Mackinac Attendees Should Feel No Shame

This may be my most scenic blogging locale to date – overlooking the Mackinac Island Harbor, the Round Island Lighthouse and Lake Huron.  A quick computer break after an afternoon of conference sessions inside a four star hotel before heading out to receptions where food will be passed and drinks will be poured.

Sound like fun?  Sure, it can be.  But it’s also good business.

Some are criticizing attendees of this year’s Detroit Regional Chamber Mackinac Policy Conference.  “Why spent a lot of time and a lot of money when there’s a fire burning at home?” they hear.  Fear of negative backlash caused hundreds to stay home this year.  That’s too bad.  There should be no shame in making an effort to communicate your business, face-to-face, with key audiences and take part in important discussions to shape the region when you do business.

Yes, in PR, we are in the perception business, as well as the reputation business.  You should be careful in those areas. But sometimes being too careful could cost you.  I bet many of those who stayed home because they feared criticism now wish they were here.  They are missing good networking opportunities, productive conversation and a little fun – all of which are positives at a time like this.