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.

Over the years, any corporate event planner can admit to spending countless hours researching the perfect venue or vendors for their gatherings. After attending or hosting hundreds of events, New York-based Daphne Hoppenot was no stranger to this research and was frustrated by its repetitive nature. However, it was planning her wedding in 2018 that pushed her to realize the lack of resources in the corporate events market compared to the wedding industry, and set out to see if other meetings and events professionals were struggling with the same problem.  

 

Choosing a career in the event industry is not for the faint of heart. Let’s face it: Event planning is stressful. The last-minute changes, demands from clients and surmounting urgency of a quickly approaching event can make it difficult to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

As a new mother, I’m right there with you and need just as much help developing a healthy work-life balance. In my experiences working in events, I’ve found the following to be helpful ways to care for my mental health, despite being in a stressful profession:

 

Freelancing has become a new ball game since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, as many companies cannot afford to keep full-time positions, but still need those tasks completed. Although many more professionals have had to join the freelancing community since March, Tracy Judge had the passion for the freelancing community two years ago–long before the pandemic hit–and founded her company Soundings Connect in order to directly connect meetings and events industry freelancers with customers.