Jul 14, 2017
Planning underway for 2017 Great Lakes EXPO

Planning is underway for the education programs, trade show and special events for the 2017 Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market EXPO and Michigan Greenhouse Growers EXPO. The two conventions will again be held concurrently on Dec. 5, 6 and 7 at the DeVos Place Convention Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan. More than 4,000 growers, farm marketers, industry associates and family members registered for the two conferences in 2016.

The Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market EXPO gets bigger and offers more each year. This will be the 17th annual Great Lakes EXPO. In 2001, the Michigan State Horticultural Society and Michigan Vegetable Council combined their shows into one large event for fruit and vegetable growers and farm marketers.

Will Bristol from Romeo, Michigan, is serving as president of the Great Lakes EXPO’s board of directors this year.

“With industry leading educational sessions and trade show, the board is committed to making the EXPO the premier show in North America for fruit growers, vegetable growers, and farm marketers,” Bristol said.

The Michigan Greenhouse Growers EXPO is held concurrently and in coordination with the annual Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable, and Farm Market EXPO.

The Greenhouse Growers EXPO is coordinated by the Floriculture Team at Michigan State University (MSU) and is sponsored by the Metropolitan Detroit Flower Growers Association and the Western Michigan Greenhouse Association.

Each year, the educational program is developed to address issues of importance as identified by greenhouse growers and the MSU Floriculture Team. Presentations include research-based information on pest management of greenhouse crops, propagation techniques, plant culture, and greenhouse management.

Growers also serve on panels in which they share their insights and experiences on specific topics.

“The Michigan Greenhouse Growers EXPO is an event that provides industry leaders and their staff an opportunity to coordinate with vendors and educational professionals on the challenges that their businesses face,” said Scott Stiles, president of the Western Michigan Greenhouse Association. In addition, the EXPO holds educational programs on important issues that address: production, marketing, efficiencies and management of our greenhouse businesses.”

MSU Extension works with the sponsoring organizations to plan the education programs for both conferences. All sessions in both conferences are open to all attendees. This year’s education programs will offer three full days of education sessions and workshops covering fruit and vegetable crops, greenhouse production and marketing, farm marketing ideas and issues, as well as a number of general topics of interest to growers. More than 70 educational sessions and workshops will be offered over the three days of the two conferences.

Once again, a pre-conference bus tour for farm marketers is being offered. Last year, 164 people from 22 states and Canada participated in the tour. This year’s tour will be held on Monday, Dec. 4. This is a great opportunity to see and learn marketing ideas and to network with other farm marketers from around the U.S. and Canada.

Last year’s trade show had a record 456 companies and organizations exhibiting products and services for growers and farm marketers. This year’s trade show will again include a separate area for farm marketing exhibitors. The trade show is open to the attendees of both conferences. The EXPO’s trade show is one of the largest offered anywhere specifically for fruit, vegetable and greenhouse growers and farm marketers.

The Amway Grand Plaza Hotel is headquarters hotel for the EXPO. Nearly all of the Amway’s rooms are blocked for the EXPO. At time of printing, the Amway is sold out on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. Other downtown hotels with room blocks and special convention rates are the Courtyard by Marriott Downtown, JW Marriott, Holiday Inn Downtown, Homewood Suites by Hilton Downtown, and Hampton Inn and Suites Downtown.

Since the downtown hotels fill early, several hotels north of the downtown area will be offering a bus shuttle during the conferences this year. A complete list of hotels offering convention rates is provided on the EXPO’s website.

As information on the 2017 Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market EXPO and Michigan Greenhouse Growers EXPO becomes available, it will be posted at www.GLEXPO.com.


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