Early this year, the Natural Products Association and New Hope Natural Media announced a new name for the tradeshow and conference they produce in partnership: Natural Products Association MarketPlace.

The show, previously called Natural MarketPlace, has been the NPA’s official tradeshow and conference since 1938. In a joint letter John Gay, president and CEO of NPA and Fredrik M. Linder, president of NHNM invited the natural products industry to, “join us in supporting our industry by taking an active role in this year’s show and the association’s initiatives and advocacy efforts.”

Though the partnership—we’ll call it an engagement—began with the show in 2009, the name change appears to be the vow that fully realigns the show with the goals and ideals of the association. Retailers and manufacturers came together to celebrate as NPA hosted a cocktail reception at the NHNM booth at Natural Products Expo West last month, and the feeling about the show’s new direction was clearly positive.

Like a marriage, this union has the potential to bring a variety of voices together and strengthen their collective opportunities. Richard League of independent store Mother’s Cupboard said, “it wasn't too big and it wasn't too small, but just the right size to get things done… you could spend some quality time with influential people.” With this type of atmosphere, many companies and brands find the opportunity to launch to a receptive audience of independent retailers at this event and are born into the natural products family. The placement of this business opportunity hand-in-hand with NPA’s annual meetings and education sessions should provide a great place to learn about and join with the forces of an association celebrating its 75th anniversary of helping protect natural businesses.

NPA MarketPlace will be held this year at the Las Vegas Convention Center June 23-25, 2011. Learn more about attending or exhibiting at NPAMarketPlace.com and visit NPAinfo.org for details about the Natural Products Association.