Dean Rusch brings years of industry experience—he’s hosted more than 1,500 corporate events—and puts exciting twists on classic shows to maximize audience engagement. Take the dueling pianos show, for instance. The show is a hybrid of pianos as well as keyboards, drums, vocals and saxophones. Guests are invited to sing along and jump in with the band, Ceyx, which has been together since 1971.

“Being silly with the instruments and getting people to participate,” Rusch says, is designed to get the audience on its feet. “If the attendees have a blast, the planner looks like a genius.” 

Options for unconventional seasonal gatherings abound across the state. 

From cities teeming with bright lights to snowy small towns, Michigan is a winter wonderland. If you’re looking for a way to make your event or post-event outing more festive, consider these unique holiday offerings. 

Peacock Road Family Farm 

Laingsburg

 

After 36 years as director of the CVB, Peter Fitzsimons is retiring. By Shelley Levitt

In 1985, Peter Fitzsimons, a former hotel general manager, became the executive director of the newly formed Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau. He never left. In June, the 73-year-old Detroit native announced that he’d be stepping down from the role at the end of the year. 

MIM+E: When did you begin your career in hospitality?

 

When executed safely, in-person meetings and events are possible. But it’s been tough for meeting planners across the nation, due to differing state-by-state and even county-by-county guidelines. In some areas, meetings and events have returned a while ago, but for others, it’s hard to imagine what planning a meeting would be like.