A look at the schedule of events for Expo West 2012.

Want to leave the winter blues behind? Come join us at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, CA! This year, Expo West is hosting over 58,000 industry members and 3,000 exhibits featuring natural, organic and healthy products. The event has been held for 30 years and is rated as one of the top 200 U.S. tradeshows by Tradeshow Week. Expo West brings together a variety of contributors to the natural products industry, highlighting the most popular products available today, the potential of future products, and creating a collaborative space for professionals throughout the industry.

Expo West will take over the Anaheim Convention Center from Thursday, March 8th to Sunday, March 11th. It will be co-located with Engredea, Nutracon, Fresh Ideas Organic Marketplace and Beer, Wine and Spirits Marketplace.

Keynote and Featured Speakers
Paul Greenberg, the keynote speaker at Expo West, is the author of The New York Times bestseller Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food. He has also contributed to such publications as The New York Times, GQ, Book Review, Opinion Page, Vogue, and National Geographic Magazine. He will speak on Saturday, March 10th at 9:00 a.m.
Penelope Trunk is the co-founder of Brazen Careerist, a career management tool for next-generation professionals. She wrote a column for Business 2.0 Magazine about starting businesses. Today, she is the author of a best-selling career advice book, Brazen Careerist, and writes a popular career blog. Trunk will speak on Thursday, March 8th from 2:00 to 3:15 p.m.
• Freelance writer Meg Hirshberg is the wife of Gary Hirshberg, former president and CE-Yo (pun intended) of Stonyfield Farm. Her column for Inc. Magazine and her presentations center around the effects of entrepreneurial businesses on families based on her own experiences aiding her husband in creating Stonyfield Farm. She will speak on Friday, March 9th from 9:00 to 10:15 a.m.
Rip Esselstyn is the author of The Engine 2 Diet. As a firefighter, Esselstyn implemented a plant-based diet to improve the health of his fellow firefighters, as he is a strong advocate for the connection between one’s diet and one’s overall health. He will speak on Friday, March 9th from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. followed by a book signing from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.

WholeFoods Magazine Picks
Here are a few events and sessions on this year’s program that caught our editors’ eyes:

League of Angels, 2012—March 8th, 6:00–8:00, Angels Stadium
Please take the time to support an amazing foundation, Vitamin Angels, at their cocktail event, League of Angels. Vitamin Angels is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that works to reduce child mortality rates by providing essential nutrients needed for children of impoverished nations to lead healthy, meaningful lives. It is estimated that one-third of all childhood deaths are caused by malnutrition. Help change this statistic through your generous donations and attendance at this event. You can participate in this outstanding event by purchasing a general admission ticket for $150. For those baseball enthusiasts out there, there are also tickets to pitch in the bullpen for an additional $100. Free parking and free shuttle service from the convention center to Angel Stadium are available.

Managing the Non-GMO Message—March 8th, 10:00–11:15 a.m.
As the issue of GMOs continues to be a relevant point of contention, this presentation on the growing non-GMO trend will provide you with up-to-date, vital information on the topic. The presentation will examine the new Non-GMO Communications Toolkit, a resource for information on GMOs, as well tips for effectively communicating about GMOs. The moderator of the session will be Megan Westgate, the executive director of the Non-GMO Project, and Andy Huth will join her on the panel.

Gluten-Free: Long-term Trend or Short-term Fad?—March 8th, 12:00–1:30 p.m.
If you are wondering whether the popularity of gluten-free diets is here to stay, this session will examine new products, consumer trends and market performance. The panelists include David Browne from Mintel International Group, and Kerry Watson from SPINS. Please note: this session is part of the “Platinum Education Series” and costs $55 to attend, or you can upgrade your registration with an All-Access Pass to attend all eight sessions included in the series for $195.

Our Right to Know! A Conversation on the California and Federal GMO Labeling Initiatives—March 8th, 2:00–3:15 p.m.
The issue of labeling, or lack thereof, for GMOs is at the forefront of the non-GMO movement. Come hear from leaders of the Just Label It Campaign, and the California Ballot Initiative to label genetically engineered foods, about where this issue stands today and how the push for these labels may develop. The session will be moderated by Michael Funk, the chairman and co-founder of United Natural Foods, Inc. The panel will include such notable leaders in our industry as David Bronner, president of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, Gary Hirshberg, the co-founder of Stonyfield Farm Inc. and Doug Linney, president of Next Generation.

