One of NY Times 52 “Places to Go in 2016.” The #1 U.S. travel destination in 2014. Beer City, USA. Home to ArtPrize, one of the globe’s top five festivals. Grand Rapids, Michigan is a city that will constantly surprise and delight you with authentic and unforgettable world-class experiences made easy, affordable and friendly. Don’t just take our word for it, check out where else GR is tops: http://www.experiencegr.com/about-grand-rapids/grand-rapids-recognitions/

Grand Valley State University PRSSA and Ferris State University PRSSA present a PRSSA Regional Conference called “Generation Grand: Experience PR in GR.” Generation Grand means being fully enveloped in the creative energy and entrepreneurial spirit of West Michigan. Friday, April 7 through Sunday, April 9, participants will experience Michigan’s 2nd largest city through downtown tours of dazzling art and culture, awesome food and nightlife with over 100 restaurants and clubs, GR’s commitment to sustainability and green space via inspiring natural preserved beauty in the city and exhilarating community spirit as demonstrated by the pocket neighborhoods of diverse and stirring ethnic tradition.

Future PR pros will meet and hear from regional leaders on the following topics:

  • Corporate Responsibility
  • Green Thinking
  • Place & Space Making
  • Keeping Talent in the Midwest
  • Maintaining a Creative Community
  • Beer City USA
  • World Class Health Care
  • Notable Nonprofits

Guests will learn compelling and strategic storytelling by our global corporate partners on tours, meet up with WMPRSA, for speed networking, enjoy a social at Michigan’s largest PR agency, Lambert Edwards & Associates. We’ll cap off the weekend with a mini case study competition judged by area business leaders with awards and prizes for the top teams.

To register: http://bit.ly/GenerationGrandRC

Pricing for registration is as follows: $45.00 for “Early-bird” registration (through January 1st), $60.00 for “Regular” registration and $75.00 for “Day-of” registration. Registration for high school students is $25.00.

The cancellation policy/process: full refund if requested one month prior to the conference, 50% refund if requested two weeks from the conference. Cancellations after that will not be permitted a refund. Transfers of registration to a different guest will not be allowed. Cancellations must be made in writing via email to conference adviser (wallacad@gvsu.edu). Refund will be issued within two weeks via the manner in which payment was received.

Detailed schedule: 

Friday, April 7, 2017 – Hit the Ground Running!

9:00am – Noon Hotel check-in and conference registration (Holiday Inn Downtown (use code PRS to get the discount) – you’re within walking distance of GVSU Seidman Center/Eberhard Center/DeVos Campus and all activities)**

Noon – 3:00pm Corporate Tours


Noon – 3:00pm Agency Tours

5:00 – 7:00pm Welcome Mixer at Lambert Edwards & Associates

7:00pm Dinner/Explore on Own

Saturday, April 8, 2017 – From Failure Comes Success

7:30am –  8:00am Conference Registration/Check In (Continental Breakfast and COFFEE)

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)

Breakout Session #1 (PR for the Earth: Green Thinking wsg Cascade Engineering, The Image Shoppe, USGBC West Michigan, Well Design Studio (WMEAC))

Breakout Session #2 (PR for a Better World: Corporate Responsibility wsg Meijer, Steelcase, Wolverine World Wide, Amway)

Lunch on Own

Breakout Session #3 (PR for the Future: Retaining Talent in the Midwest wsg Hello GR, Michigan Future, The Right Place)

Breakout Session #4 (PR Post-Prohibition: Beer City USA wsg Founders, Perrin, Brewery Vivant)

Breakout Session #5 (PR for Health: World Class Health Care wsg Spectrum Health, Mercy Health & Mary Free Bed)

Breakout Session #6 (PR for Good: Notable Non-Profits wsg Goodwill, The GR Community Foundation, The Humane Society)

Breakout Session #7 (PR for Art: The Creative Class wsg ArtPrize, Mindscape, VisualHero, Fairly Painless)

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

Explore GR on your own


Sunday, April 9, 2017 – Use Your Powers for Good, Not Evil

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)