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Supplement Perspectives

Want Answers to Your IP Questions? Pack Your Bags

Article-Want Answers to Your IP Questions? Pack Your Bags

trade association
Pete Croatto says tradeshows can provide the knowledge you crave, but not in the ways you expect.

Here at Supplement Perspectives, some topics are easier to write about than others. Intellectual property does not fall under the "easy" category.

This is not to disparage the fine work of the folks who have covered the ins and outs of IP this month. I realize, however, that you may still have unanswered questions or feel that your issues have not been properly addressed.

There is a solution. Another trade show is around the corner: Informas own Ingredient Marketplace, taking place April 7 to 9 in sunny Orlando, Florida.

How is a tradeshowespecially one organized by the company you work forgoing to help me with my problem, Pete? Is this an advertorial? Explain your logic! 


Its easy to get into a rhythm when attending tradeshows. I know I did when I covered them regularly over at Vitamin Retailer Magazine. It went something like this: Morning seminar. Canvassing booths for news. Appointment with valued source. Lunch out of free samples or heat lamp hamburger from the convention hall cafeteria. Complementary drink at sponsored event. Collapse into hotel bed. Repeat. You have yours as well, and I hope it isnt as exhausting as mine was. 

Really, what any good tradeshow providesaside from loading up on brain-shaped tennis balls for the kidsis the opportunity to gain information. And not just from seminars and a pile of handouts. These events are convivial, chummy. Tradeshows reek of camaraderie. So its the perfect opportunity to sidle up to a colleague at a cocktail hour and (politely) ask for some advice. Or to give that attorney whose presentation you enjoyed a business card, and an offer to get coffee. Or to find that consultant who can bring your company to the next level.

The supplement industry is very small. And its one under constant attack from politicians, government agencies, mainstream media, and sometimes its own members. (Its only a matter of time before the FDA and FTC hammer another callous moron for some face-palming violation, one that will cause Steve Mister and Dan Fabricant to patiently explain to reporters from coast to coast how, yes, supplements actually are regulated.) Being a responsible, self-aware memberand one who shows their face at meaningful gatheringsgets you into the club.

Help is not a one-way street. If someone gives you advice, then youre honor- bound to return the favor down the road. This exchange of information keeps the supplement industry strong. How else do you explain the existence of this blog? Or why tradeshows get bigger and bigger every year? Or how this industry keeps surviving?

It cant all be free pens and logo-intensive t-shirts. Im sure of it.

TAGS: Regulatory
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