This past week I volunteered at Future Midwest, the regions largest two-day digital business conference. Held at Eastern Market, Detroit’s authentic public market, Future Midwest acted as a classroom for attendees, learning what to expect in the upcoming years and how to get the most out of whats currently trending with business and marketing strategies.
My experience as a volunteer was a lot of fun. Aside from being on the inside and catching some great speakers, I had the chance to interact with some really cool people. April 28th, otherwise known as Day one, my responsibilities included helping out with registration and being available as needed. Nothing too difficult and I got to meet all the press and speakers as they checked in. Day two consisted of a tweet up while watching Erik Proulx’s Lemonade trailer and assisting the caterer with lunch preparation. This was my favorite day because I have never experienced the trailer and I really thought it was amazing to see people who live in Detroit, eat, and sleep in Detroit, try and make something of the community in which they are a part of. It seems that with the downfall of the economy, many are headed out of the Detroit area. By sharing thoughts with Alex Beaton, a young professional, who owns her own marketing company, Rally Initiatives, I really understood that to truly appreciate the city you come from, you need to get an outside perspective. What the community needs is not for people to pick up and go as soon as things start to get difficult, but to see that as an opportunity to better the city for everyone. Instead of complaining about how bad things seem to be, take initiative and actually do something about it! Its okay (and definitely encouraged) if you do venture outside of the mitten, as long as you bring those creative ideas and experiences back home!
I think what Future Midwest is doing is really great and it gives not only the digital business world an opportunity to connect with similar individuals, but others, who simply may want to gain knowledge and get involved. Not to mention the fact that, Future Midwest brings more people to Detroit, some traveled as far as California just to witness the sessions, share ideas, and see what the city has to offer. In its third year, Future Midwest is headed in the right direction down the path of the unknown. What we do know is that there are so many creative and brilliant people in this area that it would be a shame to let that talent go to waste. I’m very excited to see what Future Midwest will bring to the Metro Detroit area next year.