoholic drinks, especially those reminiscent of classic cocktails like martinis, mojitos, and margaritas.
To summarize, here are the key takeaways:
- The industry is growing
- The sector faces potential challenges from state governments
- Non-alcoholic beverages, healthier baby food, and restaurants are products of high interest
The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) report indicates tradeshows and events are well on their way to making a full recovery by 2023. Now is the time to practice while events are not quite at their maximum level. This has been our experience, as we have continued to work in trade shows throughout 2021. You can read our full analysis of the report here.
To conclude, face-to-face encounters are still highly valued and the best way to form lasting relationships and build networks. We’ve covered a variety of shows this year where attendees and business owners are optimistic about attendance in the future.
Tradeshows display more than new technologies, innovations, and products; they also showcase the new generation of businessmen and women. Much of the exhibit marketing trends depend on the latest demographic and client profiles built afresh with every coming generation. And it’s clear the future generation of entrepreneurs and consumers value tactile, visceral experiences over merely viewing.
The exciting exhibit trend that is developing is experiential marketing. It’s a marketing strategy centered on giving experiences that immerse the consumer in the brand. These “experiences” vary widely, but most have these features in common: they involve more than two senses, produce positive emotion, and are easily shareable on social media. They could be anything from a slide to a treasure hunt to a pop-up art gallery.
How To Prepare For Natural Products Expo West 2022
There are many exciting developments to keep an eye out for. With significant studies predicting substantial growth in the natural products industry, a strong comeback for tradeshows by 2023, and exciting new marketing techniques based on recent trends, 2022 is an excellent year to plan and practice for the massive comeback taking place.
For more ideas on how to ensure your brand makes a big impression on the show floor, whether National Product Expo, personal care, or any other industry – contact us here or give The Trade Group a call at 972-734-8585