What to Expect as a Making It In Michigan Trade Show Vendor

March 22, 2024

Learn what vendors can expect from their experience at the Making It In Michigan Trade Show.

Video Transcript

 Welcome everyone to the "Making it in Michigan" webinar hosted by MSU and the MSU Product Center. The MSU is an Affirmative Action Equal Opportunity Employer, Michigan State University programs, and materials are open to all without regard to race, color, national, origin, sex, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, or veteran status. So you are attending the "What to Expect as a Making It In Michigan Trade Show Vendor." Your hosts are Becky DeYoung, and myself, Diane Longanbach. We are Product Center Counselors. So what is the MSU Product Center? For those of you that aren't familiar with the MSU Product Center, we help Michigan entrepreneurs and businesses to develop and launch new product and service ideas into food, ag, and bioenergy markets. So the Product Center facilitates innovation by customizing services to each client. - [Becky] Good evening, everyone, my name is Becky DeYoung. I am an Innovation Counselor for the MSU Product Center. I primarily cover Oakland and Macomb counties in other areas in Southeast Michigan. I have been a Product Center Counselor since 2009, and I think I've attended almost every single "Making It In Michigan Show," we've ever had. So I'm very excited. This is one of my favorite events of the year, better than Christmas, and I have children. So we really want everyone to be well-versed when it comes to being a vendor. We want you to know what to have. We want you to know what to bring. We want you to know how to show, and we want you to know how to shine. Registration is now open, yay! But are you really ready to be a vendor? Do you have a retail-ready product? Do you have available inventory? Do you have distribution? Do you have marketing materials? If you have answered any of these questions with a No, please contact your counselor if you are a MSU Product Center client or maybe, just maybe you need to be a conference attendee instead and just come and learn. Truly come and learn. It's a wonderful day of networking and seeing what's new in the markets and tasting everybody's wonderful products. So, again, if you have answered no to any of the questions, please consider before signing up to be a vendor, okay? Registration will close at midnight on April 5th. After April 5th, we will be able to take any more vendors. Before April 3rd, you can get a refund on your registration minus $50 for administrative fees, but after April 3rd, there are no refunds available. None, okay? And this year, as well as last year, our Events Management Team is taking the reins of our conference and they're doing a fabulous job getting the Lansing Center ready for all of us. Thanks to our partners, right? We have limited space, MEDC, MDARD, Pure Michigan Business Connect, and the sponsors. We have wonderful sponsors this year. The Booth Rents are $225, okay? High-speed Wi-Fi and electricity is available, but at an additional fee, and you do have to contact the Lansing Center for either one of those services, okay, before the event, please. Before the event, if you need electricity, if you need us high-speed Wi-Fi, please sign up ahead of time. They will come to your booth to make sure that everything is working properly the day of the event. Okay, so also, please have two or three people in your booth. There is no additional fee for any extra people. Just don't come with a barrage of 10 people and try and squeeze 'em into your booth. Two to three is sufficient for staffing and for handing out your samples. It also gives the opportunity for those who want to walk around the Trade Show, see what's out there, taste all the yummy food, and really network amongst the other entrepreneurs that are there at the show. Please note that the conference in the morning is a separate fee altogether, all right? So if you are a vendor, you will not be able to come into the Conference, okay? The Conference is an additional fee as of last. Like last year, we are having set up available the night before the event, which I highly recommend because it's on the slow side, and you can take your time, you can get your booth set up. I think normally, we open around six or seven. You can come and set up your booth and not worry about it for until you have to tear it down the next day. As far as parking, parking is not included in your booth fee, okay? Just so you know it, parking is the vendor's responsibility to pay, and the vendor's responsibility to find parking. Okay, we do have a map that does show various parking lots in and around the Lansing Center, but we honestly beg everyone to please, please, please, please unload quickly, unload quietly, and as quick as you can, move your vehicle because the parking area and the setup area to come into the Lansing Center is very small, okay, so we want you in and out. Oh, let's make that again in and out. So are you ready? Right, are you ready for this event? This is the best event in the world. Paperwork for the event. Do you have a copy of your application? Do you have a copy of anything that was mailed to you, that was emailed to you? Do you have a copy of your food license, whether it is local County Health Department, MDARD, FDA, USDA, please have a copy of your license. If you use a co-packer, please have the co-packer's information on hand, first and last name, location of the co-packer, and any contact information in case you are asked for it, all right, you also wanna know the