Earlier this fall, the Commercial Board of Realtors announced it will hold its annual real estate conference, Synergy, in Detroit. For the past eight years, since its inception, Synergy has been in Lansing.
/nWeve done it because we think its going to be the best Synergy conference weve ever hosted, said 2009 President and Synergy Chair Mark Woods, managing director of Signature Associates Southfield office. And weve moved the venue to what we believe is one of the best venues to hold a conference or event in the state, the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino.
Woods also expects the new location to be a geographic benefit to the conference, which will be held April 28, 2010. Of CBORs approximately 600 members, most are from Southeast Michigan, Woods said. Weve done a lot of studies as to who attends our conference, both from the association and from the general business community, and most of them do come from Southeast Michigan, he said. But that doesnt mean Synergy is forgetting about West Michigan, Woods said. Just as the University of Michigan/Urban Land Institute conference moved from its historical Ann Arbor location in 2008 to Grand Rapids, CBOR wants to try holding Synergy in a different location, too. If the conference is successful in Detroit, CBOR also may consider holding Synergy in Grand Rapids in the future. I dont think anybody said, Are they abandoning Ann Arbor? Are they abandoning Detroit? Woods said of the UM/ULI conferences 2008 relocation. Well, no, they just chose the west side first. Were going to choose the east side first and see how it goes. Likewise, he doesnt think moving the location farther east will decrease statewide attendance. He hopes it will increase, partly due to the other amenities at the venue and the fact that attendees can stay overnight. Also, the content will be the same or better than at previous conferences, which Woods hopes will drive attendance, as well. The event will follow the same panel-style format as Synergy 2009, but he expects to draw a different group of speakers. Were going to go after the professionals who live, work and play in this marketplace, and now they have the opportunity to come down and spend two hours with us and give us their insight, Woods said. Speakers should be lined up by early February, and Woods hopes to have executives from the auto industry, financial institutions, and companies succeeding and expanding in Michigan. He also hopes to have a variety of 2010 political candidates. Theres a lot at stake next year, too, Woods said. Theres a lot of people running for positions of political influence in the state, and it will be a good time for them to perfect their platform and what theyre selling to the community. Reflecting the economic conditions in the state and the gaming venue at which its to be held, the theme for Synergy 2009 is All In. We wanted to make a statement that were committed to the state of Michigan and that we want to produce the most relevant business conference we can, Woods said. And we thought putting that right in the heart of the city of Detroit would be a great thing to do in 2010.