Conference attendees will be equipped with the practical knowledge and industry resources needed to move an idea from the concept stage to a finished and marketable product. Attendees will be able to corroborate and refine business ideas, connecting with industry experts offering insights making businesses more efficient and profitable.
The educational sessions will bring together leading Michigan experts to help guide attendees through the following areas:
Working with a Distributor – Listen to and engage with a variety of food distribution companies based in Michigan who will outline their needs in order to distribute your products to the consumer who wants them.
Understanding the difference in retailers - From a panel of retail buyers, become more informed on how their requirements for retail selling should match up with your approach to garner more product sales
Marketing to Millennials - What are Millennials buying, how and why? Learn if your food product is a fit for this demographic or how you can make it be. Hear the latest research and reflect on what you might need to do next to generate more sales in this segment.
Mastering food photography for product promotion - Selling food products is all about stimulating your customers’ senses. Learn about food merchandising and food styling as the forerunner to the skills needed for food photography. Learn from the experts, so you too can take your own food photography and use these visuals for your product promotion in social media and other applications.
Social Entrepreneurship in the Agri-food Industry - Learn more about social entrepreneurship – what it is, how it works, and how businesses can create social change. Engage with a practicing Michigan social entrepreneur who supports farmers and her local food ecosystem.
Identifying what you need to know about the new FDA 2016 Nutrition Facts - With the release of the new Nutrition Facts panel last July and the compliance dates set for 2018 or 2019, depending on company sales, come learn what’s new and why. What influence, if any, on the existing Health Claims will also be reviewed.
Exploring your options for business financing from traditional to equity resources - Financing your business from start-up money to long-term strategy often requires reaching out to lenders, angel investors, venture capitalists and others. Learn about how these options work and when your company’s finances might fit.
Managing product costing templates and other related business costs - Business expenses are an on-going concern from product pricing to budgets and larger purchases. Learn what tools and technology can lighten the task and help you to manage these costs
Preparing for sound record keeping - Business structure, accounting, and taxes are important business items that affect profitability in a food business. This presentation will review all of these in a helpful, practical manner.
Understanding how the new MSU Food Processing and Innovation Center (FPIC) can help your processing and production needs - Starting in January 2018, the Product Center will be managing the leasing of the FPIC to companies for processing and producing food products. This location has flexible food processing options to create innovative products for exploring new markets. Come and learn about what this facility has to offer.
New this year – an Open Space Discussion where attendees can post questions or topics of interest on the Open Space Wall Board for networking and informal discussions. Facilitators will monitor the activity throughout the day and coordinate the facilitation for inspiring and reflective comments from all who participate.
To see a full list of sessions please click on the session details below. You will need to select the sessions you want to participate in during registration.
Early registration for the conference is $90.00. The conference registration fee includes breakfast, lunch, and educational sessions, digital copies of all presentations and reference materials. On November 2, 2017 the conference registration fee goes up to $120.00 per person.