The Great Lakes Expo’s virtual platform is ready to go for the 2020 show. Ben Smith of the Michigan State Horticulture Society, says even though the show will be online, it’s still going to look like a trade show.
“They’ll be taken to what looks like a virtual lobby,” said Smith. “They’ll have options—click on the trade show door to enter our trade show exhibit area or click on an education door or see the session schedule. There’ll be an info table as well [since] there’s going to be lots of questions as people figure out how to use the system. That’ll be a great place to make your first stop.”
Typically, the show has upwards of 500 exhibitors. With an online show this year, that number is much smaller and more manageable for attendees.
“130 companies were willing to exhibit with us, and it’s going to be the same range of companies that people are used to seeing at the Great Lakes Expo,” he said. “There’s going to be equipment vendors, suppliers, the whole range of different companies.”
If you’re interested in getting more information on a company, stop by.
“It’ll look just like a normal booth when you’re walking by in the DeVos place with banners, people and material to take,” said Smith. “There will be a virtual swag bag you can put any handouts in, and you’ll be able to chat directly with a representative of whatever company you’re interested talking to.”
The other major change to the virtual Great Lakes Expo is the educational component.
“The first one is we spread out the education—normally we have two blocks,” said Smith. “Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, education is going to start at 9 a.m. and run fairly constantly until the evening. The other thing we did is we broke apart the education sessions into one-hour sessions so you’re not stuck in one spot for nearly as long as you normally would be.”
Registration is still open. You can register and look at the full agenda here.