• Meet Jessica Barrett, 2019 Best Supplier

    Minnesota Meetings + Events is proud to introduce our 2019 Hall of Fame, made up of seven top-notch individuals who are positively impacting the meetings and events industry.

     
    POSTED April 29, 2019
     
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BEST SUPPLIER
Jessica Barrett

Executive Director, Machine Shop

On her role in shaping Machine Shop: “During the renovation of the space, I managed the second half of construction which was great because it gave me influence over a lot of small details and how the space functioned so that it could be set up for events.”

On saying no: “I don’t want to be known as a person who always says ‘yes’ to everything, but I do want to be known as someone who always says, ‘no, but here’s something else that we could do.’”

“I know that it sounds corny when I say it, but I still believe truly that my job is making people’s dream come true and I do take that very seriously.”

“I think one of my biggest [assets] is empathy. I can see all sides of a situation and I might not always agree, but I can usually understand the perspective. Doing that helps me create alternatives for people. … I do have a little bit of know-it-all perspective. I like to know the answers to things. I like to be a resource.”

On her secret weapon: “I have a like worst-case scenario brain but also an inner sense of optimism so I always believe that we can overcome or fix anything … it keeps me grounded.”

On her travels: “I didn’t get on an airplane until I was 19 years old and actually never left the country until I was almost 30 and since then I’ve travelled to 14 countries and I’ve touched every continent now except Antarctica. My goal is to touch every continent before I turn 40, so I’m planning on going on a cruise to Antarctica in 2021.”

Carly Van Veldhuizen, the mastermind behind Girl Friday’s mesmerizing creative custom installations, talks inspiration, materials and the value of a solid team.

 

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.

 

This three-city area offers lodging, event space—and plenty of free parking.