• Minneapolis Is On the Radar

     
    POSTED February 21, 2020
     

As the 13th largest metropolitan economy in the U.S., Minneapolis outperforms its peers, including Kansas City, Denver, Indianapolis and Charlotte when it comes to tourist attractions and hospitality. A vibrant food and music scene, world-class museums and theaters, an influx of upcoming hotels and venues— including a Four Seasons in 2022—and the tourist magnet that is the Mall of America, all combine with the great outdoors where scenic lakes abound—providing visitors to the city with many Instagrammable backdrops for any event.

It is no surprise that based on the booking trends we are seeing for 2020 and beyond, Minneapolis made it to the short-list of up-and-coming cities in CWT Meetings & Events’ 2020 Future Trends Report. Minneapolis is the Goldilocks of locations; it’s not too large, crowded or overwhelming, and it’s not too remote, dull and boring. It has everything a modern city can offer, at prices that are more reasonable, and a pace that is much more comfortable.

As expected, hosting the Super Bowl in 2018 greatly increased Minneapolis’ visibility—and the city took every advantage to raise its profile. The Bold North, as we’re now known, takes pride in who we are and what we have to offer. It’s this authenticity that is helping to drive more organizations and people to come experience what the city has to offer—in all kinds of weather.

The successful staging of Super Bowl LII and a host of other big sports events over the years, including NCAA Final Four, Stanley Cup Finals, Ryder Cup, World Series, to name a few, have brought not just fans, but potential clients and customers to the city—whether they’re having a great experience on the ground or watching the festivities from wherever they are. With each of these events, the infrastructure improves and the city deepens and grows its talent pool in the event industry. It’s a virtuous cycle that is putting Minneapolis on the map for events. And the cycle continues as events contribute to the Twin Cities by accelerating economic growth, attracting and motivating talent, and serving as a platform to ignite innovation.

Bottom line: Event owners are increasingly looking for experiences—whether in culinary diversity, music and arts, community give back programs, outdoor activities—versus just a place to hold a meeting. Rising destinations like Minneapolis have all these characteristics in common. The Twin Cities are competitive because we have what buyers value in a destination that perhaps they haven’t been to—but now have their sights on.

Event planners often prepare for the worst, but one thing they likely didn’t anticipate was a global pandemic when selecting event cancellation insurance policies for their 2020 gatherings. Panicked planners began contacting Marcia McKinney, owner of Northeast Insurance Advisors, in late February and early March, but as meetings and events ground to a halt, they were already out of luck.

“It’s kind of like trying to buy homeowner’s insurance as your house is starting to catch fire... it’s too late,” says McKinney.

 

Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth is one of six recipients of the James Beard Foundation’s 2020 America’s Classics Award, which is given to locally owned restaurants that have timeless appeal and are beloved regionally for quality food that reflects the character of their community. Per the foundation, “Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth, a chicken dinner behemoth positioned between Detroit and Michigan’s summer lake destination, is decidedly on the beaten path. William Zehnder Sr. and his wife, Emilie, bought a former hotel in 1928.

 

Located in Oregon’s wine country, The Allison Inn and Spa is offering some new team-building options for meeting planners. Experiences include:

» Smith Teas Tasting: Claire Boyer, Smith Teamaker’s head of education, offers a hands-on class uncovering the exotic world of tea.

» Lotion Blending: Awaken the senses and heighten creativity with a hands-on lotion and essential oil-blending workshop.