New Hope Network has announced the cancellation of Natural Products Expo East, originally scheduled to make its Philadelphia debut Sept. 23-26. The show was previously held in Baltimore. This marks the second Expo cancellation this year, as Natural Products Expo West was also canceled in early March.
“We are making this decision [to cancel Expo] now—more than three months before the event—because we want to do what’s best for you,” said Boulder, Colo.-based New Hope Network, in a statement. “We’ve learned from surveys and conversations that many community members, including retail buyers, are not confident they will feel safe traveling to or attending a large event in September.
“A potential lack of buyer participation, along with the show changes we would need to make to ensure the health and safety of the Expo East community, would have prevented us from delivering the quality experience and return on investment our exhibitors, sponsors and the broader community deserve and that we strive to provide.”
New Hope has said it will refund all paid Expo East 2020 badges and education registrations. Its sales account managers will work with each exhibitor and sponsor on a credit or refund plan.
While New Hope anticipates welcoming the Expo community to its new East Coast home in September 2021, in the interim, the show organizers have created a digital events and content series called Spark Change: A Digital Product Discovery, Education and Connection Platform for 2020 and Beyond.
Launching in August, Spark Change will provide the natural and organic products community a virtual journey of product discovery, education and connection.
“Brands and innovators will have the opportunity to get in front of retail buyers, consumer influencers, investors and others via digital storytelling and product sampling; retailers and others will be able to easily navigate new innovation based on theme, trend and product category—and meet the people behind these offerings; and the entire community will have access to interactive and actionable conference education and digital networking,” explained New Hope in a release.