In matters of pricing, patron relations and vendor-to-vendor interactions, our industry’s ethics in metro Detroit are evolving. Vendor ethics aren’t often discussed, but they’re there in every question we answer and every decision we make. It is up to us to hold each other, our clients and the perception of our industry to a higher level and to look out for one another.

Adhering to a handful of key ethical pillars can help ensure we serve our customers and our industry to the extent that they deserve. 

I’ve been asked how to respond when a client comes back with a cheaper quote and a request to beat it. This kind of price warfare doesn’t benefit any of us in the long run. Undercutting our own prices means compromising our business goals and our relationships with other vendors and consumers. Most importantly, it lowers the value of what we do in clients’ eyes. I have reached out to fellow vendors to let them know the client is asking us to beat their price. Giving a heads-up is always nice and informs that vendor what the potential client is doing. I may not want to work with someone that constantly gets quotes from others for a cheaper service. I want to be worth more; our ideas are worth it!

I wish I could take credit for this tagline. Attending a conference with this as the topic was an eye-opening experience for me and my team. We have adopted it and live by it. There’s nothing better for business than being great at what you do. Find your niche and master it. Dabbling in other areas just dilutes your business proposition and pits you against vendors who specialize in those areas. If we each stick to what we do and tap into our networks of industry professionals when we need them, we’ll be more likely to succeed together. Being a part of industry organizations allows my network to grow and me to recommend other trusted vendors.

How we treat each other matters. We can take care of each other by being mindful of our impact and looking out for others’ interests. Building relationships and connecting and recommending other vendors helps make things better for our clients and for our industry as a whole. ILEA and NACE are perfect for this. I learn new things from people just starting in this industry as well as from seasoned masters. Asking questions, giving advice and starting conversations helps all of us grow. Not every vendor is the best fit for every client; it is knowing who to connect to whom. Keep in mind there’s plenty to go around, so don’t be afraid to pay it forward.

By supporting each other, we can raise up the industry as a whole. Let’s take a stand for our industry and each other.

MACVB Annual Educational Conference finally reaches the shores of Mackinac Island.

As I rode in the carriage from the Shepler’s Ferry terminal to the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, my mind wandered to a scene from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” In said scene, King Arthur and his sidekick, Patsy, approach a castle while galloping and banging coconuts together. After a few moments passed and my mind wandered back to the tree-lined streets of the island, I realized it was the clippety-clop of the draft horses pulling our carriage that brought on my thoughts of Python.


First came COVID. Then came the tornado.

The northern Michigan community of Gaylord was just starting to rebound from the pandemic with its groups and events business as a new season was getting underway when a rare EF3 tornado with estimated wind speeds between 136 and 165 miles per hour struck May 20.

Two people were killed and at least 44 were injured, according to official reports at the time. West Michigan meteorologist Bill Steffen said it was the strongest tornado to strike in the U.S. that month. 


A conference or convention venue might be described by meeting planners as offering ease and convenience for multiple reasons. It may be because its address is easily accessible from numerous compass points. Or perhaps it’s the destination—with a variety of opportunities for activities and entertainment close-by. And of course, it could be that the venue itself offers a peaceful, easy setting with all the comforts you could want. 

Well, at Treetops Resort, it’s all of the above.