The MSU Product Center is pleased to announce the ninth annual Making It In Michigan Conference and Premier Specialty Food Marketplace Trade Show to be held Wednesday, November 16th from 7:30AM – 4:30PM at the Lansing Center.
“In supporting this year’s theme of ‘Taste the Future’ we will be presenting a comprehensive series of educational sessions with forward thinking strategies for long-term success,” states Brenda Reau, Senior Associate Director, MSU Product Center. “We are also pleased to expand the trade show this year to over 200 vendors that will be sampling Michigan-made products,” says Reau.
This year’s keynote speakers are Mike and Denise Busley, owners of Grand Traverse Pie Company. They will discuss the company’s 20-year history and how their family has influenced decisions and played a role in its success and future plans.
The one-day event features morning educational sessions that will concentrate on different business stages and cover strategies for the following:
Starting Your Business:
• Regulatory and licensing for the beginning food entrepreneur
• Farmers markets – what do they offer to my business
• Preparing for sound record keeping
• Keys to FSMA compliance in putting together a food safety plan
• Branding your product and marketing your image
Growing Your Business:
• Making sense of social media and other communication innovations jargon
• Becoming retailer savvy to meet customer needs
• Financing beyond the bank loan – alternative choices
The Mature Business:
• Determining if imports and exports will be a good fit for your food business
• Navigating legal issues in hiring employees
Conference participants will also have time to network with the winners of this year’s MSU Product Center awards and learn from their success stories. Awards will be presented for Entrepreneur of the Year, Start-up to Watch, Best Barrier Buster, Value-Added Agriculture and the Director’s Award. MSU Product Center innovation counselors and staff members, Product Center clients, business consultants, regulatory officials and food and farming groups will also be available to provide in-depth information and counseling.
The $100 per person conference registration fee includes breakfast, lunch, and educational sessions, digital copies of all presentations and reference materials and admission to the Marketplace trade show.
The Marketplace trade show in the afternoon will feature over 200 new and existing businesses that will be showcasing and sampling their Michigan-made food and agricultural products to the general public and Michigan-based food buyers. This year will also feature beer and wine vendors for the first time. The trade show is free to the general public.
More information and conference registration is available at www.productcenter.msu.edu/miim. Those interested in attending can also call Trina Trefil at 517-353-7185 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.