contact information for your MDARD Inspectors, for your local County Health Department Inspector, or even your USDA inspector, names and contact information are crucial. Do you have your own name badges, maybe company clothing with some logo on it? Please, feel free to wear whatever you would like. We do provide very generic, very, very, very generic name tags that will be available that you can use to make up if you do forget your name badges. But we highly recommend that you bring your name badges, right? Just for success. Change. We suggest that this is a direct sell show, meaning that people will be allowed to sell their products at their booth. Okay? So if you are planning on selling to the public, which again, this is primarily a networking show, but we do have some direct sales available, please have the proper change. If you are accepting cash, if you are accepting PayPal, Venmo, anything through the phone, that's fine. If you need your Square Reader, that might require high-speed internet, okay? So inside the Lansing Center, it's very loud, it's very difficult to hear phones ringing. It's difficult to get a signal sometimes. So, please, make sure that you have everything ready the night before so you are not scrambling the day of hauling options. All right, do you have a cart? Do you have a wagon? Do you have a Dolly? Do you have a hand truck? There's multiple names for multiple forms of hauling product. The Lansing Center does have a few carts available, okay, for everybody to share, but keep in mind, there's going to be over 150 vendors coming into that show the day of, with all their setups. So it's first-come-first-serve with the carts. We ask that you use them in a timely manner. Load 'em up, get 'em to your booth, unload, get them back to the loading dock for the next vendor. Please be conscientious of your other vendors that are trying to set up. We highly recommend banners, retractable banners, maybe a backdrop, tablecloth, all of these are a sign of success, okay? You are branding your product possibly for the first time. You wanna make sure that your booth represents the premium product that you intend on bringing, okay? We do provide a table, just so you know, there is an eight-foot table in the 10-by-10 spot, but again, we highly recommend that maybe a banner, a retractable banner, or a backdrop could be used for the conference. Now, keep in mind, if you have a retractable banner, it must stay within the confines of your 10-by-10 spot, okay? Nothing can be in the hallways or in the walkways because of food, the Fire Code, okay? So the Fire Department does walk the show. They make sure that nobody is sticking out of their booth and where it's a possible threat. Any kind of tents from Farmer's Markets. Maybe you have a branded tent, unfortunately, you cannot, and I repeat this strongly, you cannot set up a tent for your booth. The Lansing Center will not allow it, because if there were to be a fire sprinkler system in the ceiling, would be unable to get to the fire if it was under the tent. So please, please, please, no tents, no draping over the booth, nothing like that. Just stay within your 10-by-10 spot, maybe with your branded tablecloth or your backdrop. But again, please, please, no tents. Also, we want you to be conscientious of collecting company information, right? People use QR codes to get to their websites. Maybe snap a picture of a business card with your phone. Look on Facebook, on Instagram, on TikTok. Please, utilize all these methods of collecting information because this is a great day to get that information. And it might not be available the next day, because whoever comes to the show, we do not know, we try and collect names, but there will be people that will come in to walk the Trade Show that maybe did not register, and for maybe a buyer, but they still wanna attend the show, okay? So make sure you're collecting your information, business cards, so forth. There's been a lot of discussion between a Sell Sheet and a Price List, okay? The Sell Sheet itself is two-sided, okay? On the front is a beautiful four-color, beautiful food grade taken picture of your product, product or products, okay? On the backside, it would be all of your technical information, maybe your company background or bio. If you have a nutritional panel, you want to be seen, if you want the ingredient statement to be seen, if you have your technical as far as how many cases fit on a pallet, how many products are in a case, and, of course, the contact information for your business or for you personally. Everything of like that nature goes on the back. Now, a Price List is a black-and-white one-sided piece of paper, okay? That shows the price per unit, the price per case, pallet dimensions, again, if available. But the reason why we'd say have the Sell Sheet separate from the Price List, meaning that you have no prices on your Sell Sheet, you are running four-color copies. I haven't even seen how much they are lately. They have to be $1,50, if not more, $2. If you have a price increase, you will not be able to change your Sell Sheet if your prices are on your Sell Sheet. If you keep your Price List as a Word Document stored in your computer, right, you can change your pricing structure at any time with no harm, no foul, all right? So, Sell Sheet versus Price List. They are two very different things. And here's just an example, all right? So we have this beautiful Gatorade, we have beautiful Dole, see the vibrant colors coming through, right? And then we see a black-and-white Price List. This is what you would find