• 2014 Brings Changes to the Industry

    A Change is Gonna Come: This year, it's all about content. 

    FROM THE Summer 2014 ISSUE

EVERY NEW YEAR BRINGS CHANGE, and that is especially true in the meetings and events industry. We sat down with three members of Minnesota Meetings + Events’ Editorial Advisory Board to discuss what meeting and event planners should be prepared for in the upcoming year.

"In a few years, there are going to be more millennials in the workforce than baby boomers," explains Devie Hagen, owner of Élan Speakers Agency and a patron of the industry for more than 25 years. "It’s going to be a whole different ballgame in terms of how you engage participants in a meeting. We’re shifting from hosting attendees to hosting participants."

Hagen describes that in the future, when you plan a meeting or event, there must be a justification behind it. With this generation, fluff meetings can no longer exist. Millennials need to know why they are attending a meeting and what they will get out of it.

"Last year, it was all about experience," says Sarah Ruzek, director of education for MSAE. "This year, it’s getting back to content value. We’re customizing meetings more than ever before; it’s no longer one size fits all."

Nikki McLain, CMP, SMMC, global program manager at Carlson Wagonlit Travel Meetings & Events, agrees. "It’s not just about showing up and coming anymore-it’s about being an active part of the event."

"The future is in hybrid meetings," shares Hagen. "We’re going to see a push in online live viewing. Participants won’t have to travel and they can still be engaged with the information. Content, content, content."

Earlier this month, The Dayton’s Project unveiled the first of several installations in the Dayton’s skyways. The whole development is on schedule to open this spring and will include retail shopping and direct access to the food hall on the lower level.  


CWT was recently awarded a $450,000 grant by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, one of only six Minnesota companies selected this year.

The grant comes from the Job Creation Fund, which targets companies that are creating high-paying jobs in the state, while making the needed capital investments to support that growth. CWT is aiming to recruit 75 people over the next three years. It’s currently renovating its leased spaces at 701 Carlson Parkway to make way for the new hires.


Minnesota has a bounty of venues that are made for sharing on social media.