Minneapolis (May 27, 2021) – After 14 months of limited activity, the Minneapolis Convention Center (MCC) is set to be fully operational once again. Effective May 28, events at the largest convention center in the Upper Midwest can take place with no capacity or social distancing limits, based upon the most recent executive order from Minnesota Governor Tim Walz.
“We’re in the business of building relationships,” MCC Executive Director Jeff Johnson said. “Although COVID-19 severely limited in-person relationship-building over the past year, we’re excited to welcome guests back to our venue and city and are fully prepared to ensure that all events we host are safe and successful.”
The next three months will see increased activity at the MCC, setting the stage for a busy second half of the year for the award-winning facility. Some highlights of the summer schedule include the United States Strongman Nationals (June 5), GeekCraft Expo (June 5-6), the National Conference of The Church Network (July 7-10), and the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association Marketplace & Academy (August 5-8). For a more detailed MCC event calendar, go here.
Health & Safety Protocols
The MCC has instituted numerous protocols designed to keep attendees and staff safe. Notably, the facility became the first convention center in the Upper Midwest to achieve GBAC STAR accreditation, demonstrating implementation of the most stringent practices for cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention. In addition, the venue upgraded its cleaning and airflow technology with ATP hygiene monitoring, an electrostatic disinfecting machine and needlepoint bipolar ionization in meeting rooms to deliver safer and cleaner indoor air. For more information on all health and safety protocols at the MCC, go here.
Since You’ve Been Gone
To remain a leader in an evolving industry, the MCC has enhanced the visitor and client experience in several ways:
- Certified Digital Event Strategists are now on staff to assist with any virtual or hybrid event needs.
- Clients can access a library of 360-degree photos and virtual video tours of spaces throughout the Convention Center.
- Live virtual site tours are available and allow potential clients to visit the MCC from the comfort of their home or office.
- Modeled after online shopping sites, exhibitors can now order services online for all of their needs during their event.
- This fall, clients can access the completely renovated outdoor MCC Plaza.
- This new outdoor event space located in front of the venue is more welcoming, event ready and sustainably appropriate for the MCC campus.
- The Plaza features updated lighting, new walkways and seating options, pollinator meadows with wildflowers and trees, and irrigation utilizing the MCC’s stormwater capture system.
- The Plaza will see its first action this summer by hosting a free fitness program for the community every Saturday from July 17 through August 28.
Adaptability and Reinvention
Because COVID-19 restrictions limited the size and scope of events that could be held over the last 14 months, the MCC shifted its focus to serving the community in unique ways while continuing to be a resource for Minneapolis and beyond.
Examples of adaptability included utilizing the venue as an absentee ballot distribution, drop-off, and processing site for the 2020 election. As election workers moved out in early November, health care professionals moved in to create a state COVID-19 testing site – which continues today. In February, the MCC added a COVID-19 community vaccination site, where more than 100,000 doses were administered over several months.
In 2022, the MCC will return to a packed schedule of meetings, conventions and exhibitions as the venue continues to play an important role in the recovery of the hospitality industry in Minneapolis and beyond. Some highlights of the 2022 calendar include:
- A full slate of public shows and several large Midwest Volleyball Warehouse tournaments
- Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Convention (March 31-April 3)
- Craft Brewers Conference and Brew Expo (May 2-5)
- Shriners International Imperial Session (July 3-7)
- Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) Youth Gathering (July 24-28)
- American Psychological Association Convention (August 4-7)
- United Methodist Church General Conference (August 28-Sept. 8)
For more information on holding your meeting, conference or event in Minneapolis, visit www.minneapolis.org/meetings-events/.
ABOUT THE MINNEAPOLIS CONVENTION CENTER
The Minneapolis Convention Center (MCC) is owned by the City of Minneapolis and marketed through Meet Minneapolis. The 1.6 million square foot facility features 475,000 square feet of exhibit space, a 3,400 fixed-seat auditorium, 87 meeting rooms and two ballrooms. The MCC is GBAC STAR, LEED and GMIC certified and works to serve its constituencies and stakeholders as the face of Minneapolis to visitors. Learn more about the MCC here.
Kevin Kurtt, PR and Communications Manager, 612-767-8118, KevinK@minneapolis.org
Kathy McCarthy, PR and Communications Director, 612-767-8048, KathyM@minneapolis.org
Or email MeetMinneapolisPR@Minneapolis.org