Published on April 9th, 2014 | by Publisher, Natural Awakenings Central New Jersey0
The Mind Body Spirit Expo
There are a number of natural health and spiritual expos around, but the Mind Body Spirit Expo is certainly unique among them, with nearly two decades in the business and a presence in the holistic and spiritual community that is well known and respected country-wide.
The Mind Body Spirit Expo premiered as The Healthy Living & Alternative Expo (a name soon to change) on November 7, 1998, at the Philadelphia Convention Center. It was a two-day affair with special guest speaker Candace Pert. Remarkably, there had been no previous major expos devoted to natural health and spiritual matters in the Philadelphia area, despite the fact that the city is the fifth largest in the United States. Anne Khoury, the show’s founder and producer, stated at the time: “The expo offers both consumers and healthcare professionals the opportunity to take control of their health by learning more about alternative treatments. I see the expo as a means of providing information and education to a large number of people.”
The Jefferson Health System was a co-sponsor of the expo. Dr. Daniel Monti , director of the Jefferson-Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine, wrote that: “Events like the Healthy Living Expo provide the public with an opportunity to learn more about healthy living through educational workshops and interaction with various providers.”
Two years later, the expo, now name Mind Body Spirit, moved to the Valley Forge Convention Center, which would become its home for many years, garnering an ever-growing, enthusiastic attendee base devoted to attending the show each time it was held in the fall.
In 2010, Anne Khoury felt confident enough to expand the Mind Body Spirit Expo into New Jersey, turning a one-year event into two events per year. Ever on the search for the perfect venue, this year Anne found a highly suitable exhibition hall at the Garden State Exhibit Center in Somerset, where the expo will be held from May 2nd to May 4th. “I’m very much looking forward to Garden State Exhibit Center,” affirms Anne, “as the location is optimally accessible by car, being right off Interstate 287, and the area is far more appropriate to a holistic expo environment.”
Anne Khoury’s philosophy has been to provide a variety of exhibitors and speakers, but also top-name–and expensive–guest speakers in the field. “Unlike many other regional expos on the East Coast, we have striven to get top name speakers at our expos,” states Anne. “There is always the financial risk that some of these speakers won’t draw in enough people for their event to pay for their expenses, but so far it’s generally worked for us. Even if it’s a financial wash, the presence of these speakers makes our expos even more exciting to attendees.”
No regional expo can match the special guest list that has gone on stage at the Mind Body Spirit Expo, renowned speakers and authors like Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Don Miguel Ruiz, Marianne Williamson, James Van Praagh, Dan Millman, Neale Donald Walsch, Iyanla Vanzant, John Holland, Brian Weiss, and Doreen Virtue. The forthcoming expo at Somerset will have one of the expo’s strongest line-ups: Dr. Eben Alexander, Gabrielle Bernstein, Deborah King, Colette Baron-Reid and Gail Thackray.
Despite the success of the Mind Body Spirit Expos, Anne is never one to settle on a single formula and always strives to make each expo better than the last. “With each new expo, I ask myself what can I do to make it better and how can it be promoted to reach an even wider audience. “
The forthcoming expo on May 2-4 at Somerset will see an extra push toward yoga and entertainment, with, among other things, three days of free yoga classes, sitar music and a jaw-dropping performance by the Capoeira Brazilian Martial Arts group. At the same time, promotional efforts will include, for the first time, a special video crafted by the Mind Body Spirit Expo team. “We’ve done traditional TV commercials before, but this is a very different, more natural and exclusive video,” explains Anne. “I’m very excited to get the New Age-spouting puppet, Puppetji , involved in this video effort. I think people will be charmed and amused by the video which will bring out the fun and happening aspect of the Mind Body Spirit Expo.” The video is up for view at the Mind Body Spirit Expo website (www.MindBodySpiritExpo.com).
Constantly expanding in scope, ideas and energy, the Mind Body Spirit Expo also reflects the most contemporary health concerns and spiritual interests. If it’s at the forefront of the mind/body/spirit paradigm, one will find it at the Mind Body Spirit Expo, along with more traditional, alternative modalities that have proven successful through the years.
As Anne Khoury states, “The goal is to have people come away from the expo feeling spiritually uplifted and excited by life and it varied natural, healthy and transformative possibilities. Each expo should become a vital and warm memory in the minds of our attendees.”