Did You Make the Most of Expo West?

As I write this article, it is the Monday after Expo West and I have a major hangover. Not one that was alcohol induced, but rather one caused by an exhausting, yet simultaneously energizing 4-days in Anaheim.

Each year this show continues to grow. This year, however, it seemed like it took an exponential jump. I commented to a few friends that it felt more like Coachella than an industry trade show.

As an introvert, I find the show, at times, overwhelming. Yet, the communal shared purpose and love for the industry make it more of a gathering of friends. That sense of community really does feed me (pun intended). So, while a part of me is looking forward to the relative anonymity of a long overseas flight, another is already missing the energy of the show.

The drive home afforded me the time to reflect on some of the ways emerging brands and their founders could better leverage their Expo experience. I thought I’d share some of those with you.

1. Field of Dreams

Expo starts 3-months before the event. If you have a booth, then right after the holidays you should start wooing and courting those retailers and partners you want to meet. Appointments should be made. Please, don’t just leave it to chance!

2. Collective Wisdom

3. Build Community

I love Expo, which if you knew me well, you’d find surprising. The mass of humanity, the cacophony of sound, the chaos, is everything I ordinarily try to avoid in my life. But, there is something about this event that I just find special. I want everyone involved to have that same experience and that is the spirit in which I write this article. I hope you found the above suggestions helpful and I would welcome your feedback and thoughts.

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Growing emerging food and beverage brands. Author & Founder of TIG