Great Lakes Made is an online marketplace for small businesses that offer a unique product in the Great Lakes Region. There are over 400 vendors on greatlakesmade.com so we decided it was time to create a show. Although the focus is on businesses in the Great Lakes Region, the Great Lakes Made Show is open to creators everywhere. The Great Lakes Made Show offers a familiar easy-to-use platform to upload videos, workshops, and create live streams.
The original intention of the Great Lakes Made Show was to have our first live show in Grand Rapids, Michigan on November 28 & 29 in 2020, but COVID-19 had other plans for us. The cost for the live show ranged between $350-$1400 based on the size of your booth. We waited for as long as possible before transitioning the show to an online event. The first demo of the online event was a bit too complicated but had good intentions. Many vendors thought it was too complicated to give it a shot, so we went back to the drawing board. We combined layouts that were familiar to users and now we have the final product on show.greatlakesmade.com. Initially, the pricing stayed close to the same value of the live show, but with the understanding that COVID-19 has impacted every single business and online experiences are different than in person, we decided to make this new Great Lakes Made Show free for participants and vendors. There is a pro plan for $10 /mo that extends the features of the Great Lakes Made Show, but you get everything you need to get started with the free plan.
The new Great Lakes Made Show platform is an adaptation to the original plan by offering opportunities for vendors to showcase their business safely. A business gains exposure by reaching a targeted audience that is interested in watching and shopping creators of unique things. This is an opportunity for businesses to create workshops or how-to videos for shoppers to appreciate the work that goes into making products that they are planning to buy.
The Great Lakes Made Show is directly integrated with Made Nearby (madenearby.me). This makes it easy for vendors to publish video from the Great Lakes Made Show account to their feed on Made Nearby. Vendors can list products on Made Nearby for free or submit products to the Great Lakes Made Directory. Made Nearby gives vendors, shoppers, and wholesale buyers an opportunity to safely meet face-to-face with video calls, audio calls, or live chats.