Natural foods are certainly in vogue these days. Despite the fact that they command a hefty premium over their less-natural counterparts, people are still clamoring for these organic food products, afraid of the mix of pesticides, preservatives and other chemicals that have started to regularly make it into a lot of other brands. The Natural Products Expo which opens this Thursday in Baltimore includes a number of vendors displaying their wares from simple exhibit stands.
These companies understand the value of trade shows. That’s apparent from the sheer number of vendors which participate in the expo: around 1,600. All with inventive exhibit stands typically made of wood or other renewable materials and complete with chalkboard or paper signage sourced from sustainable mills.
Pete Truby, the founder of Salazon, a company which makes organic and natural chocolate bars without preservatives, understood the value of setting up these exhibit stands and having effective signage at the trade show. “You can get a new product in front of a lot of people much more easily because they’re all at that trade show,” he told the Baltimore Sun.
Of course, there are a lot of advantages to exhibiting at a trade show like this one and promoting your products is just the most obvious. Another important advantage of trade shows is the networking possibilities, something that Truby also mentioned. The value of networking with other executives and rubbing shoulders with potential future partners cannot be overvalued easily. That’s why the exhibit stands and signage weren’t just designed to market to consumers, but also to other industry professionals.
Natural products represent an already large $137 billion per year industry and they are growing at a clip of almost 10% per year. That’s certainly going to cause more of the big boys to get into the industry (as they have already started to do), but for the time being there are still quite a few smaller companies that have been having significant success. Many of them hope to increase that success by attending this week’s expo and pitching their products from behind their exhibit stands.