Big Changes for Catalyst University

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Hannah Ziegeler
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Catalyst University 2020 is bound to be an exciting and entirely UNIQUE affair!


Catalyst University began with the idea that if we, as individuals, want to progress professionally, or even personally, we have to push our own boundaries. To stay relevant, we must be relentlessly curious, soaking up knowledge and experience—and remaining always open to change.

In January 2011, the very first Catalyst stage was set in the downtown Kalamazoo Radisson Ballroom. Almost 350 people attended that first year. The next year, 500 people came—in each year following, more and more leaders from around the region and beyond came to the conference. In 2016, Catalyst University had finally outgrown its original venue; it was moved to Wings Event Center to accommodate the nearly 3,000 professionals who have been able to attend—per year!—since this move.

At the conclusion of this year’s Catalyst University, our team collected all the feedback attendees had to offer about the conference—the good, the opportunistic and the inspired.

And we listened.

Southwest Michigan First is excited, after much response, consideration and planning, to announce that next year’s conference will follow the lead of past attendees’ feedback: Catalyst University 2020 will be held on May 21 at the Kalamazoo State Theatre, allowing for a truly UNIQUE refresh of the conference in its tenth year!

With this shift, the  venue will allow a more personal and intimate impact upon every leader in the room. With the date change, we will work to inspire leaders across the region prior to the busy summer season, accommodating for summer travels, family commitments, and the many other joys that come along with a Southwest Michigan summer.

We are so excited for the UNIQUE experience we’re all sure to have in the coming year, and we can’t wait to have you there beside us as we prepare for this new generation of Catalyst University to spark!


Remember: The limited amount of tickets for Catalyst University 2020 means they’ll be gone fast. Give us a call to book your team’s spot right away!

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