We attended Expo East last month as a whole company. It only took trains, Uhauls, and many Ubers later to end up all together at the convention center. This trade show was the first time our team of four had ever all been together in person. Already it was going to be exciting for us. We had a chance to work together in person, tell attendees about our services and see all the new products brands released. In this week's blog post we wanted to share our take from the show, so for those who did not attend can still feel like they made the trip to Philadelphia.
Badges ready in hand, sample bags dangling from your shoulder ready to be filled, you enter through the doors eager to see just how many people ended up attending the show. You enter the show floor and what are you greeted with, you might ask? Three larger-than-life LaCroix cans have been carefully suspended from the ceiling. As you look up at the cans you’re hit with all the different smells wafting through the air coming from the surrounding booths. When you look around and start walking to your booth, you can instantly see that this show is not nearly as full as a pre-pandemic. Nevertheless, everyone seems to be in good spirits.
Our goal for the show was to provide visitors with the experience of what it’s like to see a WeStock shelf in the grocery store. We had an interactive space where attendees could stop at our booth and interact with the QR and AR codes that enhance the in-store shopping experience. We had a great variety of our brands on the shelf and a futuristic mural that framed our space. People were curious to learn more about Crowdstocking. Buyers, Brands, Investors and Influencers all stopped by to interact with us.
For the first time, we could physically walk “customers” through what a shopper sees when they are standing in front of a Crowdstocked grocery shelf. Because the show was less attended, we had more time to talk with people who stopped by, allowing us to establish memorable interactions so that once the show was over, they could put a face to the name when we reached out after the show.
We split up our team; while two of us walked and visited brands at their booth,the other two stayed to sell the future of grocery. For the two of us that walked the show, we were able to observe and taste a lot. All booths had individual samples and cleaning stations set up, so safety was never an issue. The first booth we stopped at was Milkadamia. They had three stations set up within their booth and multiple reps, which made it extremely easy to stop and talk with someone from the company. What was exciting was that we got to see the unexpected news of new products they were releasing. First was their ice cream line, with multiple flavors for guests to try. The second was the news of their skincare line that had just been released that day. They wanted to see people's reactions at the show if people were excited, and the overall interests, and most importantly, feedback. Now that the news broke of the new products, they told us that packaging was most likely going to change after the show but they wanted to introduce the line while there. It’s exciting to see a popular company whose products are focused on raw macadamia nuts are expanding and making their way into skincare.
Popular beverage company Vita Coco was also showcasing new products at the show. They recently released their MCT booster drinks in the late summer but this was the first time the product would have been around a large group of people. Vita Coco Boosted blends consist of coconut water, coconut cream, coconut MCT oil, B vitamins, and tea extract to give consumers a new, modern way to get their fix of all-day energy. Currently, the line has three different flavors. We talked with one of the marketing reps at their booth and it was mentioned that they would be taking on a repackaging project in the near future.
As you made your way around the show you could see brands with awards that they had received proudly displayed at their booths. Here are just a few of the winners of new product awards:
To view, the complete list click here.
Since the show was less attended, it really gave everyone the time to stop by booths multiple times throughout the trip. This allowed for relationships to build every day. You actually had the opportunity to stop and ask questions. Because we haven't been able to attend a trade show since the pandemic, it was apparent that people were making up for lost time. Brands wanted to tell you what they had been up to, share with you their wins or struggles, but mainly the focus was on the exciting plans they had for the future. Even buyers, investors, and influencers were excited to talk and learn more about changes made and overall growth companies had experienced.
The general takeaway from this trade show was that everyone was just happy to be there. Happy to feel a sense of accomplishment, normality, and excitement for the future. The show did a great job keeping the area safe and clean and everyone respected each other's personal space. So whether or not you attended, we look forward to hopefully sharing some joyful news with you: that this was the first of many shows to come. We look forward to hopefully seeing you at the next show, along with your products and team members!