Something a little different today (I know you’re waiting for that Shepler Ferry Captain post, and I promise I am working on it). Tonight I want to share with you an event I attended on Saturday – the first Mackinac Island MackiTAC Tweetup.
MackiTAC. That word has been floating around for at least two months, and anyone who lives on the island (or visits the island or wants to visit the island) and is online with those two social media giants, Facebook and Twitter, had been deluged with invitations to attend this event. When I first heard about it, I thought, “MackiTAC? – I like the word, but what is it?”
Well, it turned out to be a big party and a way for all of us Mackinac Island lovers (and those of us who live and work anywhere around Mackinac Island) to come together, hear each other’s ideas about promoting northern Michigan, and put faces to the names we see everyday on our computer screens. The MackiTAC Tweetup was the brainchild of the Island Bookstore folks, and Shepler’s Ferry quickly came on board as a co-sponsor. Ken Grisnak and his trusty companion, Bucky (a very extroverted parrot), provided enthusiastic support online and as the Tweetup’s narrator.
It was Ken who called and asked me to join the line-up of guest speakers, and how could I refuse when his only request was that I speak from my heart about what makes Mackinac Island special to me.
The concept of the event was simple. Presenters would talk about the different aspects of social media, with plenty of time between speakers for interaction within the group. Now when you get a group of computer-happy folks together, you know something more “worldly” is going to happen than just some people talking into a microphone. Connections were “connected” (sorry – I still don’t understand how a radio works, much less the internet), and the entire Tweetup was viewed around the world by anyone set up on a particular social media website. Throughout the event, people from all over the U.S. and from several foreign countries chatted online as they watched and listened to the speakers. Tweet-up participants manned laptops in the Lilac Tree Hotel’s conference room, where the Tweetup was held, and could chat back and forth to anyone online anywhere in the world who had “tuned in” to the event. It was pretty darn amazing to this old girl!
I did not have a chance to get photographs of all the speakers, but each one was interesting and informative. Misty Martinchek from Shepler’s Ferry was my contact for the upcoming “captaining” story, and she spoke eloquently about Shepler’s and their desire to make sure their marketing keeps pace with all the trends and electronic capabilities available in today’s world. Shepler’s is using Twitter and Facebook to get their story out, and it has made a tremendous impact on their business.
Other speakers included Dan McDonough, a Michigan lumberjack who takes part in the Jack Pine Lumberjack Show just outside of Mackinac City. He presented a short video of the show, which includes log rolling, pole climbing, and other traditional lumberjack events. It looked awesome! Lori Libka, from Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth, MI got me so excited again about that store that I wanted to go back with her on the ferry! Allan Coyle from Lansing talked about targeting community building for restaurants through social media.
The last presenter of the afternoon was me. I have never spoken before without notes, and I spent a few hours jotting down an outline and some specific stories to tell. At the last minute I trashed all that, left my notes on a table in the back of the room, and just winged it. I spoke from my heart about my passion for this special rock we live on for five months, and (thanks to your prayers) did not get tongue-tied once. Unfortunately, ya’ll must have concentrated on the “not being tongue-tied” part of that prayer request, and not on the “don’t let me fall on my face” part – because I tripped stepping up on the stage, but managed to catch myself before I went down. That’s me – Mrs. Grace.
If you’d like to see and hear what I had to say, there is a link below provided by Bruce Serven, who attended the Tweetup and writes a blog he subtitles “postcards from the land of entrepreneurship” (http://bruceserven.com). Thank you very much, Bruce, for editing out my “trip-up”.
The Tweetup was great fun, and I hope it becomes a Mackinac tradition. Thanks, Ken, Island Bookstore, and Shepler’s Ferry! You did a great job!