Expo West: Lessons I've learned from YEARS of attending

Expo West: Lessons I've learned from YEARS of attending

So we're just two days away from Expo West and I couldn't be more excited!!!

Every year I walk the aisles and come home with copious amounts of samples in everything from clean face wash to organic candies. 

It's WILD!

And while the Expo unpacking is reminicent of dumping out pillow cases full of candy on Halloween night, it's not always ideal for me.

Organic and natural or not...

Some of these products aren't anything I would buy or support based on ingredients alone. 

So this year I decided to go about my planning a little differently.

And the folks at Beacon made it SUPER easy!

When we set up our registration, we got access to the list of vendors and had the option to eliminate all products that contain ingredients that don't align with our standards. 

Ingredient list, Beacon, Vendors, Filter, Expo West, Expo West 2024

Okay but seriously...

How freaking cool is that?!?!

So my FIRST step for making this my best Expo experience ever:

1. Plan out which vendors I want to meet and map out where they are.

This integration happens between Beacon favorites and the app so it's all mapped out and listed for me. Easy peasy!

Then, I went through the class list for this year. And WOW there are SO many amazing courses that match my needs.

If you're reading this you've probably figured out by now that while yes, I am a Life Coach and Naturopathic Practitioner...

I also have a supplement line...

And a coffee line.

This year, Expo West has really focused on women in nutraceuticals! So naturally, I MUST attend all the classes in this category.

Which leads to my next step...

2. Choose which classes to attend live and which I will watch on-demand post-expo

There are many classes that are offered live only and some that will be recorded. I have scheduled myself to attend the live-only courses so I don't miss out on the most imporant tips. 

But this also brought up a little challenge...

WHEN will I have time to walk the Expo, connect with all my friends from previous events, and meet with my specific vendors to talk shop?

3. Plan it out in my digital-calender.

I set up my schedule on my phone so I'd know exactly which events I'd be attending, when I'll have time to walk, grab a snack, and have important meetings. 

And knowing how ginormous the Expo is, I set notifications with appropriate timing to alot for 'travel' time between rooms, halls, and classes.

Expo West, Expo West 2024, Schedule, Alpha Zen Society, Alida McDaniel, Oracle Nootropic

Finally, the samples...

Good GOD I love them all!!

But, this year I've decided to not just accept them willy nilly. 

I've committed to reading labels before accepting a sample if I have questions about the product and am unfamiliar with the brand. 

The first few years of attending, I just accepted ALL the samples because it's a "natural" products expo and that felt like it was enough to make it into one of the five+ bags I carried that were filled to the brim with other samples.

After this past year of learning how much my body dislikes products with seed oils, we'll be passing on most of those. And because I don't do well with natural products that use genetically modified ingredients, I'll be passing on those as well. 

Which leads me to my next tip for making the most of Expo West...

4. Understanding boundaries and when to say Hell Yes vs Hell No to a sample

When you know what you are willing to accept, what your body does well with, and what your mission is for your clients/customers, it's much easier to know which companies you want to align with...

And which samples you are willing to take home with you because you'll be snacking for DAYS on them. 


The more I went down this rabbit hole of realizing I'm an official 'veteran' of Expo West now, I started thinking back to all the ways I've showed up, connected with people, and extablished connections with companies. 

What I did well...what I could have done better...what I did horribly wrong...

Going back to 2005, I've been going to 'health' expos as an attendee and/or working the booths.

And for Expo West, I've done both.

A few lessons really pop up for me:

-Giving someone a sample does not constitute a connection. 

I will never forget the one year I worked in a supplement booth at the Olympia. I was yolked from a recent bodybuilding competition and taking pictures with all the people who stopped by the booth to grab samples. 

Years later, I ran into a guy at a fitness mastermind who recognized me!

He'd taken a picture with me and never forgot the impact I made on him that day.

Connection is MUCH more than a sample. 

It's a smile and a genuine connection.

Which matters a LOT when you've got anywhere between 60,000-90,000 people in attendance!

If you don't imprint during that time, it will be tough to connect post-show. 

Which leads to the second point of...

-Just because you give someone a LOT of samples, doesn't mean they will buy from you. If they don't like it, it will 100% get thrown in the trash. For some products, like a lotion or pain cream, you can get people to try it on the spot. 

Which makes for a quick connection. 

I did that a couple years back when I worked with ElixiCure at their booth. 

Getting people pain relief on the spot...especially when they've already walked for miles, up and down the aisles, can be life-altering.

We made some life-long connections that week. 

And finally...

-Having a CLEAR game-plan is essential.

Whether you're an influencer or a brand, you've got to know what you're looking for AND be ready for that type of connection.

I can't tell you how many times I've seen business owners say "I need investors" but they don't have stats, numbers, or even a staff to support the growth they THINK money will bring them.

If you want to partner with a company, be ready to show them your work and WHY they should work with you. 

If you go in with a 'whatever happens, happens' attitude...

You're going to get 'whatever.'

As with anything in life. Obvi.

As they say, "the fortune is in the follow-up." So when you KNOW why you're there, and you've done the work to make a genuine connection, stating your intentions clearly, FOLLOW UP. 

If you collect a list of names with ZERO follow up, while waiting for them to remember you...

You'll end up at Expo next year trying to make that connection once again.

Smarter, not harder, my friend. 

Let's make this the best year yet!

If you'll be there, shoot me a message so we can meet up! 

PS: one final tip...

Make sure to grab some REAL food and PLAIN water amidst all the samples. It's really easy to get over-carbed and over-caffeinated when it's 'just a little' taste.

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