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Green Living Festival Survives Mother Nature’s Wrath

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mattroush Matt Roush
Matt Roush joined WWJ Newsradio 950 in September 2001 to spearhead the...
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For the second year in a row, weather adversely affected attendance at the green festival held in Rochester.

“Apparently Mother Nature didn’t get the memo that we’re trying to work with her,” said John Batdorf, event manager. Arrangements for inclement weather, including a smaller event footprint,  more tent coverage, and even changing the event dates, was no match for heavy rain, 30 mph wind gusts, and unseasonable cold on Sunday, the final day of the annual event, this year called the Green Living Festival.

MI Green Team today announced estimated weekend attendance of 20,000, a fraction of its goal of 100,000, which is a number routinely exceeded by major Rochester events. The estimate was used to calculate and offset the event’s carbon footprint, including 100,000 pounds of C02 generated by an estimated 10,000 cars averaging two passengers and a ten mile round trip to the event.

There were a few bright spots in the bleak weather conditions, including excellent Saturday traffic in the Wellness Way & Kids Corner, and the second annual Party for the Planet which blossomed into a Michigan-performer concert series and was well-attended during the warm weather on Friday evening. The Green Living Film Series, held in the firehouse theater, and two large mobile display trailers, from Décor(k) and Garnier Fructis, were popular with those wanting to learn and keep warm over the cool weekend.

Bad weather was a logistical challenge for the organizers, but as Batdorf explains, it was a bigger problem for exhibitors,

“Many of our exhibitors are small, growing companies that rely on a good return on their exhibit fee,” said Batdorf. “In spite of this, I heard only one complaint and lots of encouragement to carry on. With a group of sponsors and exhibitors like this, we are even more motivated to carry on our mission to extend green/wellness promotion beyond a single event.” 

MGT accomplished this promotion by publishing complete exhibitor listings, in 25,000 event guides inserted in local newspapers and on its popular Web site — www.miglf.com — which received as many as 1,000 daily visitors. According to Batdorf, the Web site and an event smart phone app, available at www.expotec.me, will continue to provide a virtual festival.

All festival participants, including sponsors, exhibitors, NPOs, and presenters are members of MI Green Team and receive promotional consideration throughout the year, including listing in the product/service and community resource directories.

“With support of our sponsors and exhibitors, we’ll continue to work on ways to promote green and healthy living and our flagship green/wellness event, the Green Living Festival,” Batdorf said. “If nothing else, we have to believe that the law of averages is on our side for next year.”

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