In The News

Pennsylvania Convention Center Hosts Largest Trade Show Since the Pandemic with Enhanced Health and Safety Protocols


Published: Oct 6, 2021

This is the first time that the show, Natural Products Expo East, was held in Philadelphia, providing the city with opportunities for economic growth.

PHILADELPHIA --- The Pennsylvania Convention Center recently hosted its largest trade show since the start of the pandemic – Natural Products Expo East – which took place from September 22nd to 25th.  

Natural Products Expo East is the industry’s largest trade show on the east coast and features the hottest products in organic and natural foods; clean beauty and home products; and supplements and ingredients. After several years of planning and the cancellation of its 2020 event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this was the first time the show was hosted in Philadelphia.

Show organizer Informa Markets’ New Hope Network prioritizes local community engagement and sustainable event standards and collaborated closely with the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Pennsylvania Convention Center, and other stakeholders to ensure the event positively impacted the city.

“Prior to the re-opening of the facility to customers and event attendees, the Center developed a comprehensive facility re-opening plan and implemented significant infrastructure improvements such as augmented air handling systems with upgraded filtration, UV handrail sterilization on all escalators, and touchless restroom renovations, among others, to enable us to meet or exceed health and safety standards,” said John J. McNichol, President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority. “With the steady return of in-person events to the Center, we are certain that our efforts will inspire client and attendee confidence in the Center’s commitment to the health and safety of each guest.”

In a typical year, Expo East is estimated to bring a $26 million positive impact to the city’s economy. In addition, the event provided employment for an estimated 1,000 people. Show organizers were committed to developing relationships with and supporting local organizations, businesses, and artists. This included a partnership to donate leftover food and beverage products from the event to local food rescue Philabundance as well as supporting Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia.

This year, Expo East had more than 15,000 qualified industry professionals registered for the event and featured over 800 exhibiting companies. As the first major trade show to be held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center since COVID-19 event capacity limits were lifted in Philadelphia, the Center, in collaboration with show organizers, implemented a range of safety and sanitization protocols to ensure the health and safety of attendees.

“Conventions and events hosted by the Center are significant contributors to our region’s economy,” said Gregory J. Fox, Esq., Chairman of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority. “As the city continues its recovery efforts, the Pennsylvania Convention Center and our partners remain committed to attracting and retaining events, such as Expo East, that provide valuable opportunities for employment and revenue generation for the city.”

As an ASM Global managed facility, the Pennsylvania Convention Center developed its Reopening Operating Framework during the pandemic, based on the principles and protocols included in ASM Global’s VenueShield program, a best-in-class program developed in partnership with leading professionals, industry experts, and public health officials in response to the pandemic. That framework, coupled with the Center’s investment in environmental hygiene technologies led to the facility receiving the Global Bio-risk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR accreditation, which demonstrates that the Center follows strict protocols for bio-risk situations and is prepared and committed to operating safely.

The Center also recently implemented a vaccination policy for its workforce which was executed in two phases. During phase one, all staff were required to either be fully vaccinated or provide a negative COVID-19 test within the previous 72 hours. Phase two, which went into effect on October 1st, requires all staff to be fully vaccinated. This policy was implemented not only to aid in the overall recovery of the industry, but also in response to many event customers, such as Expo East, increasingly implementing their own health and safety policies surrounding vaccinations and testing.

“Hosting a safe and successful event this year was our top priority and we implemented extensive protocols to ensure a healthy and positive environment for the Natural Products industry, our staff and vendor partners alike. We were able to effectively implement these enhanced health and safety measures in large part due to our strong partnerships with the many teams and individuals at the Pennsylvania Convention Center,” said Lacey Gautier, Group Show Director, Informa Markets’ New Hope Network. “The support we received from the Philadelphia community made this event possible and we are thrilled and honored to call the city home.”

Natural Products Expo East 2022 will take place from September 28 to October 1 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

About New Hope Network

New Hope Network is at the forefront of the healthy lifestyle products industry. With solutions for the complete supply chain from manufacturers, retailers/distributors, service providers and ingredient suppliers, the network offers a robust portfolio of content, events, data, research and consultative services. Through its mission of growing healthy markets to bring more health to more people, New Hope Network helps businesses identify the people, products, partnerships and trends that create better opportunities and connections. For more information visit www.newhope.com

 

About Informa Markets

Informa Markets creates platforms for industries and specialist markets to trade, innovate and grow. We provide marketplace participants around the globe with opportunities to engage, experience and do business through face-to-face exhibitions, targeted digital services and actionable data solutions. We connect buyers and sellers across more than a dozen global verticals, including Pharmaceuticals, Food, Medical Technology and Infrastructure. As the world's leading market-making company, we bring a diverse range of specialist markets to life, unlocking opportunities and helping them to thrive 365 days of the year. For more information, please visit www.informamarkets.com.

About the Pennsylvania Convention Center

The Pennsylvania Convention Center is located in Center City Philadelphia at the heart of the city's many cultural offerings and world-class dining and entertainment scene. Managed by ASM Global, the Center is the 14th largest facility in the nation and features one of the largest exhibit spaces and ballrooms in the Northeastern U.S. For more information, visit www.paconvention.com.

About ASM Global

ASM Global is the world’s leading venue management and services company. The company was formed by the combination of AEG Facilities and SMG, global leaders in venue and event strategy and management. The company’s elite venue network spans five continents, with a portfolio of more than 300 of the world’s most prestigious arenas, stadiums, convention and exhibition centers, and performing arts venues. From Aberdeen to Anchorage, and Sydney to Stockholm, its venues connect people through the unique power of live experiences. For more information, please visit www.asmglobal.com.

 

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Media Contacts:

Jude-Anne Spencer-Phillip, jphillip@paconvention.com 

Pete Peterson, ppeterson@bellevuepr.com