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Scholz: WGA Innovation Expo Continues To Build On Success


The Wisconsin Grocers Association (WGA) held its sixth Innovation Expo in Wisconsin Dells at the Kalahari Resort, Oct. 15-16.

The show’s format has changed over time to fit the needs of the association’s members. Previously, it had been a summer family-oriented retreat and prior to that it was just the expo and trade show, said Brandon Scholz, president and CEO of the WGA, who spoke with The Shelby Report’s VP of the Midwest Geoff Welch at the show.

“In this format we’ve really strived to provide educational experiences through our seminars and our speakers,” Scholz said. “We’ve always tried to build on the success of the trade show. Our current format of the Innovation Expo is really designed to build value into the experience that our retailers and our vendors have at the show. It’s been stable or grown every year.”

The WGA Innovation Expo continues to be a sell-out because it has strong retailer support.

“Every vendor in there will tell you, ‘we love to come because we see retailers and we see good traffic,’ and so that combination of good retailers and good attendance helps build our vendors and helps us continue to sell at the show, so we’re very pleased with it,” Scholz said.

The WGA always works to bring in quality speakers as well. Phil Lempert, known as the Supermarket Guru, and Joan Driggs with Progressive Grocer were featured this year and were “outstanding,” Scholz said.

Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Voss also spoke at the event.

“He has an understanding of business and small business, because he’s a small businessman himself,” Scholz said. “He understands what grocers and others go through on a daily basis running their businesses, keeping their customers happy, so he knows and understands that.”

Once the WGA has received feedback from its members, it will use the information to continue to build value into the Innovation Expo.

“Our goal is to just make sure that the show is fresh every year and that it provides opportunities for people as it keeps improving,” Scholz said.

In the feature photo at top is Brandon Scholz, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Grocers Association.

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Featured Photo PLMA Annual Private Label Trade Show
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Chicago, Illinois
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