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Recognizing networking as a driving force.

Ask any business owner or manager, and they will tell you that networking fuels the engine that drives their economic growth. It is how businesses generate potential leads for new work and clients. Not only do businesses produce positive leads through networking, but it also builds trust among people. It is this trust that produces economic development and strong communities.

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We know from extensive chamber member surveys that networking ranks among the major reasons why businesses participate at events hosted by the Detroit Regional Chamber. This holds true for your standard after-hours mixers to the Chamber's Mackinac Policy Conference.

Now in its 27th year, the Mackinac Policy Conference attracts 1,700 of Michigan's top business, community and political leaders for a three-day event to craft policy solutions to Southeast Michigan's most pressing issues.

At Mackinac, it is just not networking for networking's sake; it is the quality of the networking that can be accomplished. We have been told by business members that the contacts made during the three days on Mackinac Island are the equivalent of a full year's worth of meetings.

For anyone who has attended the Mackinac Policy Conference, seeing the Grand Hotel's historic front porch, with the backdrop of the beautiful Mackinac Bridge, packed with business, community and political leaders networking, is a sight to behold. You can feel the energy and excitement as people create new relationships and renew existing associations.

It is true that networking is secondary to the public-policy work that is accomplished on the island. But it is worth noting that this is Michigan's premier event where top CEOs, public officials and opinion leaders develop the relationships necessary to build and implement the solutions that move the Detroit Region forward. Relationships provide the underpinnings of any productive endeavor, including the Mackinac Policy Conference.

The Detroit Region can ill afford a lack of strong networking and the relationship building that comes with it, especially as we begin to execute strategies for overcoming the serious economic challenges confronting us in the globally competitive economy.

As Ben Stein points out, networking and relationships are the lifeblood of any successful enterprise, from our personal lives to our professional careers. Understanding and embracing this truism will serve us all well. From the casual business networking reception to the Mackinac Policy Conference, the Detroit Regional Chamber is proud to help facilitate positive relationship building in our region.

Personal relationships are the fertile soil from which all advancement, all success, all achievement in real life grows

Ben Stein

By Tammy Carnrike, COO, Detroit Regional Chamber
COPYRIGHT 2007 Detroit Regional Chamber
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:FOR OUR MEMBERS; Mackinac Policy Conference on business networking
Author:Carnrike, Tammy; Stein, Ben
Publication:Detroiter
Article Type:Conference news
Geographic Code:1U3MI
Date:Jun 1, 2007
Words:427
Previous Article:Putting REAL into relationship building: through networking opportunities, members learn why relationship building is key to making new connections.
Next Article:Fighting on your behalf: a day in the life of the Detroit Regional Chamber's Government Relations team.
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