A nonprofessional may be drafted as a full-fledged event planner at any time: a bachelorette party, best friend’s birthday get-together or co-worker’s promotion soiree. These affairs require event planning rookies to brainstorm themed events with fresh ideas. For that dutiful friend-, spouse- or co-worker-turned-event-planner, Salut Bar Américain created Ensemble Events.

“A lot of times Salut will have guests who have an interest in doing some kind of experimental or educational event,” says Kip Clayton, marketing partner for Parasole Restaurant Holdings, the umbrella company that operates Salut, among other Twin Cities restaurants.

The program customizes original events for those who may not know where to start, while utilizing Salut staff’s savvy. “The ensemble idea came about because we have a talented culinary team and a talented front-of-house team who have different expertise,” says Clayton. “Some know Champagnes really well and some know oysters really well.”

The Salut team is available to turn requests on a dime, or provide inspiration from its own event-planning know-how. The program accommodates groups of up to 25 people. “[Ensemble Events] is meant to be interactive,” says Clayton. “It’s meant to be a way to showcase our kitchen talent and chefs.”

Whether you’re looking for a sophisticated oyster and sparkling wine pairing, an elegant wine and cheese tasting or cock-tail-themed dinners, the Edina restaurant can accommodate—even on short notice. Says Clayton: “We have dinners that are customized and designed for groups that can be organized in a day or two’s notice.” 

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.  


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. 


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.