stapled to the Sell Sheet. All right? You maybe not have that many products, that's fine. I don't care if you have two or three items on there, that's fine. Keep it black and white. So it's very easily editable, E-D-I-T, editable at any given moment, all right? Because we know prices are fluctuating so drastically. Now, you know, your ingredient costs are going up, your packaging costs are going up, everything's going up. We never see it come down. We just always see it go up. So please, please, please do your due diligence, black and white for prices, Sell Sheet for success. Do you have all your necessary tools for proper product sampling behind your booth, right? Do you have your napkins, your toothpicks? Maybe you're serving utensils, your gloves, your aprons, maybe hats. If you have long hair, please have your hair pulled back and constraint. If you need ice, ice will not be available at the Lansing Center, okay? You will not be able to buy ice at the Lansing Center. Fortunately, there is Capital City Market across the street, kind of diagonally from the Lansing Center. If you are missing any of your supplies, we highly recommend you visit the Capital City Market, okay? But, again, please make sure you have all your proper tools for proper sampling. This is a must, okay? So your cleaning materials. We suggest either sanitizing wipes or disinfecting wipes. There are two different kinds, right? Your sanitizing wipes, you can find at Gordon's. You can find at Restaurant Depot, you can find it at a wholesaler, where Clorox wipes are at your local Meyer, Kroger, whatever, and they're disinfecting wipes. The sanitizing wipes actually kills the bacteria on your surface using chemicals. It's not intended to kill viruses by no means. It's only for bacteria where disinfecting kills your viruses and bacteria on your surfaces using chemicals, right? So there's two different types of wipes. If you are sampling intensely, right, so you have this huge, huge display and your sampling salads, your sampling food, hot food, whatever, portable hand-washing stations. I highly recommend that if you have a elaborate setup for sampling, that you also have a portable hand-washing station in your booth that comprises of an anti-bacterial soap pump, a roll of paper towel, a catch basin, which is normally like a five-gallon bucket at home Depot, wherever. And a free-flowing water dispenser, meaning that you flip the water on, you wash your hands, you dry your hands with the paper towel, you turn the water spout down, all right? If you intend on doing a lot of these shows, and you're a newbie, and you're just now getting into the game, there is a... There is this really cool hand-washing station available online on the Igloo website purchase $49,99. $49,99, right? So if you're gonna do the shows, I would highly suggest investing in a hand-washing station. So we talked about utilizing the whole booth, right? So it is only a 10-by-10 space, guys, it is not a very big space. You have a eight-foot-skirted table with a tablecloth you can easily overlay with your company logos, anything like that. Utilize the whole table. There is pipe and drape. There are dividers in between the booths, so people will know where one booth starts and one booth stops. But, again, utilize your whole booth. Remember that people are all at all different eye levels. So you don't want everything flat on your table. Maybe get some crates and make things like a little bit of a 3D effect, where there's, some are sitting up a little higher, maybe some somewhere on a rack. But, again, everything that you bring has to stay within your 10-by-10 space. This is a big one, okay? Respecting your neighbor's space, please stay within your booth dimensions to abide by the Fire Code. Introduce yourself to those around you, right? And that's why we say bring an extra person, bring an extra two people. So you can walk with a show. You can introduce yourself, you can see what else is out in the marketplace. You can eat. I mean, the food, the amount of food that people bring is insane, all right? We're gonna talk about that in a little bit. But also, network, collaborate, share. This is the day to do it. Network, collaborate, and share. This is such a positive day, guys, it is a positive day. The energy in the Lansing Center is explosive. It just feels so good to see everybody that maybe we haven't seen in a while. We're getting to see people again, and we're getting to hug people again. So, again, please respect your neighbor's space. Stay within your booth's dimension. Introduce yourself around, share, network, and collaborate. These are just some fun pictures, right, from last year's event, and I threw in a couple of extra ones in there. So, again, see all the colors, see all the dimensions, see all the setups. It's at every eye level. I'm at six-one, so I want a higher eye level than somebody who's five-two that can look at a normal table and see everything. So, again, using all the dimensions of your booth, make sure that you have very colorful displays ready to rock and roll. Also, at this conference, our friends at the Pure Michigan Business Connect and MDARD, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development have what's called their Buyer-Supplier Matchmaking Event. Okay, so what this is that Pure Michigan Business Connect, PMBC, and MDARD, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Welcome to the world of acronyms, everybody, just be prepared. They host a one-on-one matchmaking event, okay? So it brings the purchasers, including grocers, retailers, distributors, institutional