Here at MIM+E, we mostly report on the meetings and events planned by the pros in our state. But each year we plan one big party of our own: the annual Readers’ Choice Awards.

The party is heading into its 12th year, and we’ve decided that it’s time to take the show on the road. You heard it here first: The 2017 celebration will be held Thursday, May 18, at City Opera House in Traverse City.

If you’ve attended one of our awards parties, you know that the TC crowd turns out in top form each year. The dedication of the planners and staff at the area’s convention and visitors’ bureau and local venues are what have helped elevate Traverse City to a top Michigan destination.

So, it’s time to finally take the party to them, and get to know a location that does so much to lure visitors to our state.

And here’s why I’m blogging about it so far in advance. We have no intentions of asking hundreds of you to drive to Traverse City for a three-hour party and then leaving you to figure out the rest. We want to offer special experiences that help you get to know the area and each other better.

So that’s where you come in. What would you like to see at our 12th Annual Readers’ Choice Awards? Any local suppliers you think would make a great fit to include in the event? (Heads up, we work on trade.) Any tourism or learning experiences you would suggest? Let us know! We want to make our next event the best one yet.

And when the cold weather comes, just start dreaming of a spring visit to Traverse City.

Ferndale’s Otus Supply opened last year, and named this cocktail after a song by New Orleans’ Rebirth Brass Band.

INGREDIENTS:
—1.5 oz. Remy Martin 1738
—0.5 oz. Tempus Fugit Gran Classico
—0.75 oz. lemon sherbet*
—3 dashes hazelnut bitters*
—lemon twist for garnish
—Herbsaint

DIRECTIONS:
1. Rinse a Nick and Nora glass with Herbsaint.
2. Stir all other ingredients in a mixing glass.
3. Strain cocktail into Herbsaintrinsed glass.
4. Garnish with lemon twist.

 

Well, another fantastic Best of Michigan Awards party has come and gone. Every year, I think we’ve topped ourselves, though, really, each year’s celebration is wonderful in its unique way.

This year we took the party to Traverse City, a much-needed visit by the magazine’s readers and supporters to the region that has done so much to lure tourism to Michigan. The local meeting and events industry folks bent over backwards to make the experience exceptional. We spread out over two venues—the City Opera House and the Hotel Indigo—and enjoyed wonderful hospitality wherever we were.

 

The votes are in; here are the winners as decided by the readers of Michigan Meetings + Events.

What does it mean to be the best? In Michigan, the bar keeps moving north. As our state continues to rebuild and flourish, new venues come on line, new restaurants open their doors and what it takes to truly stand out continues to expand.

So it’s inspiring to see so many long-standing vendors and venues continue to earn our readers’ loyalty. Newcomers are welcome and often impress, but we clearly have many industry players that built their operations to last.