There are only a few short months until Regional Conference, so it’s time to go into detail about the awesome city that will be hosting all the festivities! For those of you who haven’t yet experienced the whirlwind city of Grand Rapids, you’re definitely in for a treat. It isn’t dubbed “Best Beer Town,” and “Best Beer Scene,” for nothing, after all.
Throughout the three-day span of Regional Conference, there will be plenty of opportunities to explore downtown GR.
The schedule for Friday, April 7, 2017, is as follows:
- 9:00am – Noon; Hotel check-in and conference registration
- Noon – 3:00pm; Corporate Tours OR Agency Tours
- 5:00 – 7:00pm; Welcome Mixer at Lambert Edwards & Associates
- 7:00pm Dinner/Explore on Own
With Friday’s activities wrapping up around 7 p.m., we encourage attendees to scope out the local award-winning breweries such as HopCat, Founders Brewing Co. or Perrin Brewing Co. If beer isn’t your cup-of-tea, try Long Road Distillers or Gray Skies Distillery. Other night-life ideas include attending a West Michigan Whitecaps game, visiting a concert at 20 Monroe Live, or strolling through Rosa Parks Circle. Whether you’re a night owl, sports fanatic, music junkie, or minimalist, Grand Rapids has plenty to offer.
The schedule for Saturday, April 8, 2017, is as follows:
- 7:30am – 8:00am; Conference Registration/Check In (Continental Breakfast)
- 8:15am – 10:00am; Failure:Lab – Everyone fails, but how do we respond? (featuring stories from: Kelly Rossman-McKinney of Truscott Rossman; Kim Bode of 834 Design & Marketing; Kayden Grinwis of Cull Group)
- 10:00am -5:00pm; A plethora of breakout sessions
- 5pm-6pm; Walking Tours of Downtown (ExperienceGR/Ambassadors)
- 7pm-9:30pm; Multi-Level-Networking Cocktail Party/Mixer with WMPRSA mentors at the Waldron House Pub
- 9:30 pm; Explore GR on your own
And for the foodies who will be attending #PRinGR, don’t worry. GR also is known for its finger-licking food scene. Check out a couple of our favorites, which also happen to be within walking distance of conference happenings: The Kitchen at Wolfgang Pucks, Rockwell Republic, Bistro Bella Vita, Iron, Grand Rapids Brewing Co., Luna, Hopcat, The Downtown Market, Reserve, Flanagan’s Irish Pub and Mojos Dueling Piano Bar.
The schedule for Sunday, April 9, 2017 is as follows:
- Breakfast on own & hotel check out
- 9:00 – 9:30am; What Keeps Your CEO Awake at Night? (featuring Thomas Hanley of HanleyStory)
- 9:45am – 11:15am; Case Study/Crisis Comms Competition
- 11:15am; Pitches & Judging (panel of judges: Thomas Hanley, Mary Ann Sabo, Suzette Garvey (Storybent Creative) & more)
- 12:30pm; Closing Speaker: Mary Ann Sabo (“Ringmaster” at SaboPR)
Now that you’ve got an incredible city and atmosphere to look forward to, the countdown to Regional Conference is only going to be harder from here. Just a few more weeks until this unforgettable weekend!
But wait, bonus round.
Best shopping in GR: The Downtown Market
The one place you have to take a picture at when you visit GR: The Blue Bridge (Type this into your Google Maps: Blue Footbridge, Grand Rapids, MI 49504)
Neighborhoods you have to check out: Wealthy Street, Uptown/Eastown, The West and Cherry Street.