buyers, everybody who is looking for a Michigan-made product, whether it be a food or a beverage, and they bring these purchasers into the Lansing Center in a separate designated area for one-on-ones. This is not part of the Trade Show. This is a separate event within the same day. Not all of your businesses will be selected for meetings, but you can take advantage of the other great Making It In Michigan resources and programming opportunities. You can submit your application to be considered for a one-on-one meeting, right? So that's, again, why you want one or two people or three people in your booth at all times, handing out samples, walking the show, maybe getting into a one-on-one event. Please be advised that our buyers that come to the show do not like to be approached. It's a, what we call a cold call, all right? So a lot of the buyers, they don't even wear badges. They won't even wear a name tag because they wanna come in, they wanna see the show, they wanna walk the show, they wanna taste the new products, they wanna see the energy of the entrepreneur, and they want to get out, all right? So please, if you are being a vendor, do not approach a Product Center Staff person and ask them, "Hey, where's the Kroger buyer? They didn't come by my booth." "Hey, where's the Meyer buyer? They didn't come by my booth." If they don't come by your booth, that means they're not interested in your product at this time. I'm not saying never, I'm just saying not this time. All right, so please respect the Product Center Staff, okay? And not tie them up with trying to find the buyers and just make sure that you talk to everyone like they are a buyer, right? You wanna be energetic, you wanna be cordial, you want to be right there in present. You don't want to be sitting in a chair behind a table and thinking that you're gonna get people to approach you. That just does not happen. So the more you know, right, do you follow us on Facebook? Probably not. So, please, like our page on Facebook, it's the Michigan State University Product Center page. Are you getting the newsletter if you are a Product Center client, right? Well, so we have a, I think it's a monthly newsletter going out. Are you an existing client? And if so, when was the last time you actually checked in with your counselor? Okay? If you are not a Product Center client, please become a client today. It is a very quick and easy process. It is a short application, it is a $100 application fee. You sign a Confidentiality Agreement, and then you are assigned a counselor based on your geographic location. Now, through the grace of God and technology, there is Zoom, there are Teams, there is Google Meet, there are all these different functions for online meetings. It came very handy in during COVID, and I continue to use it this day because I can squeeze in more meetings and not be driving in the car so much, all right? So we're gonna go to questions, all right, in just a minute, but I wanna thank you, right? Please, please, please join Diane and I. We are the Chairs of the Trade Show, and if you do come, please be sure to introduce yourself to us. We make it in Michigan 24/7, guys, that's what we're all here for. Let's make some money. Let's make some great relationships, network, collaborate, and share. - [Diane] Alright, great, thank you, Becky. We do have a question with the evening event, pitch, competition, awards, et cetera, happening at six. Can we set up sooner? First of all, I don't believe there's any awards except related to the Pitch Competition. You know, obviously, the reception's going on that evening, but I mean, there's the six to eight setup, but we are not opening it up, right? Becky, for any set up earlier than 6:00 PM? - [Becky] Honestly, people, we cannot get into the Lansing Center early, all right? Because Art Craft is still hanging all of the piping and the draping. So six o'clock is our earliest to get into the actual hall, okay? The only thing happening the night before is early setup and a Meet and Greet. The Pitch Competition that is put on by the Michigan Good Food Fund, the application process is now closed. So if you are trying to get into the Pitch Competition, you are unable to, they already closed that application window. The Pitch Competition will be taking place at night, but again, it's only the Meet and Greet, right? It is a cash bar. We will not be buying or providing alcohol, and we will have light snacks available for people to just sit at tables and talk and learn about each other and trade war stories and just learn about the business. - [Diane] Okay, and Becky, are we to use music at the booth? - [Becky] That's a hard question, okay? Because, you know, some people wanna bring their TV screens, some people wanna play their monitors on their computers. But, again, you have to take into consideration that there is a lot of people that are in that hall at one time. You would have to play your music very loud and that could interrupt your neighbor's space, okay? You wanna be conscientious of your neighbor's space. There is no haggling. There is no yelling from your booth to get attention. Please stay within the confines of your booth. You can be advised if we feel that the level is too high, we will tell you to turn the music down or potentially, turn the music off. Because during the awards portion of the Trade Show, which is what we forgot to touch upon, Westborn Market, Fresh Time, the Meyer Small-Format Stores, the dairy store, they walk the show, guys, they walk the show and they pick entrepreneurs to showcase in