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BOULDER — New Hope Network, the Boulder-based organizers of the Natural Products Expo West trade show in Anaheim, California, have opted not to reschedule the event in 2020 amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The 2020 event had been scheduled for March 3-7 but was postponed less than 24 hours before its start amid a #CancelExpo social-media campaign by natural-products companies concerned about the virus.
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New Hope had not announced a date for a rescheduled event, but with the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic uncertain, opted to focus instead on Natural Products Expo East, scheduled for Sept. 23-26 in Philadelphia.
“After consulting with key partners within the natural products community, New Hope Network has decided that, due to the developing circumstances around the COVID-19 virus, we will not move forward with hosting a rescheduled Natural Products Expo West event in Anaheim in 2020,” organizers said in an announcement posted on the Expo West website. “We are shifting our focus and resources toward making Natural Products Expo East 2020 (Philadelphia, Sept. 23-26) this year’s world-class innovation showcase and community gathering needed by the natural & organic products industry.”
The cancellation marks the first time in 40 years that New Hope will not host an annual natural-products event in Anaheim.
The Expo West and Expo East events have become key mechanisms for natural-products brands to get their products noticed by retailers and other buyers. New Hope established a $5 million fund to support those brands, with an independent advisory council established to develop criteria for dispersing the funds.
New Hope said it will work with Expo West exhibitors and sponsors to discuss options for Expo East, and will email Expo West’s registered attendees regarding refunds.