Frequently Asked Questions

My colleague wants to attend the event. Is it too late to register?

No! Registration is available throughout the event. Register here:

Can I share my registration information with someone else?

Registered attendees may join the event from one device at a time.

Can I join the event from my mobile phone?

The event site is designed for full-screen viewing. To make the most of your event experience, you should attend from a computer. The site is accessible from mobile device web browsers, however some features may not function properly.

How do I go to full-screen mode?
  • On PC, press F11 to enter/exit full-screen mode or use your browser’s View menu.
  • On Mac, press shift-⌘F or from the menu select View/Full Screen Mode.

Site Navigation

Where will I find presentations and sessions? Will I need meeting links?

Every aspect of the event is within the event site upon log-in on the day of the event. There are no outside meeting links or address to navigate. A main menu on the left of the screen contains all locations. Today’s presentations are in the following areas:

The keynote presentation at 8:30AM will take place in the Auditorium.

The 3 tracks of session meetings will take place here from 10:00AM to 11:50AM. Select ‘Sessions’ from the main menu, then select a session room to join.

Expert Corner
Visit the Expert Corner any time between 10:00AM and 12:30PM to meet with experts from each of our three learning tracks.

Check out the Resources section for helpful links and downloadable documents.

Presentations and Meetings

What’s the difference between an Auditorium presentation and a Session?

Auditorium presentations are video broadcasts that you can watch live.

Sessions are held in video chat rooms where audience members are encouraged to become active participants in the discussion. Speak directly with presenters and other attendees using your computer camera and microphone. Or if you prefer, use the session room’s text message board to join in the conversation.

I can’t find my meeting!
  • Don’t worry if you missed the start – you can join any part of the event at any time.
  • If you’re looking for a scheduled event, check the Auditorium first. Most main presentations will occur there.
  • Q&A sessions, roundtable discussions and breakout meetings occur in Sessions rooms. From the main event menu on the left of the screen, click Sessions. From there you can find all currently active sessions.
  • If you are meeting a vendor, from the main menu go to the Vendor Hall and find the vendor you are meeting. Visit that vendor’s booth to attend vendor-hosted meetings.
  • Networking sessions and other informal discussions between attendees occur in the Social / Network hall. From the main menu, select Social / Network to join the room of your choice.

Where do I find the live presentations?

Main event presentations occur in the Auditorium. From the main menu at the left of the screen, click Auditorium.

Can I join a session already in progress?

Yes, you can join or step out of any presentation or meeting at any time.


Why do I see a blank screen when trying to enter any video session rooms?

If you are connecting via VPN or a tightly controlled corporate network, it is possible that your network is blocking third party plugins used on the event site. Please check with your network administrator or try to join using a computer on a different network connection.

When is my camera and microphone in use?

Your camera and microphone are turned OFF by default when you join Auditorium and Session meetings. Your camera and microphone are turned ON by default when you visit the Expert Corner.

How do I turn my camera and microphone ON/OFF?

Click on the microphone and video buttons at the bottom-center of the video room you are in.

Chat and Message Boards

How do I send a chat message to another Summit attendee?

Click on the blue Chat box at the bottom-right of the screen to use chat. From here you can send a private direct message to any event attendee.

How do I submit a question to the presenter?

In meeting rooms, you can ask your question directly using your microphone.

For Auditorium and Session presentations, post questions in the chat field below the streaming video window. Questions will be gathered by a moderator and offered to the presenter during the presentation, or after the presentation in the Q&A session. Include your name with your question if you would like a specific follow-up.

Northwest Michigan Business Summit Q&A’s

Is there a charge for PTAC services?

No, the Northwest Michigan PTAC provides all its services at no cost.  Note, some PTACs charge a minimal amount for some services.

What services does the PTAC provide?

The PTAC helps businesses find, win, and perform on local, state, and federal government contracts. In particular, we offer no-cost marketing, technical consulting and training to businesses, specifically:

  • One-on-One Counseling
  • Bid Match Notifications
  • Contracting and Subcontracting Assistance
  • Pre- and Post-Award Assistance
  • Procurement History Research
  • SBIR/STTR Program Assistance
  • Government Contracting Training and Special Events
  • And More 
How do I request NW Michigan PTAC services?

Go to the Networks Northwest website, PTAC page at, and register as a client. If you are not sure who your PTAC is and you are a Michigan based business, go to the PTACS of Michigan website at to locate your local PTAC.

I am aware of an opportunity within the government but don't know how to find it. Can the PTAC locate the solicitation for me?

Yes, the PTAC can find most solicitations if they have been ublicly posted on an electronic bidboard.

Can the PTAC help me apply for a grant?

Generally no, the PTACs assist with government contracting, not government grants. However the PTAC may assist with the SBIR and STTR grants.

Can PTAC provide general business consulting services for my business, if I intend to pursue government contracts?

No. PTAC can only provide services that directly relate to seeking, pursuing, and performing on government contracts and SBIR/STTR grants.

What is a SAM registration, does it cost anything, and can PTAC assist?

Yes PTAC can assist, SAM is an acronym for System for Award Management and is the official website/database for the U.S. Federal Government, collecting, validating and storing data from suppliers and then making that data available to various government acquisition agencies. your business normally must be registered in SAM in order to sell to the federal government. The exception is when the government buyer is using a credit card for a purchase under the micro purchase threshold (threshold varies by agency).

Does the PTAC provide any training courses and is there a charge for this?

PTAC offers a variety of training sessions, workshops, webinars, and networking events that focus on government contracting.  Most if not all our training events are at no cost.  Occasionally, there may be a networking event where we charge a nominal fee, but that is the exception.  See our training and events calendar here In addition to the training offered by the NW Northwest PTAC, our clients can access training webinars offered by other Michigan PTACs, again at no cost. 

