There were nearly 500 stakeholders and supporters who attended the event at the Minneapolis Convention Center (MCC) and witnessed the festivities firsthand.
Mayor Jacob Frey got the crowd going as he enthusiastically spoke of the virtues of Minneapolis as a tourism and sports destination and his direct involvement with our organization. We also had the ceremonial passing of the gavel from our former Board Chair Bob Lux of Alatus to Mark Andrew of GreenMark. Longtime Minneapolis City Council Member and Meet Minneapolis Board Member Lisa Goodman bantered with Bob and Mark as they spoke about past successes and limitless future opportunities.
The Annual Meeting was also an opportunity to take a “deep dive” into three key areas of Meet Minneapolis’ operations: Sports Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Convention Center and Destination Branding and Strategy.
Minnesota Vikings EVP of Public Affairs, Lester Bagley, shared his thoughts on how Minneapolis has been successful as a sports destination and how Sports Minneapolis continues to be at the forefront of that success.
Minneapolis Convention Center (MCC)
MCC’s Executive Director Jeff Johnson spoke about the outstanding physical attributes of the MCC including its sustainability successes and LEED certification. But he was most comfortable sharing stories of the team he leads and how working at the MCC is much more than a job to them. Working at the MCC for them is a sense of pride and a means to help them provide for their families.
Destination Branding and Strategy (DBS)
Meet Minneapolis DBS VP Courtney Ries inspired those in attendance to be even more proud of our city and to be bold in telling the world how special we are. The message we are advocating is that “You’ve never met a place quite like this.” Courtney deftly wove the new messaging and positioning into a story that the audience embraced and is no doubt going to share themselves.
During our Annual Meeting, we also presented a number of awards related to the activities, events and individuals helping to make Minneapolis successful as a destination. They include:
Excellence in Meetings, Events & Conventions Award – This award is for an individual, institution or organization whose efforts will result in an impact to the city for years. University of Minnesota Athletics was an obvious choice, in light of the numerous collegiate sports championships they have been willing to host. While the Final Four may be the most notable, there are many others such the Men’s Wrestling Championship and Women’s Volleyball Championship that are feathers in our community’s cap.
Innovation in Tourism Award – This honor is presented annually to an individual or organization that contributes to an advancement of the hospitality community impacting the destination’s visitors and attendees. It was presented to the Minneapolis Downtown Council and City of Minneapolis for the successful completion of the Nicollet project.
President’s Award – This award honors an individual or organization that contributes significantly to the visitor experience of Minneapolis. The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee received the award as it recently completed a more than three year run as the organization responsible for keeping the promises that were made to the NFL in 2014 when the bid to host Super Bowl LII was won.
Lifetime Achievement Award – This was appropriately presented to former Minneapolis City Council President Barbara Johnson for her many years as a tireless supporter and promoter of tourism in Minneapolis. She received the only standing ovation of the event.
Our team’s thanks go out to all of our friends, supporters and constituents who attended. You are all a part of the success of our industry, and Meet Minneapolis works to continue to be a good steward of the trust and confidence you place in us.
Meet Minneapolis Video: “You’ve never met a place quite like this”
Meet Minneapolis Annual Report
Above photo by www.JCoxPhotography.com