Adia Morris served as the emcee today. She is an artist, writer and educator, and regularly contributes monologues on TPT’s “Almanac.” We thank Adia for connecting all of our presenters together in order to help us tell our story. That story was meant to convey to our audience:
- A better understanding of the unique differences in our various customers
- A recognition of new trends that are influencing their business and travel decisions
- And a greater awareness of the strategies and initiatives we are implementing to continue our collective success
Mayor Jacob Frey, a Meet Minneapolis and Sports Minneapolis board member, touted our industry’s successes, including the major events we have hosted over the last decade, as well as the impressive tourism infrastructure our community has added. Mayor Frey noted that “we’re working on more and more ways to give visitors the authentic experiences they desire.” Curating unique and memorable visitor experiences are essential in our ongoing work. The Mayor’s advocacy of cultural districts is evidence of his commitment.
As mentioned previously, our event took place in the MCC, where Jeff Johnson serves as its executive director. Jeff invited the audience to join in the celebration of the MCC’s 30th anniversary. He also thanked the many organizations that consistently held their events in the building. The list is quite impressive and indicates the depth of customer loyalty we have been able to build over the last three decades.
The annual meeting is also a time to recognize special achievements that have helped to fuel our industry’s success. The award winners included:
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Tricia Johnson, Brede Exposition Services
- Innovation in Tourism Award: Peavey Plaza for the renovation and redesign which restored the area to create a lively gathering space in the heart of downtown Minneapolis
- President’s Award: First Avenue for drawing musical artists and visitors from around the world to the city’s iconic landmark for 50 years
- Excellence in Meetings, Events & Conventions Award: Target, which has held more than 500 meetings and events at the Minneapolis Convention Center since 2000
Julie Batliner, our new Meet Minneapolis Board Chair, who is also the president and managing partner of Carmichael Lynch, accepted the ceremonial gavel and laid out her vision for her time as chair.
Her main message was that we, as an industry, need a stronger voice. Julie will lead the effort to educate our community on the benefits tourism brings. Meet Minneapolis will work to not only serve as the sales and marketing voice for the destination, but also the voice of advocacy on behalf of our industry. We look forward to Julie’s leadership in this and in other areas.
Thanks go out to the more than 500 partners and stakeholders who joined us at our annual meeting. If you were not able to attend, please take a few minutes to review our annual report.
Meet Minneapolis relies on our nearly 700 partner businesses, fellow business associations and our many other supporters to ensure our industry continues to prosper. Thank you all for your continued support.