If food service at meetings and events was anything like the social hierarchy of a high school cafeteria, then food trucks would definitely be the cool kids’ table. While the humble box lunch or the ho-hum plated meal stand by on the sidelines, food trucks have been soaking up plenty of attention—and lots of positive buzz. Increasingly, this urban-hipster meal choice is making an appearance at meetings and events of every shape and size, right here in the North Star State.
Minnesota Meetings + Events Magazine
Settled in the mid-1800s, the booming Twin Cities southern suburb of Bloomington—known for its retail commerce (aka the Mall of America)—is a prime location with its transit options, dining, lodging and area attractions tailored to servicing group meetings and events.
Meeting Professionals International’s annual World Education Congress was held in Minneapolis—which exhibited its “City by Nature” setting—this past August. For three days, attendees networked and learned innovative ways to plan meetings in a mix of formal and fun activities.
“Hospitality is in my DNA,” says Darren Ennis, owner of Sheba Productions. The event planner is an Iowa native whose youth as a restaurant rat in his father’s Sioux Falls, South Dakota eateries sparked his interest in creating memorable celebrations for others.
A xraft-brew phenomenon was born when the so-called Surly bill passed in 2011, allowing Minnesota breweries to serve pints of beer on-site. And subsequently, a new kind of meeting and event space became readily available. The casual atmosphere is a builtin feature, but don’t be mistaken: Taprooms are a place where business gets done.
You can't beat the convenience of a hotel gathering. Aside from the obvious perks of combining event space with overnight accommodations, food is now one of the best parts of booking a stay. Hotel restaurants have evolved, embracing a locavore attitude in the menus. While each of the following hotel restaurants offers private dining space, you don’t have to limit your number of attendees thanks to the proximity of boardrooms and ballrooms on the properties.
Media and marketing professional Sarah Sladek has been researching demographics since 2002, so she has plenty of advice for engaging the perplexing workforce power that is Generation Y (people born between 1982 and 1995). Her book Knowing Y: Engage the Next Generation Now examines the motivations and values of Millennials and provides insight on how to involve them with associations.
You have secured and signed contracts for the venue, hotel rooms and keynote speakers. But as we learned on Sept. 11, 2001, some things are beyond eventhe best meeting planner’s control. Event cancellation insurance is one of the most overlooked forms of insurance coverage that a meeting professional might shop for.
Congratulations to the finalists for the Minnesota Meetings + Events' Best of Awards 2014! We look forward to celebrating with each of you at our Best of Awards on Thursday, April 2 at WINDOWS on Minnesota, where the winners will be announced.
* Connect with us on social media before, during and after the awards with the hashtag #BestofMN2014
13th Annual Minnesota Meetings + events Best Of Awards 2014
Thursday, April 2