COVID-19: Expo West canceled as New Hope shifts focus to Expo East

By Elaine Watson contact

- Last updated on GMT

COVID-19: Expo West cancelled as New Hope shifts focus to Expo East

Related tags: Expo west, COVID-19, coronavirus

In an announcement that will not likely surprise many stakeholders, New Hope has decided to cancel (rather than postpone) the Natural Products Expo West trade show in Anaheim and focus its attention on Expo East in Philadelphia (Sept. 23-26).

In an email sent to exhibitors and attendees Friday, organizer New Hope Network said its original plans​ - to run a rescheduled show 'before the summer' (something many stakeholders felt at the time was unrealistic given the scope of the event and the spread of the virus) - had been axed, with attention now shifting to Natural Products Expo East.

"We hope you will join us in Philadelphia. To that end, the New Hope team will be working closely with all of our Expo West partners, exhibitors and attendees to find the best solutions for them in Philadelphia or through New Hope’s other products and platforms."

It added: "We are looking forward to welcoming many of our Expo West partners and community to Expo East. New Hope’s account managers will be in touch with all Expo West exhibitors and sponsors to discuss their best options for Expo East and beyond."

Credits for future activity, but not refunds...

For Expo West attendees, New Hope’s intention is to "refund all paid badges, education upgrades, trainings and tours that were associated with the official registration for the Expo West 2020 event."

For Expo West 2020 exhibitors, New Hope "will be offering a full credit for exhibit space and sponsorship/marketing programming contracted directly with New Hope Network toward future activity,​" said the company, noting that this could be applied to Expo East in September, Expo West in 2021, or other products such as media advertising or data/insights.

"With the community already rallying around our move to Philadelphia, and with the increased engagement from retailers and other buyers that we are building for our Expo East show, our hope is that this credit will be used toward exhibiting at Expo East 2020​. With that said, the credit can also be applied to 2020 media solutions​, 2020 data and insights programming (NEXT​ and Nutrition Business Journal​) and toward Expo West 2021​ exhibit and sponsorship programming. The credit must be used by the end of February 2021."

In the FAQ section​ about third party arrangements, it added: "US exhibitors who purchased insurance through Exhibitor Insurance will be refunded in full. For US exhibitor questions, email vasb@rkuvovgbevafhenapr.pbz​. International Exhibitor insurance coverage will be included in the Exhibition credit through New Hope Network."

The $5m New Hope fund

Separately, an independent advisory council has recently been formed to help New Hope establish criteria for how to manage and disperse a $5 million fund to support emerging brands significantly affected by the Expo West 2020 disruption, added the email.

"This council ​[which will convene for the first time on March 16 and report back in the week commencing April 6] will be advising how to ensure we make Expo East 2020 the most valuable innovation and community event possible for retailers/buyers and brands large and small and will provide input and ideas for how we best serve the industry in Philadelphia and beyond​."

'Refund, not credit, is what my clients want...' 

While many stakeholders said they were not surprised by New Hope's decision, many took to linkedin to express their frustration with the decision to offer credits for future activities, but not refunds, with Dr James Richardson, a consultant that works with many emerging brands, noting "Refund...not credit...is what my clients want."

Read the full statement HERE​ and read the FAQs HERE​.

  • Visit FoodNavigator-USA​ on Monday to read about how coronavirus is impacting instore demos/sampling, business travel, online sales, and more.
  • View our GALLERY​ of products from the virtual Expo West.

Expo West is one of several food industry events that has been canceled amid coronavirus fears, with the United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA) sharing this list with members on Friday:  

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