2016 Show Preview

Chicago, IL—Some 2,000 industry members are expected to make their way to the Windy City for William Reed Business Media’s inaugural The Healthy & Natural Show. The three-day show will take place May 5­–7 at Chicago’s Navy Pier. Here are five key things to do while attending the show.

1. Hear insight from Dr. Mercola. The three-day program kicks off with a day dedicated to educational seminars and keynotes. Designed in a single-track format that allows attendees to take full advantage of the program, plenary sessions will cover diverse topics such as private labeling and transparency with Ronak Sheth of Label Insights; the evolving food retail landscape with Elaine Watson of FoodNavigator-USA; understanding Canadian natural health shoppers with Ryan Benn of Alive Media; and new analysis of the natural and specialty foods channel with David Winters of SPINS.

Headlining the Day One program will be a keynote presentation from Joseph Mercola, D.O., on “Why We Get Sick and How To Fix It.” Mercola will present information about cutting-edge topics such as the effect of inflammation on the body and mitochondrial dysfunction.

Len Monheit, William Reed’s General Manager North America, says of Mercola, “He’s a visionary. He’s a spokesperson who believes in our industry.”

Monheit adds, “It’s his town, he doesn’t hold back and has a broad following.”

2. Spend quality time with exhibitors. Monheit says The Healthy & Natural show was designed to be an intimate, high-tech way for attendees to meet with exhibitors and get to know their brands. Instead of a quick flyby meeting, this tradeshow will offer legitimate meeting time between exhibitors and retailers.

“It’s very difficult to figure out the pulse of the industry when you have a high-volume, high-energy tradeshow. I believe there’s an opportunity in the marketplace for emerging companies and emerging products and for retailers who are trying to get better connected with a sensible education program and productive meetings with exhibitors,” says Monheit.

He explains that The Healthy & Natural Show uses technology to help book one-on-one meetings between exhibitors and attendees prior to the show. “We’ve got only two show days. Let’s take advantage of the time and let’s do as much preplanning as possible,” says Monheit.

3. Don’t leave the show floor for education. The Healthy & Natural Show will offer several educational opportunities at a theater located on the tradeshow floor. Two key topics, says Monheit, will be probiotics and Ayurveda.

“I think there’s a baseline level of education about those topics that will help all retailers sell products in those categories better,” says Monheit. “But, we’ve got to get the right people in the room with them.”

Look for Mike Bush, senior vice president at Ganeden Inc. to discuss “Demystifying Probiotics” and Amy Keller of Organic India to cover “Demystifying Ayurveda.” Other topics include transparency in dietary supplements and market analysis of the “Good Food Movement.”

“It will be a basic curricula that raises our baseline to be able to talk about complicated product sets,” Monheit states. “The only way to do that effectively is in a very dialed-in and intimate way.”

4. Attend the reception. Friday evening, wind down with fellow attendees at a reception after the show closes on Navy Pier’s Lakeview Terrace. The reception, sponsored by PlusCBD Oil, will offer entertainment and light hors d’oeuvres, and is free for show attendees and exhibitors.

5. Play at the Pier. Build in some time to enjoy Navy Pier with colleagues after the show. Besides shopping and dining, the Pier offers several attractions like The Chicago Shakespeare Theater, the Chicago Children’s Museum, the six-story Navy Pier IMAX Theatre, the Driehaus Gallery of Stained Glass and Amazing Chicago’s Funhouse Maze.


Published in WholeFoods Magazine, April 2016 (online 3/1/16)