Matthew Montgomery, executive vice president, Rodman Media Corp., noted that Lipscomb was with Nutraceuticals World since its launch in 1998. “Steve has represented NW at hundreds of conferences and exhibitions around the world during that time,” Montgomery said. “He always cared greatly for his client partners, the industry he served, and our magazine throughout his career. We at Rodman Media offer our sincere thanks and best wishes for the future. Steve will be missed by many.”
Back in 2008, for Nutraceuticals World’s 10th anniversary special edition, Lipscomb wrote the following article offering his perspective on the industry.
By Steve Lipscomb
In October 1998, shortly after joining Nutraceuticals World as its advertising representative, I had to renew my passport. I just recently received a new one in the mail for the HiE Show in Paris this November. Ten years went by really fast!
When editor Becky Wright tells someone about my background I’m always reminded of Ted Baxter from the old Mary Tyler Moore shows. “It all started in a little 5000 watt radio station in...”
I began selling advertising at a regional news weekly in Boston. I dealt mainly in the consumer electronics industry—remember HiFi and stereos? There weren’t any Walkmans, let alone iPods in those days. Because of our market’s demographics, we received advertising from companies that otherwise only advertised in national publications or “buff books.” It was a close-knit industry. Today’s huge companies such as Sony sold their products largely through independent sales agents, unlike today where there are mainly corporate salespeople. In fact, when Apple launched its first computer in New England, it was through a HiFi rep, and he placed their first advertisements.
When I started at Rodman Publishing the word “nutraceutical” was new to me. But the first thing I noticed as I started meeting people in the industry was how similarly close knit this industry seemed compared to the one I was coming from. Today, I’m working with people I worked with 10 years ago and have mostly enjoyed the good business and/or personal relationships I have established in that time. I remember clearly the first full-page ad I sold in our Premiere Issue. That company no longer exists but I am still dealing with the people at the ad agency that placed the ad. The second full-page ad I sold in that issue was to another company that has been gone for more than seven years, but I am still working with the individual who placed the ad, three companies later.
My first tradeshow was Inter-Bev in Dallas just prior to the release of our first issue. We opened the first boxes of Nutraceuticals World at the Waldorf Astoria and gave them out at Dr. Stephen DeFelice’s Foundation for Innovation in Medicine (FIM) conference. Later that same week we attended Supply Side West in Phoenix.
But probably my most memorable tradeshow was Natural Products Expo East in 2001. It took place just weeks after the September 11th terrorist attacks. Expo East had moved to Washington, D.C., after years in Baltimore, and there was a palpable sense of gloom over that show. Several exhibitors and attendees pulled out of the show, but the show did go on, business got done, and it was a (qualified) success despite the circumstances.
Even as I write this we still have four more tradeshows to attend before this year is out, including our 11th SupplySide West. There we will celebrate our 10 years of service to this great industry.
Our industry is made up largely of good, committed individuals who have made my job very enjoyable. Nutraceuticals World’s editors and their contributors put out a great product that also makes my job easier.
To those companies that have supported our efforts with your advertising—thank you! I think we have both been rewarded. To those who have not had the opportunity to work with us during these past 10 years, there is plenty of time to do so. We’ll be in touch.