Aug 20, 2021
Looking forward to the 2021 Great Lakes EXPO

New ‘Genius Bar’ stage, return of social hour at in-person EXPO

The Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable & Farm Market EXPO and Michigan Greenhouse Growers Expo looks forward to welcoming exhibitors and attendees back to an in-person event in 2021.

Set to take place from Dec. 7-9 the EXPO will be returning to the Amway Grand Plaza and DeVos Place — a staple for EXPO attendees for many years running.

“Amway Grand Plaza and DeVos Place staff are excited for the return of in-person meetings and the Great Lakes EXPO in 2021,” Andrea Scheckel, assistant director of convention services for Amway Grand Plaza, said. “What better way to bring industry leaders together than to end the trade show days with a social hour, including beverages and light snacks. We look forward to serving you again.”

New to the in-person Great Lakes EXPO is the “Genius Bar” stage. Located at the back wall of the DeVos Place exhibit halls, the stage will play host to a variety of experts in fruit and vegetable production. Each expert will be available for 45 minutes to answer any questions you may have in their respective areas of expertise, and can help troubleshoot problems on your farm.

“We’re excited to include a stage in this year’s setup,” Lauren Callahan, ASM global event manager for DeVos Place, said. “I’m confident that the (Genius Bar) stage will be an excellent enhancement for attendees.”

Additionally, the “Genius Bar” stage will also events such as the Fruit & Veg 40 Under 40 awards, presented by Fruit Growers News and Vegetable Growers News, a vegetable industry event, including retirements, and will see the return of the “EXPO social hour” taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon.

Other additions to the 2021 EXPO will include plenty of engaging activities for exhibitors and attendees — from a photo booth and bounce house for family enjoyment, to locally constructed art displays throughout the venue, crafted by local artists.

Farm Marketing Keynote: Effective marketing for your business

Photo: Michael Kilpatrick

Michael Kilpatrick is the owner of Growing Farmers/In the Field Media LLC and a farmer, educator and inventor who lives in Ohio. He’s the host of the top rated Thriving Farmer Podcast as well as the Thriving Farmer Summit series, which has been viewed by over a quarter million farmers. He’s managed large farms and businesses, consulted for industry experts around the world, and spoken at dozens of conferences.

At the 2021 Great Lakes EXPO, Kilpatrick will be presenting the Farm Marketing keynote — touching on the psychology behind buyers, why everyone is not your customer, and ways to know whether or not your marketing is effective. The end goal for growers is to help them discover their ideal customers.

“We’ll evaluate your current marketing messaging, help you apply it to your website or social media, and talk about ways to make it more effective,” Kilpatrick said. “This (keynote) has something for everyone, high level to beginners, with plenty of tricks sprinkled in for even the most savvy marketer.”

While details are still being finalized for the educational sessions and schedule of events, the dates for the 2021 EXPO are set for Dec. 7-9. For information on the 2021 EXPO, registration and educational session details and more, visit


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