The 2018 Meeting Planners Symposium held at The Graduate Minneapolis and McNamara Alumni Center was all about unique venues and experiences. From a Scrabble team challenge to a mini hackathon, meeting with no walls and a surprise session on a coach bus, this learning opportunity was anything but ordinary. Teams worked together to solve a complex problem and pitch their idea for $500 cash. Through beautiful chaos, attendees discovered fresh, unconventional approaches to do their jobs better.
Over 400 association executives, staff and members of the hospitality community connected at the Associations North Solutions Conference at Mystic Lake Center on June 13-14. The conference consisted of the Annual Meeting & Expo, a Cornholapalooza (bean bag tournament) and a Golf Classic, and an open-concept trade show.
MNM+E’s annual readers’ choice awards brought 305 meeting and event professionals to the Minneapolis Institute of Art on April 5 to honor the Best of 2018 award winners and Hall of Famers. Back by popular demand, Discover St. Louis Park sponsored puppies from Secondhand Hounds, which greeted guests at registration. Mall of America and Bloomington CVB were the Gift Bag Sponsors, Ruttger’s Bay Lake Lodge was the Valet Sponsor and Roseville Visitors Association was the Entertainment Sponsor.
At Hilton Minneapolis this past November, the NACE Minneapolis/ St. Paul Chapter held its educational conference entitled Minnesota Made: Midwest Moments of Wow. The aesthetic featured plenty of plaid, as the theme was “luxury lumberjack.”
ILEA MSP’S September Program
On May 10, the MPI Minnesota chapter celebrated its members and the successes of its 2016-17 year at Union Depot in St. Paul. The theme was “Soirée: An Evening in Paris,” and attendees dined on French-inspired food from Crave. The 2017-18 Board of Directors and incoming president, Jen Ruthig, CMP, were welcomed, and EMPI awards and scholarship recipients were announced.
MNM+E’s 15th annual Best of Minnesota brought 260 meeting and event professionals to Solar Arts by Chowgirls on April 6 to honor award winners and Hall of Famers. Guests indulged in fantastic food from Chowgirls Killer Catering, themed sweets from Mintahoe Catering & Events, and beer from Indeed Brewery Company. Event Lab decked out the venue with its elegant décor, which comple - mented the industrial-chic space.
Associations North, the association for associations in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, infused excitement, creativity and innovation into its one-day Meeting Planners Symposium on Nov. 9 at Hyatt Regency Minneapolis with its open layout, new room sets, quick 30-minute sessions, hub groups and more. Keynote speaker Tamara G. Kleinberg disrupted the status quo with her “Think Sideways” presentation that introduced new tools to and generate inventive ideas.
International Live Events Association (ILEA-MSP) met at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sept. 29 for networking, lunch, a tour of the stadium and an address from Maureen Bausch, CEO of the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee. Attendees learned about the different ways to get involved in the 10-day Bold North Festival that will lead up to Super Bowl LII.
Associations North, formerly MSAE (Midwest Society of Association Executives), celebrated 60 years at Aria Minneapolis on Aug. 4 by honoring the past, present and future. Guests were greeted with stilt walkers, valet parking, champagne tower and a walk through the decades in the form of 8-foot-by-8-foot photo walls from the past six decades. Member logos were highlighted in a big “60” for a memorable backdrop. The four-sided bar and video cube overhead highlighted more member photos and videos on the impact of associations (complete with a blooper reel).