This fits into the neighborhood engagement strategy for Meet Minneapolis in 2018 and beyond. Our Destination Branding and Strategy team, led by Courtney Ries, recently launched a new Meet Minneapolis website that has a prominent call to check out our unique neighborhoods right on the homepage. The website presence is a visual manifestation of our larger authenticity focus that includes curating web content directly from experts in those neighborhoods and helping those neighborhoods develop sustainable visitor-oriented activities.
Meet Minneapolis was a pioneer among destination marketing organizations when, five years ago, veteran staff member Bill Deef convinced an initially skeptical leadership team to invest in developing our Signature Experiences. Bill describes them as "off-the-menu offerings that can deepen the connection of a visitor to our community while at the same time driving visitation and creating economic development." Economic development comes in the form of more visitor spending and longer stays that help to sustain the hospitality/tourism jobs of the more than 36,000 women and men who live in Minneapolis.
Meet Minneapolis created 30 new group products that are either hands-on, behind-the-scenes, or one-of-kind experiences that didn’t exist before in Minneapolis/Saint Paul. The Minneapolis Signature Experiences are in a variety of our area neighborhoods and are available to all visitors, including those coming here for business, visiting friends and relatives, attending conventions and meetings, or taking in an amateur or professional sporting event. The categories offered are:
- Arts & Culture
- Food & Wine
- Outdoor, Adventure & Active
Cities such as San Francisco, Chicago and Boston have well-established neighborhoods that attract visitors for their cuisine, entertainment and attractions. Our neighborhoods are just as interesting and have the same rich stories to tell, but we have not yet achieved the same level of top-of-mind awareness as those cities. Much of that lack of awareness is connected to available sales and marketing resources but I will save that discussion for a future column.
You can help share the word about real Minneapolis neighborhood experiences by encouraging friends, family and clients to check out these unique offerings or, better still, check them out for yourself.