their stores, okay? The Dairy Store always looking for Michigan products. Since the Product Center has taken over operations, Fresh Time is always looking for new items for their Fresh Time markets throughout Michigan. Small-Format Stores, they have the Golden Ticket. This year, only one ticket will be provide, only one ticket's gonna be used, guys, because they really wanna put an emphasis on that one entrepreneur. Last year, I think there was two or three, they just got overwhelmed. And for those that don't know the Small-Format Stores, those are the new Meyer stores that you see popping up throughout the State of Michigan. We have Bridge Street Market in Grand Rapids. We have Capital City in Lansing. We have Woodward Corner in Royal Oak, Berkley. We have Rivertown in Detroit, and I believe this summer, if not this summer, early next year, they will be opening a fifth location in Clarkston. So, again, all right, Golden Ticket is only one winner. Westborn Market, they pick what's called the Next SKU, could be you. They walk the show as a buying team, okay? They bring probably six to eight people with them, and they walk the show. They are looking for energetic entrepreneurs. They are looking for unique products, and they are looking for a really good story. All right, so there's a lot more going on in the Trade Show than just having people stop by your booth, right? So, we have all these different competitions. The Award Ceremony starts at about 3, 3:30, and I think our show ends at 3:30, but we start doing awards right around the three-o'clock hour. So we would want you to stay set up until that three o'clock. We start tearing down, I think it's 3:30 if I'm not... - Yes, correct. - Is that- - Yep. - Okay. So, yeah. So the music, it's to our discretion whether or not we allow it to be played. If it's too loud, we're gonna tell you to turn it off. - [Diane] How about chairs, Becky? Are there chairs behind the booths? - [Becky] I believe that the Lansing Center does put two chairs behind the booth. They're not very supportive chairs, they're just regular folding chairs. So if you, you know, are a tall person like me, I don't fit in those chairs very well. I'm like kissing my knees. So if you have your own Captain's chair or if you have chairs that are at a bar height, that's fine, you can bring 'em, right? But, again, you wanna take into consideration the size of your booth and getting everything there to the show. - [Diane] Okay, will we be providing a map of loading zones? - [Becky] You'll get all that information as we come closer to the event in your vendor packet. I believe that you get all this in an email. So everything that you need to know about the show, where to park, loading zones, all that map of the area, that'll all be sent to you as we get closer to the event. As far as booth assignments, we are not handling booth assignments this year. The Product Center is not handling the booth assignments. Booth assignments will be done in the order received by your registrations, by our Events Management Team. Okay? So there will be no requesting of your booth number this year. It is to the discretion of the Events Management Team of when, of where your placement is in the show. - [Diane] And that would be paid registrations. So if you send it in, you have not paid yet, you don't get assigned until you paid. - Correct. - Okay, or until you pay. Oh, also wanted to call out some of the deadlines. So for, if you're signed up and you need to cancel for some reason, the 3rd by midnight is the deadline for that. And then, for the deadline for the Trade Show itself is April 5th by midnight, - [Becky] But April 3rd, before April 3rd, you can get your money back minus the $50 administrative fee. Anything passed April 3rd, unfortunately, you will not be able to get a refund. So, please, if you are shaky on the date, make sure that you cancel if you have to cancel before April 3rd. - [Diane] And we do have a question. Becky, how long is the actual conference? I know that on the Making It In Michigan website, if you click on Conference, and then go to the far right, there is a Making It In Michigan Conference Agenda that you can pull up. The Welcome begins at 8:30, and then the last panel finishes at 11:55 when lunch starts. We have a sensory-testing hands-on fun experience with a professor on campus to help us learn more about sensory testing with products. And we have our Awards Ceremony at one o'clock, and everything concluding at 1:30 for the conference. - [Becky] So now, in regards to the awards for the conference, those awards have already been given out. They are Product Center clients that are... And there's four to five categories. There is Entrepreneur of the Year, Startup to Watch, Value-Added Product, Barrier Buster, and New and Innovative. Five awards that are counselor team put in names that we felt fit in those five categories. There was a Committee of Outsiders that decided upon who won the awards. So those awards have already been decided upon, guys. The awards for the Trade Show, Westborn, Dairy Store, Small-Format, The Fresh Time, those are during the Trade Show at 3:15. So there's two different award programs. Don't get 'em confused. - [Diane] And they haven't, those retailers have not made up their mind. They'll make up their mind when they attend the Trade Show and see what vendors are there. - [Becky] Correct. - [Diane] Becky, do you want to address with this group then about the sales there and how many samples or what to expect when it comes to sales and food to bring? - [Becky] Sure, so, everyone, please