(July 25, 2011) - Minneapolis - Meet Minneapolis, Official Convention + Visitors Association, announced today that Meeting Professionals International (MPI) has selected Minneapolis as the host city for the 2014 World Education Congress (WEC), the largest educational gathering of meeting and event professionals in the world, which was last held in Minneapolis in 1994. The convention will bring an expected attendance of more than 3,000 meeting planning professionals from all over the world to meet at the Minneapolis Convention Center Aug. 2-5, 2014, and an anticipated $6.5 million in economic impact for the city.
WEC attendees will use more than 10,000 hotel room nights in downtown Minneapolis hotels for the entirety of the event, as well as the MCC and other offsite venues for receptions and private events.
"Your team and community impressed all of us," said Bruce MacMillan, president and CEO, Meeting Professionals International. "We're all going to create something remarkable."
As important for Meet Minneapolis is the opportunity to showcase our destination to more than 1,500 qualified meeting planners who have the ability to bring their own convention groups to Minneapolis. These planners have average annual budgets in the range of $1.6 million and account for approximately 700,000 meetings annually, and have buying power approaching $1.7 billion. The WEC will expose Minneapolis to these potential customers who may never have been to or even been familiar with the destination previously. The event offers the city exposure to an international audience of potential customers in the year leading up to the convention as it is promoted to the MPI membership.
"We are honored to have this prestigious event coming to Minneapolis again," said Melvin Tennant, president and CEO, Meet Minneapolis. "A lot has changed since the last time they were here, and we are looking forward to impressing the meeting planners with everything Minneapolis has to offer. This exposure will certainly benefit our future business."
This announcement tops off a summer of success for the Destination Sales department at Meet Minneapolis, which booked 108,686 hotel room nights, or 101 percent of their second quarter goal of 108,000. The team also sailed ahead of their first quarter goal of 78,750 room nights, booking 84,468, or 107 percent of that goal, leaving them on track to meet annual room night booking goals of 450,000 room nights by year-end.
Minnesota's MPI chapter is one of the most active and strongest local chapters in the organization, routinely recognized nationally and internationally for their work, including the MPI 2011 RISE (Recognizing Industry Success and Excellence) Award for Community Achievement in Knowledge and Ideas. Several Meet Minneapolis employees are active MPI members, including Tennant.
The sales team at Meet Minneapolis received a request for proposal from MPI on Jan. 31, and in March was chosen to conduct a site visit in Minneapolis on June 7. Meet Minneapolis put together a comprehensive bid, financial support and solicited the backing of all hospitality partners, including hotels, offsite venues, the Minneapolis Convention Center, Explore Minnesota, Visit Saint Paul and Bloomington Convention & Visitors Bureau. Highlighting Minneapolis's sustainability efforts was another key component of the successful bid.
The announcement of selection was made at the 2011 WEC in Orlando, Fla., on Saturday, July 23. The 2012 WEC will be in St. Louis, Mo., and in 2013, MPI will take the event to Las Vegas before coming to Minneapolis.