"[Planners and attendees] often refer to us as a hidden gem,” says Julie Johnson Atkinson, senior sales manager of Visit Duluth. But word is getting out about Duluth. Its biggest spectacle, Lake Superior, inspires, relaxes and brings people together, something that the people of Duluth capitalize on. And there’s an undeniable sense of community, especially when it comes to planning a meeting or event. Restaurants, venues, caterers, hotels and planners work together to make it work—whatever it is.
University of Minnesota Duluth
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.