For over twenty years Symprove have been testing and refining our product, which has now been available to customers for the last four years. A few years ago, and with hundreds of anecdotal positive responses from clients using our product to help resolve their digestive issues we grew a little impatient, and decided it was time to take Symprove to market. One of the first things we did was take a stand at CamExpo – an annual show that brings together the whole natural and integrated healthcare community. After all, Symprove is food supplement, not a drug. It is completely natural and we had enough evidence to know there were no negative side effects. It was time to get going…
We had a large double blind, placebo controlled, clinical standard, investigator led, NHS, study underway in the background – but we were done with waiting. We believed in our product and by this time already had a small fan club of people getting benefit from using Symprove. We wanted to start seeking out and connecting with nutritionists before we had our study result. We were confident the results would be positive and we needed to find some people to tell about it!
I’ve had few more soul-destroying weekends than that first trip to CamExpo in 2010. Hardly anybody came to our stand, and of those that did most were highly skeptical of probiotics having any benefit. A few people listened politely – for which I will forever be grateful. Thanks Dianne @4yourgoodhealth, Petronella @PetronellaDiet, Sue Simmons and Karen (who gave me a particularly hard grilling!).
Those early trade shows @AllergyShow and @camexpo were difficult for us. We had personally invested over so much over such a long time and apparently there was very little interest from potential customers – we were failing the only real world test. But how quickly things have changed. Those few people that did listen helped us to get the snowball rolling and we’ve been gaining momentum ever since. To be honest, it doesn’t matter how often I make the wrong business decision, jump the gun or over invest in a stand and lose a weekend of my life, there is one thing I know I can rely on. Symprove just keeps on working and drawing in more and more fans to our growing club.
When we went to CamExpo last year, (2013), we had benefitted from consistently good press linked to our ongoing R&D, some of the skepticism had gone away and our stand was swarmed for the entire weekend. We made some fantastic connections and sold a lot of Symprove!
For this year’s CamExpo confidence was sky high. Fresh from a product re-launch in September and the recent publication in the Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics (AP&T) of the NHS Kings College Study on Symprove for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), we were promoting a new 12 week programme, and on top of this we had lined up Vanya Gant – Senior Consultant in Microbiology and Infection at UCLH, to speak on the potential benefits of probiotics on the Sunday.
In the end, footfall for the 2014 CamExpo was disappointing, in stark contrast to 2013. A different venue, terrible weather – who really knows why? But, irrespective of this – these events are no longer soul destroying for us. Our sales are growing month to month, people know who we are, they give us positive feedback, and they’ve heard or read about us somewhere. Many people approach us to tell us that they’ve used the product with positive results, or that they think it might help with this, or that…and were wondering if we’ve considered testing the product on a list of indications …and so it rolls on, trying to balance maintaining a commercially viable business with continued investment in research and development.