Organic Advocacy—March 8th, 3:15–5:00 p.m.
As the presidential election quickly approaches, it’s a great time to come discover how to make your voice heard in support of the natural products industry, as decisions made by policymakers can affect your business. This session will provide information on how to network with other natural products advocates, how to learn about new legislations and how to successfully communicate your concerns with policy makers. The speaker at this session will be Stephanie Vance, the Advocacy Guru.

How Organic Farming Can Increase Your Bottom Line, Help the Family Farmer, and Save the World—March 9th, 2:00–3:15 p.m.
With the rapid growth of the organic farming industry, it becomes more and more important for industry members to understand the wide array of benefits it offers society and the planet. This session will explore a range of societal benefits associated with organic farming, how it can help your business, how to support policy changes that will aid the industry and how to spread awareness of the health benefits of eating organically. Maureen Wilmot of Organic Farming Research Foundation will be speaking.

State of the Industry—March 10th, 10:45 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
This session will look at the status of the natural products industry at large. The panelists will include Marc Brush, editor-in-chief of Nutrition Business Journal, and Carlotta Mast, editor-in-chief of NewHope360.com from New Hope Natural Media.

Manage Stress, Anxiety and Insomnia, Naturally! Hosted by: Natural Factors—March 10th, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Come learn about a variety of natural products that are marketed to help combat high stress and anxiety levels, as well as insomnia. This session is especially helpful for health food store retailers. It will be presented by Dr. Michael Murray, N.D., director of product development and education at Natural Factors.

DSHEA Awareness in the Natural Products Industry—March 10th, 12:30–1:45 p.m.
Do you have questions regarding the Dietary Supplements Health and Educations Act? The guidelines for labeling dietary supplements will be reviewed, as well as any regulatory updates for labeling in the United States. Information on how to utilize DSHEA to promote your sales and marketing initiatives will also be covered. The panelists will include NPA’s Cara Welch, herbalist Trinity Ava and Carol Kriegel of Continental Vitamin Company.

Complete Program
Thursday, March 8th

• Exhibitor Seminar by Nutrition Capital Network, 8:30–10:30 a.m.
• Managing the Non-GMO Message, 10:00–11:15 a.m.
• How to Gross Out Your Buyers: Food Sampling Best Practices, 10:00–11:15 a.m.
• New USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Resources, 10:30–11:30 a.m.
• How to Personalize Your Brand on Social Media, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
• 15th Annual OFRF Benefit Luncheon, 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
• Gluten-Free Trends, 12:00–1:15 p.m.
• Fresh Ideas Organic Marketplace, 12:30–5:30
• Boundaries in Social Media, 12:30-1:30 p.m.*
• A Conversation on the California and Federal GMO Labeling Initiatives, 2:00–3:15 p.m.
• Immigration Reform and Your Business, 2:00–3:15 p.m.
• Using the Power of the Consumer to Strengthen Farming Communities, 3:45–5:00 p.m.
• Sustainable Packaging, 3:45–5:00 p.m.
• Organic Advocacy, 3:45–5:00 p.m.
• League of Angels, Vitamin Angels Event, 5:45-8:30 p.m.
• Natural Products Expos West Welcome Reception, 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Friday, March 9th
• Early Morning Yoga, 7:00–8:30 a.m.
• A Better Breakfast, 7:30–10:30 a.m.
• Featured Speaker: Meg Hirshberg, 9:00–10:15 a.m.
• Clinical Research on Integrative Treatment of Inflammation, hosted by Rainbow Light, 9:30–10:30 a.m.
• Curcumin and Cancer, hosted by: EuroPharma, 10:00–11:00 a.m.
• Organic Personal Care: COPA’s Impact, 10:30–11:45 a.m.
• Marketing to Hispanic and Latino Populations, 10:30–11:45
• Manuka Doctor Launches USA’s Purified Bee Venom Skincare Collection, hosted by: Honey New Zealand, 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
• Featured Speaker: Rip Esselstyn, 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
• Recollections of a Recall, 12:15-1:30 p.m.
• Beer, Wine and Spirits Marketplace, 1:00–7:00 p.m.
• NewHope 360 Future of Wellness: Connecting with Shoppers In-Home and In-Store, 12:15–1:30 p.m.
• Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan: Local and Regional Food Systems, 1:30–2:30 p.m.
• ­­How Organic Farming Can Increase Your Bottom Line, Help the Family Farmer, and Save the World, 2:00-3:15 p.m.
• Resurrection of Alfalfas, 2:00–3:15 p.m.
• Employee Wellness Initiatives, 2:30–3:45 p.m.
• Healthy Weight Loss, hosted by Enzymedica, 3:00–4:00 p.m.
• Sustainable Beer, Wine, and Spirits, 3:45–5:00 p.m.
• Marketing to Moms, 3:45–5:00 p.m.*
• Harnessing the Power of Blog Product Reviews, 4:15-5:30 p.m.*
• Women in Naturals Networking Event, 5:30–7:30 p.m.
• The Organic Center Annual VIP Dinner, 6:00–9:30 p.m.
• American Herbal Products Association 30th Anniversary Reception, 6:30–8:00 p.m.
• The Live Music Party, Ziggy Marley, 9:00 p.m.–12:00 a.m.