My business has never done work for the government at any level. Will they consider work done in the private sector when evaluating past performance?

Generally, yes.  This is becoming more the case as the government seeks commercial solutions and non-traditional sources.

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Business Services

What services does Northwest Michigan Works! provide to employers?
  • Assistance with employee recruitment, screening, referrals, talent pipeline development opportunities, job postings on Pure Michigan Talent Connect and access to free local hiring events.
  • Connections to training providers to upskill your workforce, access to state and federal funding streams such as On-the-Job training and Going Pro Talent Fund and referrals to local apprenticeship specialists for assistance in developing a DOL registered apprenticeship program at your company. 
  • Collaboration with local and state workforce development partners for business development needs.
How can employers connect with a Business Services Representative (BSR) at Northwest Michigan Works!?
Where do employers find information about the labor market and wages in Michigan?
How do employers post their open positions?
  • Visit: to set up an account on Pure Michigan Talent Connect and begin posting your jobs.  You can also search job-seeker resumes for potential candidates with the skills you need.

Apprenticeship Services

How long does it take to develop a registered apprenticeship program?
The length of development can vary depending on employer engagement and paperwork processing. Typically, once the documents are completed, the Department of Labor can approve a program within three weeks.
What are the costs associated with a registered apprenticeship?
The costs may include on the job training or related instruction curriculum depending on the employers’ customization of the program.
What are the steps in creating an apprenticeship program?
The basic steps include: Identifying an occupation, customizing the training plan, registration and implementation. The Northwest Michigan Works! Apprenticeship Services Team manages 95% of the paperwork for employers!
What occupations are available as apprenticeships?
There are over 1400 available occupations in traditional and non-traditional trades; from medical assistants and CNC to beekeepers and office managers – and everything in between!

Offender Success

Why should I hire someone with a criminal record?
Nearly a third (one in three) adults in the US have a criminal record*. Passing over this population leads to businesses missing out on a significant portion of the talent pool. Formerly incarcerated individuals have fewer employment opportunities and so are typically more motivated than other workers to do a good job. There are also incentives for employers that hire those with a criminal record such as Fidelity Bonding and the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. The Offender Success program provides additional incentives, including subsidized wages, job retention services and more. By hiring someone with a criminal record, employers are not only giving people second chances, they are also helping to reduce incarceration costs and increase public safety.
*Source: Getting Talent Back to Work (
Does the Offender Success program work with any one that has a criminal background?
The Offender Success program works specifically with formerly incarcerated individuals that are on parole and under the supervision of the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC). Participants are referred to the program by their local MDOC parole agent. Participants have served their sentences and are motivated to re-enter the community and become self-sufficient citizens.
What services does the Offender Success program offer?
The Offender Success program has dedicated staff that works one on one with each participant to not only find a job, but keep a job. Services include “soft skills” job coaching, assistance with filling out applications and creating resumes, interviewing strategies, and direct job placements. Staff is available to employers at any time to help with job retention if needed. In addition to employment assistance, Offender Success can also help participants with housing and other basic needs, such as transportation, clothing and more so they have the best chance possible to be successful.
What about skilled workers? Do those coming out of prison have any skilled trade training?
Yes! The MDOC has a skilled trades training program called Vocational Village. It allows prisoners to get intensive, hands-on job training experience for high-demand careers. Trade programs include auto mechanics, electrical, CNC machining, truck driving, welding and more. They can also acquire industry recognized certifications in building trades, welding, auto mechanics, CNC machining, and masonry. Individuals that graduate from Vocational Village return home skilled with an industry recognized certification, and are ready to get to work.

Global Trade Alliance/Export

What is the Global Trade Alliance, what can this program do for my business?
The Global Trade Alliance of Northern Michigan is a business resource for international trade. We connect businesses to service providers and peers to assist the launch and enhancement of global trade operations.
We are your one-stop resource for trade strategy development, access to resources and information, and peer networking in the U.P. and Northern Lower Michigan. Through our partnerships in business, local economic development organizations, educational institutions, and others, we provide a single point of access for market research, entry strategies, sales and distribution channels for regional products, promotional activities including trade missions and shows, and business networking, mentoring, and education.
What services are offered specifically to help me reach my goal of exporting?
We can provide direct reimbursement to eligible small businesses to develop or expand export-related activities. Our International Trade Centers provide counseling, market analysis and more to help Michigan businesses market their products. We can connect you with market research, training, website development and more to jump-start your momentum in a foreign market.
Who are the partners you work with across the state that will help me with starting or expanding my exporting ambitions?

The Global Trade Alliance is part of a Regional Export Network (REN) and has access and partnerships with other REN organizations as well as private companies that are here to help in a similar capacity. Some of these organizations are as follows:
· Van Andel Global Trade Center
· US Commercial Service
· Michigan Economic Development Corporation
· Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD)
· Small Business Association (SBA)
· Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
· Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers
· Automation Alley
· Michigan State University Export Services
· International Business and Technology (
· Foster Swift
· World Trade Press
· Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center

Are their financial incentives to working with the Global Trade Alliance?

Yes, through our partnerships such as the MEDC MI-STEP grants. Also, ask us about possible reimbursements for international trade training happening all the time. Contact us anytime with questions.

Event Credits

Who produced this event?

The Northwest Micigan Vertual Buisness Summit was produced by Networks Northwest with Authentric Events.


Networks Northwest
PO Box 506
Traverse City, MI 49685-0506

Phone toll-free: 800.692.7774

Headquartered in Denver, Colorado USA, Authentric Events is a leading provider of live event technology, media production and design services. For more information, please visit