Farmers Market Focus at the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market EXPO

The annual Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market EXPO is taking place in Grand Rapids on December 6-8, 2016. The EXPO features 70+ educational sessions for farmers of every crop and a huge trade show with more than 450 vendors.

MIFMA is again helping to host the Farmers Market Focus sessions on Thursday, December 8, with featured speaker Colleen Donovan of the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources at Washington State University. Colleen will be presenting two different sessions:

FARMERS MARKETS: PEAT, REPEAT, AND SAY IT AGAIN – MARKETING YOUR SHOPPERS WON’T MISS
Thursday morning, 9 a.m.
For many busy farmers, marketing slips down the long list of other demands. And yet, more than ever, there is real competition for “local foods,” shoppers’ attention and sales. Taking the shopper perspective, this workshop provides tools to maximize the impact of marketing that you’re already doing. We will also discuss how to select strategic marketing priorities for the coming season.

FARMERS MARKETS: THINKING BEYOND THE BLACK SHARPIE – CREATING GREAT FARMERS MARKET SIGNAGE TO INCREASE SALES, INFORM CUSTOMERS, KEEP MANAGERS HAPPY, AND OTHER MIRACLES
Thursday afternoon, 1 p.m.
In today’s competitive marketplace, your farmers market signs, product displays, and booth design significantly impact your farmers market sales. This workshop shares the core principles of signage and provides loads of examples from the Pacific Northwest. Participants will leave with ideas for next season and practical steps to get there without breaking your budget.

There is an opportunity for four 15-minute consultations with presenter Colleen Donovan, provided on a first-come, first-served basis, which can be arranged by contacting Emily Syrja, MIFMA Office Administrator, at office@mifma.org.

A special Thursday-only registration rate of $45 includes these sessions and trade show admission. Learn more on page 19 of the EXPO brochure, or register online now.