Note from Melvin: Our Meet Minneapolis team continues to serve as the local hospitality/tourism industry trusted resource. This responsibility has become even more vital as we navigate the rapidly-changing COVID-19 issue. To date, we have communicated to our local partner businesses as well as our upcoming meeting and convention customers. Our team has also enhanced our internal business continuation plan so that we can remain viable if our physical location is somehow compromised. We thank you all for your continued support and welcome your questions, comments and concerns.
We will not be addressing COVID-19 in this edition of the Minute specifically. We will send out relevant industry updates as the need arises. Instead we want to look ahead to what will no doubt be a bright future for our industry by sharing some comments from new Meet Minneapolis board chair, Julie Batliner, APR. Julie is president and managing partner of Carmichael Lynch and Carmichael Lynch Relate. Please read her comments from our Meet Minneapolis annual meeting that took place on February 25 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Enjoy the read and thank you for your partnership.
Guest Column from Julie Batliner:
As my role as Meet Minneapolis Board Chair begins, I’ve been thinking about how connected we all are through the work of Meet Minneapolis – professionally and personally.
I landed in Minneapolis through a job transfer and, like many others, I fell in love with this city. I love the food, the culture and the arts. I love this city’s sports vibe, its awesome music scene, and our river and parks.
As someone leading a creative advertising and PR agency, it’s so important to have a city that nurtures all of these important cultural things. The vibrancy, growing diversity and inclusiveness of our city attracts visitors and helps us recruit national talent.
I’ve seen amazing things take place in our city, and I’ve observed our community coming together to do incredible work. There’s never been a better time to live here and be a business owner in Minneapolis.
What excites me as Board Chair is that I will have a hand in shaping the great work of Meet Minneapolis and continuing to connect all different types of businesses and organizations. I want to help all of us make this the very best place to visit, work and live.
Thanks to a new 5-year contract, the important work of Meet Minneapolis in connecting the right people, at the right time, for the right opportunities, will continue.
Here are two important questions: How do we achieve the same or greater success moving forward? How do we continue to strengthen our position as a city and as a meetings, events and convention destination?
As a marketing and communications leader, I know firsthand how important it is for people to know and love your product.
Right now, not enough people know about our “product,” which is the tourism industry in Minneapolis. This industry is a vital part of our city, our region, and our local economy. Collectively, we are an integral part of this city, generating more than $8 million a year in lodging taxes alone. These tax dollars become city resources to be reinvested into the community for expenses that would otherwise be borne by our city residents.
The tourism and hospitality industry is providing employment opportunities for people of all ages, races and economic standing including refugees, immigrants, first-generation college students and those with an advanced education. As we look forward, I want all of us that benefit from tourism – whether that’s the small coffee shop near a popular Airbnb, a large convention hotel, or residents who get to enjoy their favorite restaurant because tourist dollars help keep the doors open.
Moving forward, we need a stronger voice.
Meet Minneapolis will help lead the way, but it will take all of us advocating on behalf of our industry to educate our community on the benefits tourism brings.
We need to raise awareness of who we are and how our collective impact benefits those around us.
We want you to join us in lending our voices to advocating for what we need as a collective group to continue to remain competitive in the ever-changing landscape.
I look for your help and I look forward to working alongside you and Meet Minneapolis to advance those initiatives.