Saturday, March 10th
• Early Morning Yoga, 7:00–8:30 a.m.
• Mushroom Wisdom Japanese Breakfast, featuring Ward Bond, 8:00–9:30 a.m.
• Exhibitor Seminar hosted by Herb Pharm, 8:30–9:30 a.m.
• Exhibitor Seminar hosted by Sigma-tau Health Science, 9:00–10:00 a.m.
• Keynote Speaker: Paul Greenberg, 9:00–10:15 a.m.
• Exhibitor Seminar, hosted by: Volusion, 10:00–11:00 a.m.
• Motivating Your Staff to Provide Excellent Customer Service, 10:30–11:30 a.m.
• Better Business Blogging, 10:45 a.m.–12:00 p.m.*
• State of the Industry, 10:45 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
• Corporate Responsibility, Daniel Lubetsky, 10:45 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
• Manage Stress, Anxiety and Insomnia, Naturally! Hosted by: Natural Factors, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
• Exhibitor Seminar, hosted by: Food Trade Sustainability Leadership Association, 12:00–1:00 p.m.
• Retail Mobility in a Food Desert, 12:30-1:45 p.m.
• DSHEA Awareness, 12:30–1:45 p.m.
• Exhibitor Seminar hosted by MegaFood, 12:30–1:30 p.m.
• Beer, Wine, and Spirits Marketplace, 1:00–7:00 p.m.
• Correcting the Global Omega-3 Deficiency hosted by Nordic Naturals, 1:00–2:00 p.m.
• Brain NutriGenomics, hosted by Doctor’s Best, 1:00–2:00 p.m.
• The Secret of Seeds, 2:00–3:15 p.m.
• Shedding Light on Natural Sunscreen Markets, 2:15–3:30 p.m.
• 2012: The Autism Challenge, Enzymedica, 3:00–4:00 p.m.
• Featured Speaker: Penelope Trunk, 3:45–5:00 p.m.
• Work/Life Balance Workshop 4:00-5:15 p.m.*
• CLIF Bar Band, 5:45–7:45 p.m.
• Bragg 100th Anniversary Celebration (pick up invite at Bragg Booth #2255), 6:00–9:00 p.m.

* session included in the Platinum Series. These sessions cost $55 per session, or you can attend all eight sessions for $195.

• Retail Store Tour, March 8th, 8:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
• Herb Walk, Sponsored by AHPA –  March 8th, 1:30–5:00 p.m.

Expo West Business Program
• Early Entrepreneur Track, March 8th, 12:00–6:00 p.m.
• Brand Acceleration Track, March 8th, 12:00–6:00 p.m.
• International Business Program for Exporters, March 8th, 12:15–5:00 p.m.

Engredea and Nutracon
Several educational events are slated for the Engredea and Nutracon programs. For more information, visit www.expowest.com. WF

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, March 2012