take into consideration, right, this is a networking event. This has always been used as an educational event to learn. We have been trying to increase direct sales by hitting up the local businesses, by hitting up the State Department, everything around the Lansing area, trying to get just regular Joe Customer to come in and shop the show. Direct sales is not a... This is not a large selling event. This is mostly networking, okay? So don't bring in 50 cases of product and think you're gonna sell it. You will not sell. If a buyer wants your product, you will make an appointment to see that buyer at a later date. Because all of the stores, they have their own onboarding system that you have to go through before you can even deliver one case of product. Okay? So, make sure with samples. I would not do more than 150 to 200 samples, guys, because you gotta remember, this is a food show, right? So everybody has samples. Everybody is handing out samples and food. Be conscious of your sizes of samples and just make sure, don't go overboard, right? Because we don't want a lot of food left over at the end of the show. We do not have any services to come and take any extra product that has not been sold or used to a food bank. We don't have any options like that, all right? So, you, please, please, please make sure you have enough samples and make sure that direct that you understand that this is not a direct sell show like a Farmer's Market. We have to clarify that. Now, there was an email that went out yesterday, all right, that came to our attention. We don't know how they got the list of vendors signed up for the conference in the Trade Show and other people. All right, so this email came and saying that there was 18,000 people expected at the show that they had vendor lists and names and addresses available for a cost. Do not. Do not send any money, and do not even answer that email or it's probably going to be a virus or it's a scam. So, please, please, please, if you ever get an email that wants money for our event, it is a total scam. Please, send it to our attention. We had several of our clients actually send the emails, which was nice. So we were able to get a handle on it. But, again, if you ever receive an email asking for more money than what you've already paid in your Vendor Application, it is not part of MSU. - [Diane] Okay, Becky, a couple questions. Do Buyer-Supplier meetings happen at your booth or are they in breakout rooms? - [Becky] The Buyer-Supplier Matchmaking Event, I believe are in the breakout rooms. Isn't that what they used? They get the classrooms that are in that main floor. So they will, again, we have nothing to do with that Buyer Supplier event. All right, that is purely Pure Michigan Business Connect. Katy Till is the coordinator for that event and she is the person that can answer all these questions for you. So please, fill out your application, send it in. If you get selected, you will get notified at what classroom, at what time. And we have no control over that. Absolutely no control over it. - [Diane] Nope, okay, then another question. When will the recording be available? And I wanted to go ahead and answer that. Once we are done this evening, I would say once we put it together, throw our videos together, and then get the closed captioning put together for it, that I would say probably within a week you should be able to receive the link of where that will be housed to be able to watch it again. One of the things I think that maybe we didn't mention before, Becky, was also that we have a video on sampling. - [Becky] Oh, that's right. You totally read my mind, yes. - Yeah. - So, this year, we have received a sampling video. The proper way to sample from the Ingham County Health Department that is there a link on the website? - [Diane] Right, so they would go to the Trade Show tab at the top of our website, and then once they've clicked on that, on the far right it says Vendor Sampling Guidance. There's a video there. And that would be important to be able to watch. - [Becky] And just be prepared, guys. Ingham County could be walking the show, making sure that people have gloves on, making sure that proper sampling is taking place, making sure that there are hand-washing stations. So be prepared. We do not want anybody shut down before the show because the Ingham County Health Department has that ability that is totally out of our control. If they feel that you are doing improper sampling and you are putting people's lives in jeopardy because of cross-contamination, bacterias, whatever, they will shut you down, and we will not be able to give you a refund for that. Just be aware. - [Diane] Okay, and we have a question of what license do people need to be able to come to the event? - [Becky] So there's several different types of licensing, right? Either you, A, you are a local County Health Department person, meaning that you have immediately consumed food, food truck, restaurant, cafe, sandwich shop, those type. There's an MDARD license in two ways or technically three ways. The MDARD license is through the State of Michigan. If your intentions are to start a business that is for primarily face-to-face sales, farmer's markets, fairs, festivals, events like that, events like ours, you would pull what's called a Limited Retail Food Establishment License. And that is $186 a year, okay? If your intentions are to go direct to wholesale, meaning you want to sell to Kroger and Meyer and all the stores, you would pull the Limited Wholesale Food Establishment License, okay, 'cause you're host or