Waves of Change Highlighted at Meet Minneapolis Annual Meeting
Minneapolis (March 14, 2023) – Meet Minneapolis held its 2023 Annual Meeting at the Minneapolis Convention Center today, highlighting the work the convention and visitors association is doing to stimulate an inclusive recovery for the city’s tourism and hospitality industry while also boldly telling the community’s rich and diverse story.
Through the meeting theme of “Make Waves. Create Change. In Minneapolis.,” the organization noted successes in 2022, presented an insider’s look at the future of travel and tourism, provided information on the Connect Marketplace event coming to Minneapolis in August, and unveiled plans for an upcoming major tourism advertising campaign.
In 2022, Meet Minneapolis brought more than 530 events to the Minneapolis region, generating significant revenue and helping support nearly 30,000 tourism and hospitality workers.
Meet Minneapolis Highlights for 2022*
- Group Room Nights: 491,500+ nights Up 30% compared to 2021
- For reference, in 2019, group room nights booked by Meet Minneapolis were 556,700
- Minneapolis Convention Center (MCC) Revenue: $16.2 million Up 123% compared to 2021
- For reference, in 2019 (the year Minneapolis hosted the NCAA Men’s Final Four), MCC revenue was $21.1 million/li>
- Lodging Tax: $8.7 million Up 148% compared to 2021
- For reference, in 2019, lodging taxes generated were $8.3 million
“We’re not yet back to 2019 levels and continued headwinds such as the slow return of business travel have provided challenges, but we see a lot of positive momentum in Minneapolis,” said Meet Minneapolis President and CEO Melvin Tennant. “I’m encouraged that we are on the road to recovery and excited as we continue the important work to impact our community in critical, meaningful and unexpected ways – from the millions of dollars in additional tax revenue that’s generated by visitor spending, to supporting tourism and hospitality workers in Minneapolis.”
Major Meetings Industry Event Coming to Minneapolis
This August, Minneapolis will host a major event in the meetings industry called Connect Marketplace. It has the potential to create some big waves of future success for meetings and events in Minneapolis. On August 22-24, more than 1,000 meeting and event planners will gather at the MCC to meet one-on-one with key decision makers, hear from industry experts, network with peers, discover event solutions, and learn more about what Minneapolis has to offer as a meeting and event destination.
Coming Soon: Major Tourism Advertising Campaign
During the Annual Meeting, Meet Minneapolis provided a sneak peek of an exciting new tourism campaign that will be fully released on March 27. The campaign, created in partnership with the Minneapolis-based agency Periscope, will address misperceptions about Minneapolis, and boldly tell the city’s story to people who used to travel to Minneapolis often – as well as those who are new to the destination – by highlighting the amazing things that the city has to offer. More details on the campaign will be released on March 27.
More 2022 Highlights
- In spite of challenges faced from the COVID-19 omicron variant at the beginning of the year, the Minneapolis Convention Center – the foundation of the city’s tourism and hospitality industry – hosted more than 480,000 people at nearly 220 meetings, conventions, trade shows and sporting events.
- Meet Minneapolis launched the “Make Waves. Create Change. In Minneapolis.” sales and marketing initiative to encourage meeting planners who have a passion for embracing and creating change to make Minneapolis their destination of choice for their meeting or event.
- In May, Meet Minneapolis hired Ka Vang as the organization’s first-ever Vice President of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Access (EDIA). Since then, Meet Minneapolis has unveiled several EDIA initiatives, including a BIPOC/multicultural media directory and a diverse supplier guide. In addition, Meet Minneapolis staff is participating in ongoing equity training.
- Meet Minneapolis added to its dedicated website for the city’s seven designated Cultural Districts. In addition to unique first-person perspectives on each cultural district, there are now 28 videos – created in partnership with Free Truth Media – that help to bring the districts to life.
- Minneapolis.org set new website visitor records: More than 2.7 million people visited the Meet Minneapolis website (www.minneapolis.org) in 2022, to learn more on where to visit, eat, drink, shop and be entertained in the city, resulting in 4.6 million page views and over 930,000 outbound clicks to partner websites.
- Meet Minneapolis social media channels also set a record and generated nearly 30.1 million total impressions in 2022 (compared to 21.5 million in 2021).
Awards and Board of Directors
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Bruce Karstadt, American Swedish Institute President and CEO, for leading the cultural institute for more than 30 years.
- Innovation in Tourism Award: Four Seasons Hotel Minneapolis for opening the city’s first 5-star hotel in the heart of downtown, thereby expanding the visitor base, benefitting the city’s tourism and hospitality industry, and enhancing the value of the community.
- President’s Award: Mark Nerenhausen, Hennepin Theatre Trust President and CEO, for leading an organization that brings more than a half million visitors to Minneapolis each year, ensuring that the city has a vibrant and art-filled downtown.
- Excellence in Meetings, Events & Conventions Award: 2022 Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America, which brought more than 10,000 craft brewers to the MCC in May 2022.
- 2022 Hospitality Hero award winners:
- Martha Barnes, Laundry Attendant (Courtyard Minneapolis Downtown)
- William Blackwell, Director of Guest Services (The Marquette Hotel)
- Jacob McKee, Front Office Manager (Hampton Inn & Suites Minneapolis)
- Jaymin Jansen, Guest Service Captain (Towne Park / W Minneapolis - The Foshay)
- New officers of the Meet Minneapolis Board of Directors:
- Chair: Lester Bagley (Minnesota Vikings)
- Vice Chair: Robert Lilligren (Native American Community Development Institute)
- Secretary / Treasurer: Christy Loy (W Minneapolis – The Foshay)
To access the 2022 Meet Minneapolis Annual Report, please go here.
* Unaudited. Key performance indicators will be verified by an independent auditor
ABOUT MEET MINNEAPOLIS
Meet Minneapolis is a private, not-for-profit, member-based association. It actively promotes and sells the Minneapolis area as a destination for conventions and meetings, works to maximize the visitor experience and markets the city as a desirable tourist destination to maximize the economic benefit to the greater Minneapolis area.
Meet Minneapolis is accredited by the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) of Destinations International.
Kevin Kurtt, PR Manager, o 612-767-8118, c 952-288-9319, KevinK@minneapolis.org
Kathy McCarthy, Senior PR Director, o 612-767-8048, c 612-508-9720, KathyM@minneapolis.org
Or email MeetMinneapolisPR@minneapolis.org