Take note of these seven pros who are making their mark in the meetings and events industry.
Jolene Ihle, Founder
“I was 10 years old when I received my Muscular Dystrophy Carnival Kit in the mail. The box was filled with cool ideas and colorful materials to support fundraising efforts. I was completely enthralled with the event planning process. … This experience was my jumpstart into events and I was hooked.”
Here's who has been crowned the winners and runners-up of the Minnesota Meetings + Events Best of 2020 readers' choice awards. Congratulations!
Best Brewery/Cidery/Distillery/Winery with Event Space
Surly Brewing Company
Put down your phone and network
Recently opened on St. Paul’s Cathedral Hill, The Salt Cellar is a blend of old-school service and modern, locally inspired cuisine mixed with an interactive dining experience. The steak and seafood restaurant’s private dining room, the Cathedral Room, seats up to 50 people and comes with a customized menu for any event. The Martinez, one of Salt Cellar’s signature drinks, evokes the restaurants’ modern-classic theme.
—1.5 oz. Haymans Old Tom Gin
—1.5 oz. Carpano Antica Formula
—.25 oz. Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
—Regans orange bitters
From golf tournaments to auctions and 5Ks, fundraising events can be fairly unoriginal. Ten years ago the Twin Cities Salvation Army looked for a unique annual fundraising op- portunity to engage a younger demographic. They came up with the MOST Amazing Race.
Minnesota is known for many things—its lakes, its bikeability, its vibrant arts scene—but the population of event-planning professionals is just as noteworthy, if less visible. The Minnesota Chapter of Meetings Professionals International (MPI MN) is the ninth largest in the world. Robert Payne, regional director of sales and marketing, CSM Corporation, is partly responsible for that.
HelmsBriscoe, a global leader in meeting procurement, hosted its fifth annual HB Cares event, which impacted seven local charities including the Ronald McDonald House Twin Cities, Love Your Melon, The Simpson House, Bloomington Theatre and Art Center, MN Assistance Council for Veterans, Earle Brown Charter School and National Ataxia Foundation. The end-of-the-year holiday party was held at the Radisson Blu at the Mall of America on November 20. The firm raised over $70,000 this year to purchase care packages and other goods for the charities.
Farm-to-table was so last year. Now, instead of just clamoring for farm-fresh food at mealtimes, city folk want to visit rural locations for meetings and events. In farmland all over Minnesota, barns have been spruced up and modernized, ready for a new era of rustic-style occasions (with plenty of modern touches).
The Barn at Dunvilla, Pelican Rapids
This past fall the meetings and events team travelled to Las Vegas to participate in IMEX, an annual international trade show. We learned about and tasted whiskey from a kilted man in Scotland, snapped a group picture at the World Cup in Germany, ate empanadas from Brazil and took a virtual tour of London. On the last day, we posed the question: Based on these three days, which city or country would you visit? Between the German-style tables with giant pretzels and imported beer on tap, Munich was an easy answer.