The 2021 Mackinac Policy Conference has been rescheduled in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the new dates will serve as a prelude to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit that commences the following week.
The Detroit Regional Chamber announced the new dates are Monday, Sept. 20-Thursday, Sept. 23. It is hoping the usual 1,500 business, government, and civil leaders will be able to attend the event, set to take place on Mackinac Island.
The Detroit auto show, meanwhile, will begin a series of pre-events leading up to the public show at the TCF Center in downtown Detroit, along with outdoor spaces — Motor Bella to be held near and around the Detroit Opera House starts on Friday, Sept. 24. Multiple events, including the Charity Preview on Friday, Oct. 1, lead into the public show (Oct. 2 to Oct. 8).
“After careful analysis, the chamber reached the conclusion that we could not be certain that public health conditions, including vaccine distribution and corporate travel policies, would make a traditional spring conference that lives up to our attendees’ expectations a reality,” says Sandy K. Baruah, president and CEO of the chamber.
“Our attendees and partners deserve greater clarity. In addition to greater certainty and protecting our attendees’ health, the one-year move to September in 2021 provides the conference an opportunity to explore different formats.”
The chamber selected the dates following discussions with Wright L. Lassiter III, president and CEO of Henry Ford Health System and 2021 conference chair, as well as the chamber’s executive committee of its board of directors, Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island Convention and Visitors Bureau, health experts, and other conference partners. The conference is expected to return to its traditional post-Memorial Day dates for 2022.
“As a group of unified Michigan leaders, we are charting our future course beyond this pandemic, and the conference will provide the stage for that critical statewide discussion about how we can continue to build momentum as our economy rebounds,” Lassiter says.
“The September 2021 schedule should also provide the right amount of time to ensure a strong comfort level among our attendees in gathering safely. That comfort is key to creating an impactful conference and attendee experience that we all value and enjoy.”
The chamber will continue to monitor the situation and stay in contact with state and local health officials. Lassiter will lead a planning team in developing an agenda reflecting the state’s new economic realities.
Registration for the conference will open in December. Island hotels will begin taking reservations in March.
More information is available here.