However, staying true to our mission of making Minneapolis the destination of choice among travelers is also of paramount importance. So just as the Super Bowl took years of work and was ultimately secured in 2014, we are vigilant in tracking future major event opportunities during the decision making window. Because once the window of time during which meeting and event decision makers select destinations passes, we have lost out on potential business.
The fundamentals of securing a convention involve inspiring initial interest in the destination, developing and cultivating a prospect, issuing a proposal and monitoring the decision making process, and ultimately convincing the prospective customer to sign on the dotted line. But the art of effectively telling the most compelling destination narrative that will reveal to the prospective customer how their event can flourish in Minneapolis.
That destination narrative is often best told by community leaders in order to enhance the written materials we have provided and to highlight our unique qualities as a destination. The most recent example of this personalized approach to distinguishing ourselves from our competition was the bid presentation to the National Urban League (NUL). We are pursuing 2021 or 2022 annual convention. In his first week in office, Mayor Jacob Frey made time in his hectic schedule to join us for the National Urban League bid presentation in New York City.
The National Urban League's national president is Marc Morial. He is a former mayor of New Orleans and was also actively involved in tourism promotion including multiple successful Super Bowl bids for his home city. So Mr. Morial was well aware of the power of hearing a city leader’s voice, particularly the Mayor, in helping to secure an event for the city.
In addition to Mayor Frey and Meet Minneapolis account executive Betty Williams who handles the NUL account for us, several senior community leaders joined us:
- Steven Belton, President & CEO, Minneapolis Urban League
- Jon Campbell, Director, Corporate Responsibility & Community Relations, Wells Fargo & Company
- Dorothy Bridges, SVP, Public Affairs, Regional Outreach & Community Development, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
- Ravi Norman, CEO, Thor Construction
While this group of individuals working together is solely for his particular bid, the strategy of telling the community story is a staple of our sales efforts. It is common to put together a group of local leaders to tell our destination story including our successful Super Bowl and Final Four bids and those that don’t grab headlines like the National Baptist Convention, American Volleyball Coaches Association, United Methodist Church and others.
So as we welcome the NFL and savor the community’s success in having secured the Super Bowl, we cannot lose sight of how competitive it is to recruit future events and conventions. To make sure we always have an answer to what’s next, we will continue to use creative sales and marketing techniques like encouraging destination story telling by community leaders.