Meet Minneapolis Capitalizes on Short-Term Business and Prepares for Republican National Convention

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Meet Minneapolis™, Official Convention + Visitors Association, today announced that in 2007 the organization concentrated its focus on corporate and short-term convention business, developed new marketing tools and opportunities and lent its expertise for September's Republican National Convention.

Meet Minneapolis™, Official Convention + Visitors Association, today announced that in 2007 the organization concentrated its focus on corporate and short-term convention business, developed new marketing tools and opportunities and lent its expertise for September's Republican National Convention. Looking forward, the convention sales team met its annual goal of 400,000 definite room nights and generated 737 leads representing 1,606,152 potential room nights for future business.

Convention Sales
With the influx of new hotel infrastructure – by August 2008, downtown Minneapolis will see more than $200 million in new or renovated hotel properties within 2 years – the new mix of hotel properties to sell provides additional corporate and short-term business opportunities. Association business is steady and has shown an upswing for the past 3 to 4 years.

In 2007, 80% of the definite bookings for conventions and meetings were short-term business. Of the department's 328 bookings in 2007, 44% were for meetings occurring during 2007. Another 36% meetings secured were scheduled for 2008. The short term booking positively impacts short-term occupancy rates for hotel communities.

2007 Highlights

Republican National Convention
During 2007, Meet Minneapolis worked with the Republican National Convention in a variety of roles to prepare for more than 45,000 conventioneers, delegates, dignitaries and media arriving in Minneapolis to attend the Sept. 1 – 4 convention. Convention services contributed to the Delegate Experience programs and lent its expertise to developing the Delegate Experience program, including the airport welcome, free time activities for delegates and guests and venue coordination for parties. Marketing played a key role in the development of a communications plan and administration and government relations were highly involved with securing a transportation partner, providing counsel on transportation-related areas, working with taxis and other legislative issues.

Building the Buzz: One web visitor and thousands of media outlets at a time
Meet Minneapolis revamped and retooled its http://www.minneapolis.org web site to fit the needs of the leisure and business traveler making it easier to navigate, full of "insider" information and an improved hotel web
pages with amenity details and pricing information.

Through its media relations efforts, the communications team secured or influenced more than 2000 media stories highlighting the area, 155% more than in 2006. The team hosted 53 high profile travel journalists for familiarization tours. Broadcast outlets The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and the Today Show and national magazines Fortune Small Business and Cooking Light and regional newspapers produced stories.

Convention Services Produced an Estimated Direct Economic Impact of $482 Million
Convention services continued to serve an impressive number of meetings by hosting more than 360 conventions, a 9% increase; 428,098 delegates, a 12% increase with an estimated delegate expenditure of $432.6 million, a 34% increase over 2006.

Major conventions serviced included:

  •     Kappa Alpha Psi, 3000 attendees and 1650 room nights
  •     NAFSA, 9000 attendees and 3500 room nights
  •     PEO Sisterhood, 3840 attendees and 1200 room nights
  •     National Council on Tobacco & Health, 3500 and 2000 room nights

Membership & Sponsorship
In 2007, Membership & Sponsorship focused on delivering diverse events and sponsorship opportunities to members. Providing additional and varied networking and educational opportunities brought increased marketing opportunities and sponsorship packages to build individual member business. Meet Minneapolis Membership & Sponsorship renewed 611 members, a 31% increase from 2006 and signed 91 new members for a 38% increase over 2006.

Tourism and International Travel
Tourism booked a total of 58,623 hotel room nights in 2007. Hotel bookings for international travelers showed gains of +2% and package programs showed an increase of +25%. International media continued Overall room night sales were down -6% from 2006, due to a drop in wedding and group tour travel. Potential visitors inquiring for more information showed a gain of more than 12% from 2006, totaling 54,406 total visitor inquiries.

Note to journalists: A full copy of the Meet Minneapolis 2007 Annual Report is available by going to http://www.minneapolis.org/annual-meeting.

About Meet Minneapolis
Meet Minneapolis is a private, not-for-profit, member-based association. It actively promotes the Minneapolis area as a venue for conventions and meetings and markets the city as a desirable tourist destination to bring a positive economic impact to the greater Minneapolis area.

Media Contacts:
Connie Stelter, public relations manager (612)767-8042

Allie Gray, communications coordinator (612)767-8024

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Connie Stelter

Allie Gray

612-767-8024
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