The continuing coronavirus pandemic has prompted New Hope Network to postpone its annual Natural Products Expo West event, usually held in Anaheim, California in March, to May.
As the coronavirus pandemic grinds on, the postponements, cancellations and switches to virtual formats have begun to creep into 2021. New Hope Network, producer of Natural Products Expo West, which customarily takes place in Anaheim, California every March, has decided to hold the 2021 event in May instead.
Noting “the uncertainty of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis,” Group Show Director Lacey Gautier wrote in a letter to likely attendees and exhibitors that “we have decided to reschedule Expo West 2021 for May 24-27, 2021. The event will have a new day pattern of Monday through Thursday, and will conclude in advance of the Memorial Day holiday weekend. We hope the additional 12 weeks will result in more of the progress and recovery needed to return to travel and gatherings with the necessary security and safety assurances in place. We are committed to providing timely and transparent communication as we navigate this next phase together.”
Gautier added that exhibitors would receive an email “outlining next steps and options,” and pointed out that Boulder, Colorado-based New Hope Network was “continuing to develop and implement a variety of new health and safety policies for Expo West 2021. … These efforts will continue to evolve as we prepare for the show and collaborate with various authorities, including the State of California, Orange County Health Department, Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), to ensure our community will remain safe during the entirety of the show.”
She went on to describe how the upcoming show would be different from previous years: “Events and education will be held Monday through Thursday and exhibits will take place Tuesday through Thursday. We have decided to discontinue the Super Pass upgrade for the entirety of 2021. All education sessions will now be included in an Exhibit Hall badge. We will also be offering virtual options for most of our education sessions to account for decreased room capacities and for those who are unable to travel or attend the show over the new dates. Some of our larger networking events will be altered or cancelled to maintain health and safety measures. More information regarding how the show will continue to transform will be provided in the upcoming months.”
According to Gautier, registration for the show should open by mid- to late November, “barring further significant impacts or changes to the event," with housing slated to open at the start of next year. She encouraged attendees and exhibitors to check New Hope Network’s website frequently for updates.
New Hope Network has already created a digital product discovery, education and connection platform, Spark Change, which it rolled out to take the place of its canceled Natural Products Expo East show, which was originally to be held in Philadelphia in September.