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2024 Meet Minneapolis Annual Meeting Spotlights Positive Impacts of Tourism

The organization broke a record for future group hotel room nights booked, introduced its first-ever Indigenous board chair, and discussed long-range tourism initiatives

By Todd R. Berger

2.29.24 Meet Minneapolis Annual Meeting.jpg
At the Meet Minneapolis Annual Meeting, the organization highlighted record and upward-trending visitation numbers. || Photo by f11photo, courtesy of Adobe

At its 2024 Meet Minneapolis Annual Meeting at the Minneapolis Convention Center on Feb. 29, the organization announced that it set a record last year for most future group hotel rooms booked. Through the meeting theme of “Changing Perceptions. Positive Impact.,” the convention and visitors bureau highlighted the work it is doing to impact perceptions and visitor experiences, generate tax revenue for the City of Minneapolis, and directly support more than 33,000 tourism and hospitality workers.

Last year, Meet Minneapolis brought more than 700 events to the Minneapolis region, welcomed nearly 713,000 people to the Minneapolis Convention Center (MCC), and helped increase hotel demand in the city by more than 15% year-over-year.

Meet Minneapolis Key Performance Indicators for 2023

  • Future group hotel room nights booked: 579,000
    • Most ever in Meet Minneapolis history
  • Minneapolis Convention Center revenue generated: $18.5 million
    • An increase of more than 14% compared to 2022
  • Lodging taxes generated: $10.6 million
    • More than 20% higher compared to the previous year
  • Partnerships businesses: 458
    • 70 new partner businesses were added last year

“In 2023, the impact that our industry had on our city was undeniable,” says Meet Minneapolis President and CEO Melvin Tennant in a prepared statement. “From marquee events translating into record-breaking hotel demand to marketing campaigns resulting in changed perceptions, the efforts of Meet Minneapolis and its partners positively benefited our community, especially in terms of the jobs and livelihoods impacted by our work. We know, however, that there is additional ground to gain to increase our city’s competitiveness in the marketplace.”

New Meet Minneapolis Board of Directors Announced

  • Chair: Robert Lilligren of the Native American Community Development Institute is a former Minneapolis City Council member, a citizen of the White Earth Nation, a third-generation Minneapolis Urban Indian, and the first Indigenous individual to be board chair of the city’s tourism organization.
  • Vice Chair: Tabitha Montgomery is from the Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association.
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Michael Clark is from the Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel, The Depot.

Additional 2023 Highlights From the Meet Minneapolis Annual Meeting

  • In March of last year, Meet Minneapolis launched a major leisure tourism campaign: “See What All the Fuss Is About.” It was designed to boldly and confidently tell the city’s story to people who used to travel to Minneapolis often—as well as those who are new to the destination. In September, Meet Minneapolis showcased a fall version of the campaign to invite visitors to “take it all in” and encourage overnight stays in the city.
  • Hotel records were broken on June 13 for the inaugural USA Volleyball Girls Junior National Championships for the 11-13 age divisions, which took place June 14-17 at the MCC, and during the June 23-25 weekend with an estimated 500,000 people visiting Minneapolis for Pride, Taylor Swift, and the Kiwanis International Convention combined. (Go here for more on the record-breaking weekend.)
  • In late August, more than 2,500 people—including nearly 900 meeting and event planning professionals—gathered at the MCC for Connect Marketplace, a major convention in the events industry. Attendees were polled post-event and results showed a dramatic shift in perceptions about the city and in the likelihood of them considering or booking a future event in Minneapolis.
  • Last year, Meet Minneapolis ran an awareness campaign highlighting the businesses and culture throughout the city’s seven designated Cultural Districts. The campaign delivered 10.6 million impressions with 41,000 clicks.
  • The Meet Minneapolis website set new website visitor records. The website gained more than three million sessions (a 14.3% YOY increase) where visitors learned more on where to visit, eat, drink, shop, and be entertained in the city. There were also more than one million outbound clicks to local business websites.
  • Meet Minneapolis social media channels also set a record and generated nearly 49.4 million impressions last year (compared to 30.1 million in 2022) and over 261,800 post link clicks.

Future Tourism Initiatives

  • Minneapolis Tourism Improvement District: Used in 200 communities and 21 states, this is a hotel-led initiative that would provide supplemental tourism funding. A task force of hotel general managers is working on the parameters for a Minneapolis Tourism Improvement District. Additional steps within the hotel community are needed. If approved, city hotels would enlist Meet Minneapolis for additional sales and marketing efforts to drive even more tourism and overnight stays in Minneapolis.
  • Destination Minneapolis—Charting the Future of Minneapolis Tourism: Meet Minneapolis is developing a strategic road map for the future by aligning the public, private, and civic sectors around a shared tourism vision. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey is chair of the board steering committee, which is looking at what Minneapolis needs to remain competitive in the meetings, events, and visitor markets for the next 10 years and beyond.

To access the 2023 Meet Minneapolis Annual Impact Report, please go here.