Natural Products, Trucking Industries Both See Upticks in Shows

October 2, 2014

Two industries that couldn’t be more different – Natural Products Expo East and the Great American Trucking Show - both saw increases on the showfloor at their recent events.

NPE East, owned by Penton’s New Hope Natural Media, the East Coast's largest natural, organic and healthy products event, brought together more than 23,000 attendees and 1,277 exhibitors Sept. 17-20 at the Baltimore (Md.) Convention Center.

Adam Andersen, show director, Natural Products Expos said, "We are very pleased to be the conduit where passionate, innovative natural products manufacturers bring healthy solutions to market. We also have a goal of leaving a positive impact on the community of Baltimore."

The event drew exhibitors in a variety of categories, including food and beverage, supplements and ingredients as well as beauty and natural living.

The natural, organic and healthy products marketplace is poised to grow to $226 billion by 2018 with an annual growth rate of 8.6 percent.

Trends identified by New Hope include: protein power; probiotics; cold-pressed juices; clean, simple ingredients; and farm-to-face. NEXT Trend also debuted its Innovation Lab, which enables users to tap into the wisdom of crowds with its prediction market research.

"This was the first year I had the opportunity to participate in the VIP buyer program at Natural Products Expo,” said Jenny Stronk, buyer and social media marketer, Thyme & Season Natural Market.

She added, “It was fantastic. It was great to meet face-to-face with the companies and reps I talk to on an on-going basis.”

NPE West 2015 will return March 5-8 to the Anaheim (Calif.) Convention Center, and NPE East 2015 is scheduled to take place Sept. 16-19 back in Baltimore.

The Great American Trucking Show, held Aug. 21-23 at the Dallas Convention Center, attracted more than 54,000 registered attendees — a 16.46 percent increase, compared with 2013 — who own and operate 247,027 power units and more than 354,905 trailers, according to Randall-Reilly’s RigDig Business Intelligence.

Attendees also saw a record 512 exhibits, covering more than 170,000 square feet of exhibit space, which reflected an 8 percent growth in number of exhibitors and a 15.6 percent growth in first time exhibitors.

Exhibits showcased major truck and trailer brands, component suppliers and others aligned with the heavy- and medium-duty truck markets.

“We’re very excited about the momentum we’ve seen this year,” said Stacy McCants, vice president of Events for Randall-Reilly, which owns the show.

He added, “We’re already working on adding exciting attractions and attendee and exhibitor amenities to next year’s show. Our expectations are for tremendous growth in 2015 and beyond.”

GATS also offered attendees an array of seminars supported by the Texas Trucking Association, celebrity appearances by country singer Lee Ann Womack and “Deadliest Catch” star Edgar Hansen, three finalists vying for the grand prize in the Trucker Talent Search and several drawings and giveaways.

The 2015 GATS will take place Aug. 27-29 back in Dallas.

Add new comment

Partner Voices
Less than six months ago, Lisa Messina joined the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) as the first-ever chief sales officer after leading the sales team at Caesars Entertainment. A 12-year Las Vegas resident, Messina is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and serves on MPI International’s board of directors. TSNN had a chance to catch up with this dynamic leader and talk to her about her vision for the new role, current shifts in the trade show industry, creating more diversity and equity within the organization, and advice to future female leaders. Lisa Messina, Chief Sales Officer, LVCVA With Las Vegas becoming The Greatest Arena on EarthTM, what are some of the things you’re most excited about in your role? Our team was at The Big Game’s handoff ceremony earlier this month, and I couldn’t help but think, “We’re going to crush it next year!”  These high-profile events and venues not only drive excitement, but also provide unmatched opportunities for event planners. Allegiant Stadium hosts events from 10 to 65,000 people and offers on-field experiences. Formula 1 Grand Prix will take place in Las Vegas in November, after the year-one F1 race, the four-story paddock building will be available for buyouts and will also offer daily ride-along experiences that will be available for groups. And, of course, the MSG Sphere officially announced that it will open in September, ahead of schedule, with a U2 residency. It’s going to be the most technologically advanced venue as far as lighting, sound, feel, and even scent, and it will be available for buyouts and next-level sponsorships inside and outside. There’s no ceiling to what you can do when you’re doing events in Las Vegas.  Allegiant Stadium As the trade show and convention business returns to the pre-pandemic levels, what shifts are you noticing and how do you think they will impact the industry going forward? Our trade show organizers are very focused on driving customer experience. Most of our organizers are reporting stronger exhibitor numbers and increased numbers of new exhibitors, with trade shows proving to be almost or above 2019 levels. Now our organizers are really doubling down on driving attendance and focusing on the data to provide that individualized, customized experience to help attendees meet their goals and get the best value. Some companies continue to be cautiously optimistic with their organizational spend when it comes to sending attendees, but I think it will continue to improve. As the U.S. Travel Association makes more progress on the U.S. visa situation, we also expect a growing influx of international attendees. What are some innovative ways the LVCVA helps trade show and convention organizers deliver the most value for their events? We focus on customer experience in the same way that trade show organizers are thinking about it. We got rave reviews with the West Hall Expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), so over the next two years, we will be renovating the North and the Central halls, which will include not just the same look and feel, but also the digital experiences that can be leveraged for branding and sponsorship opportunities.  Vegas Loop, the underground transportation system designed by The Boring Company, is also a way we have enhanced the customer experience. Vegas Loop at the LVCC has transported more than 900,000 convention attendees across the campus since its 2021 launch. Last summer, Resorts World and The Boring Company opened the first resort stop at the Resorts World Las Vegas , with plans to expand throughout the resort corridor, including downtown Las Vegas, Allegiant Stadium and Harry Reid International Airport. The LVCVA also purchased the Las Vegas Monorail in 2020, the 3.9-mile-long elevated transportation system that connects eight resorts directly to the convention center campus. This is the only rail system in the world that integrates fares directly into show badges and registration. For trade show organizers, these transportation options mean saving time, money and effort when it comes to moving groups from the hotels to LVCC and around the city. Also, the more we can focus on building the infrastructure around the convention center, the more it supports the customer experience and ultimately supports our trade show organizers. Scheduled to debut in Q4, Fontainebleau Las Vegas will offer 3,700 hotel rooms and 550,000 square feet of meeting and convention space next to LVCC.  What are some of the plans for advancing DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) within your organization? We’re currently partnering with instead of working with a leading consulting firm, to lay the foundation and create a solid DEI plan and be the leader when it comes to DEI initiatives. The heart of that journey with the consulting firm is also talking to our customers about their strategic approaches to DEI and driving innovation in this space.  What are your favorite ways to recharge? My husband and I have an RV and we’re outdoorsy people. So, while we have over 150,000 world-class hotel rooms and renowned restaurants right outside our doorstep, one of my favorite things to do is get out to Red Rock Canyon, the Valley of Fire, and Lake Mead. Five of the top national parks are within a three-hour drive from Las Vegas, so there’s a lot you can do. We love balancing the energy of Las Vegas with nature, and we’re noticing that a lot of attendees add activities off the Strip when they come here.  Valley of Fire What advice would you give to women following leadership paths in destination marketing? I think it’s about being laser-focused on what you want to accomplish; building a team around you that lifts you and helps you achieve your goals; and being humble and realizing that you do it as a group. No one gets this done alone. Thankfully, there are a lot of women in leadership in this organization, in our customers’ organizations, and in this city that we can be really proud of. We’re a formidable force that is making things happen.   This interview has been edited and condensed. This article is exclusively sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. For more information, visit HERE.