Detroit Chamber Won't Move Mackinac Policy Conference®

The Detroit Regional Chamber responds defiantly, in effect, to the idea of moving its high-profile annual conference closer to home.


Just four days after the latest event at Mackinac Island, the corporate business and civic group applied to trademark the name and even a social media hashtag, Chad Livengood reports for Crain's Detroit Business:

Detroit's chamber of commerce filed a trademark for "Mackinac Policy Conference" on June 6 with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

The chamber also filed for a trademark for the social media hashtag #MPC**, with the two asterisks standing for the calendar year.

The group began the Grand Hotel gathering of executives, lawmakers, nonprofit leaders, lobbyists and speakers in 1981. "The success of the Mackinac Policy Conference has built the conference's brand," the chamber says in a statement quoted by Livengood. Nearly 1,700 people were at this year's four-day discussions right after Memorial Day.

June 5 column in Crain's Detroit Business by its chairman.

Its growth and economic impact prompt calls for relocating the blowout to Metro Detroit. "It's time for the chamber to bring it back to Detroit. . . . It is long overdue," Keith Crain, chairman of the local business publication, writes in a column published a day before the trademark filing. He adds:

It is crazy for an organization that supposedly is promoting our economy to encourage its members to spend their money outside of Detroit. There are many fine venues available to the chamber in the city of Detroit, and they could even include the rest of Southeast Michigan.

It is simply a misappropriation of time and money to have it hundreds of miles away rather than within the region. . . .

The Detroit Regional Chamber needs to announce a switch of the venue to Detroit. The success of the event should not be based on the location but the content. 

A Deadline reader, reacting to our summary of that column, comments: "Why not move it around the state of Michigan? Next year in Grand Rapids, then Detroit, then Lansing, etc." And Zack Pohl, communications director at the Michigan AFL-CIO, tweets mockingly: "Let’s all go to a luxury hotel on an island with no cars to talk about how to fix things in Detroit." 

Registration begins this fall for #MPC18® next May 29-June 1. The chamber's seventh Detroit Policy Conference is next March 1.

Read more:  Crain's Detroit Business

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