How to Get Noticed at Expo West: Tales from the Newcomers

When new brands exhibit at a trade show, the goal is to get noticed by buyers, distributors, the media as well as some consumers.  But with over 70,000 attendees and 3,000 stalls to compete with, how can a new brand get noticed at a show like Natural Products Expo West?  To get some answers, FBU spoke with a cadre of new brands that showcased their wares in Expo West’s Next Pavilion, and discussed the tips and techniques they use to generate traffic.

A common bit of advice seemed to be to secure one of the stalls at the corners, as a way to get traffic coming from both sides.  The problem with that is getting the corner stall has everything to do with registering early for the event, and if every brand has the same thought in mind, then, chances are, you might not get that space.

One guerrilla approach, which seemed to ring true among the new brands was to simply approach attendees, introduce them to your brand and not take “no” for an answer.  In our interview with Brian Rudolph of Banza, a garbanzo bean pasta company, he stated just that.

“Anytime you see someone, just being fearless,” Rudolph said.  “You have to just look at them, and call them out, ‘Have you tried our product?’ As a brand new company, most of the time, people will say no.  Getting them to try it.  They fall in love.  That’s how it always works.”

FBU can’t give you exact statistics of how often that technique worked, but we’ll note that we had not originally planned to interview a chick pea pasta brand from the middle of Detroit.  Yet a springy fellow, who happened to pop up in front of our cameraman insisting we try their pasta, changed our minds.  The rest is history, and FBU ended up interviewing what turned out to be a very charismatic and persuasive brand owner selling his line of protein-infused, garbanzo bean pasta.

For much more coverage on what was trending and new from the NEXT Pavilion, check out this series of interviews with exhibiting brands at the event.  In addition to strategies for getting noticed, we also asked brand owners to choose their favorite for the most innovative product within the Pavilion.

We don’t want spoil the surprise, so we’ll just say that the segment features an interview with the eventual winner, and if you happen to like chirping — and we don’t mean birds — then you might like this product too.

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