food processor, I'm sorry, wholesale food processing. That is totally different than the first one. The third one is a Food Warehouse License, meaning that you have your product made by a co-packer. You pick up that product, and move it to another location for storage for future deliveries. The co-packer carries the license for the production. If you remove your product from the co-packer to store at a facility for later distribution, you must pull what's called a Food Warehouse License. So those three licenses are $186 a year. So if you have a co-packer and the co-packer is not storing the product for you and you are taking it to another place for future deliveries, please be prepared that you could be called and asked if you have a Food Warehouse License. - [Diane] And when people apply, they do need to attach that license, a picture, an image of that license to their Vendor Registration Order to be able to complete the registration. - [Becky] Correct. If we do not have the most recent copy of your license, we will not accept a license that expired in '23. Okay? We will not accept it. So just be prepared to have a copy of your license with your application as well as a copy of your license with you for the day of the show. - [Diane] So, again, make sure you're checking into the sampling if you're not sure about the sampling portion of whether you are prepared and doing what you need to for correct sampling or whether you need a wash station or anything else. Feel free to connect with us and ask. You could even contact the Ingham County Health Department if you really wanna go that far to ask. So, but we're also happy to help with that for any of those that are Product Center clients. Connect with your Product Center Counselor if you wanna know more about how to develop a Retail Sheet and a Sell Sheet. And we're more than happy to help provide guidance that way. For those of you that aren't a Product Center client, again, you can go to our Product Center website and click to be a client, and fill out that information. That will give you unlimited business counseling for a fee of a hundred dollars. It'll save you a tremendous amount of time, and help you get closer to where you wanna be with your commercializing of your product. - If you do not have your license as of yet, and you think you're going to be able to get a license and be ready to go for the Food Show, April 24th, I would highly rethink that. Okay, because just to get your inspection alone, you have to give MDARD 30 days. So 30 days from today is April 7th. We'd already be closed for registration. So if you feel that you're gonna get your license and you register and already have paid, remember, if you do not have your license and it's April 5th, we will not refund your money. We will not refund your money and we will not take an expired license. - A good use of your time if you're in that situation would be going to the conference this year. We'll have a panel of small stores, panel of large stores, a panel of entrepreneurs, distributors, a panel of distributors. It'll be highly worth your time to come to the conference if you're in that situation. And for those that are coming to the Trade Show, if you can bring someone else to watch your booth for a couple hours while you're going to the panels in the morning and going to the conference would be very well worth your time. - And money. You have to register as a Conference Attendee and a Vendor. Okay? They are not, you can't be a vendor and think that you're getting into the conference. That's not how it works, guys. We just really hope you come and just even if we've scared you off from being a vendor, at least come and experience the show. Walk the show, you can walk the Trade Show in the afternoon, totally free of charge. You do not have to pay to walk the Trade Show. You have to pay to be a conference attendee or to be a vendor. But if you have been scared off by what you've learned tonight, you can always walk the Trade Show, see what it's like, and see if you're a fit for maybe next year. Plum Market. We've been trying to get them to come for a few years now. And it's kind of difficult, guys, because, you know, these buyers at the specialty stores, they're the managers of the store. They're the workers of the store. So it's really hard to get multiples to come, so we are trying desperately. I know a lot of people have asked if we're moving the event to Detroit. Unfortunately, not at this time. We are keeping it in Lansing because of the Michigan State connection. So, but never say never. - Again, If you wanna be a Product Center client, you can go to our website and register. - Just come. Just come and have fun and be yourselves and come hungry and come with questions. And the Product Center is always just a phone call, email, text away. So please, if you have any questions past this webinar and you are a client, reach out to your counselor. If you are not a client, please join for services. We have a short application process and a $100 fee to join the Product Center as a client. That gives you unlimited counseling services from your counselor and gives you a discounted rate for any specialized services that you might require from campus. So please, come and see Diane and I. We would love to see you. And if you do come to the show and we don't know who you are, please make sure that you introduce yourselves, okay? And even though Diane and I will be running around there like chickens with our heads cut off, well, we can still give you a smile, and still shake your hand. So, please, hope to see you there.