Natural Products EXPO Goes Green meaning . . .

We attended the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim, CA this last week, March 12 – 14, 2010. While there is good news about Natural Products Expo (www.expowest.com), there is plenty to be unhappy about regarding the show.

We heard from New Hope Media http://www.newhope.com/, the company that runs the expo, that they had “gone green” and everything was now paperless. No more phone book size catalogs, no more plastic badge covers and paperless press room. All that is fine and I have no problem with it, but if they are saving all that money on the “paperless expo”, why does the price of the booths at the expo keep going up. Every year it’s another $400 – $500 for a booth. You would think that some of that savings might be passed along to the exhibitors but instead we are looked upon as ATM machines rather than customers.

Then there is the union, Freeman http://www.freemanco.com who charges outrageous amounts of money to do almost nothing and NEVER even offers a “Thank you for doing business with us”. You get nothing from this group but a bill that has already been charged to your credit card. They move a pallet or two for you and you get a bill for $1000 or more. They don’t allow anyone to use a hand cart on the floor. Everything must be carried in by hand if you are not using them. This is so you will be FORCED to use them. Forcing is what unions are best at. We rent space at a warehouse that charges us $5.00 per pallet to off-load them and bring them to our rental space. This is because they aren’t union. Another thing that Freeman is short on is politeness and professionalism. Their attitude is that we are lucky, so lucky, that they are there to help us. If it wasn’t a union doing this everyone knows that the cost for their services would be 25% of what they are charging.

I may be the only one to be writing about this, but I did not talk to a single exhibitor who did not agree with me that this show was a ripoff and it got worse every year. The Natural Products EXPO has gone green alright, right into their pockets. Personally, I think that their entire “Gone Green” stance is nothing but a marketing tool. I think that if “Going Purple” or any other color would make them money they would do that as well. I’m not against it but I know a marketing ploy when I see one. Which brings me to my last point:

What I really resented was their keynote speaker: Bill McKibben, who is a political activist of sorts. I listen to his keynote address and the one thing that stuck in my memory was that CNN had reported his organizing efforts on October 24, 2009 as “the most widespread day of political action in the planet’s history.” Nothing against political action or trying to do something positive but I deeply resent going to a Natural Products Expo and finding that the keynote speaker is a political activist who we are suppose to clap for and support their efforts, when in fact no one really knew who McKibben is (he has a long history) and what his political organization does. And yet there was an entire room full of people who clapped like seals for him every time he uttered another one of his platitudes.

I don’t have anything against Bill McKibben or 350.org, but I resent a health expo being politicized by anyone, any group, for any reason. Right, center, left, it doesn’t matter. I didn’t travel across half the country to listen to someone political pitch, regardless of what it was, and someone telling us that this is all “good for us.” I didn’t hear one word about health out of his mouth. Somehow, I believe that I wasn’t suppose to care about that.

The Natural Products EXPO use to be about health, not politics. Now it’s about big business and getting as much money from the vendors as they possibly can. It’s about politics and money.

Expo East, Natural Product EXPO, in Boston 2009 was terrible. I exhibited the first year in Boston and attended in 2009. It was very poorly attended. Boston is extremely expensive and the convention center difficult to get to. It is the worse city to have an expo I know of. NPE East was great when it was in Baltimore then they moved it. Do yourself a favor and skip it in 2010. I love Boston, but it’s not worth it. Ask any of the vendors from 2009 what they thought of it. It was the most dead expo I have ever attended. You won’t get ripped off from the “green” New Hope Media and the ridiculously high-priced unions and you won’t be lectured to by political activists trying to pass themselves off as health advocates.

Bob McCauley

About Bob McCauley

Bob McCauley, ND (Robert F., Jr.) was raised in Lansing, Michigan and attended Michigan State University (BA, 1980 in Journalism). He is a naturopathic doctor, Master Herbalist and a Certified Nutritional Consultant. He has traveled extensively, both domestically and abroad, visiting over 32 countries. He published Confessions of a Body Builder: Rejuvenating the Body with Spirulina, Chlorella, Raw Foods and Ionized Water (2000), Achieving Great Health (2005), The Miraculous Properties of Ionized Water, (2006) which is the only book on the market that exclusively addresses Ionized Water, Twelve (Fiction, 2007) and Honoring the Temple of God (2008). He considers himself a Naturalist, meaning he pursues health in the most natural way possible. He studies and promotes nature as the only way to true health. From 2002-2004 he hosted the radio program Achieving Great Health, which was heard by thousands of people each day. His guests included some of the most well-known and respected names in the natural health world. With the help of his father, Dr. Robert F. McCauley, Sr. (Doctorate in Environmental Engineering, MIT, 1953) they started Spartan Water Company in 1992, which sold vended water machines in supermarkets. Robert Jr. founded Spartan Enterprises, Inc. in 1993. He is a Certified Water Technician with the State of Michigan. He is also a Type II Public Water Supply Specialist and has the certifications of S-5 and D-5. The McCauley family has a long history in the water industry. Bob's father pioneered environmental issues regarding ground water and drinking water quality. He received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1953 for his thesis on removing radioactive strontium from water. He earned his doctorate in Environmental Engineering in less than 2 years, one of the shortest doctoral studies in the history of MIT. He taught civil, sanitary and environmental engineering at Michigan State University for 18 years before retiring to run Wolverine Engineers & Surveyors of Mason, Michigan, for 17 years. His reputation throughout Michigan as a water quality expert was legendary. Bob worked for his father's company for 12 years learning the water business, which dealt primarily with municipalities, including water quality and sanitary sewer issues. After apprenticing with his father, Bob moved on to the bottled water business. He established greater Michigan's biggest selling bottled water: Michigan Mineral – Premium Natural Water. He was introduced to Ionized Water in 1995 and has done more to promote Ionized Water than anyone else in the industry. Bob often lectures and offers seminars on his Seven Component Natural Health Protocol . Bob is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and a Certified Master Herbalist. He is also a 3rd Degree Black Belt and Certified Instructor of Songahm Taekwondo (American Taekwondo Association).
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