M c spring 2010 newsletter


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The Spring 2010 Newsletter of Minneapolis-based metroConnections, your complete conferece, event and transportation services company.

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M c spring 2010 newsletter

  1. 1. Connections Spring 2010 visit us on the web at www.metroconnections.com The Amazing Race meets A Night at the Museum CLIENT: The Schwan Food Company EVENT: 2010 Leadership Meeting LOCATION: Marriott City Center, Mill City Museum; Minneapolis, Minnesota The Schwan’s 2010 Leadership Meeting was off and running at the Mill City Museum! Seven teams of conference attendees grabbed backpacks fully equipped with a digital camera and an iPod touch® and competed in an Amazing Race. Their mission: venture through the museum In This Issue: answering trivia questions, completing challenges, • Letter from Leadership having fun and taking a few creative pictures along the way. metroConnections created and loaded the • Conference Services video clues onto the iPod touches which Schwan’s Attend-eSource® Expedite • Trends gave away as prizes to the winning team. • Event & Production Services Case Studies • Trends (continued on page 3) • Transportation National Services • Trends • In The News • Featured Venue
  2. 2. New Year, New Decade, New President metroConnections has been serving meeting and event planners for 25 years, and one thing has consistently driven us: innovation. David Graves, named President of metroConnections in March, exemplifies innovation. David left his career with Marriott Corporation to join me at metroConnections in 1988. He utilized his connections in the corporate community and the hotel industry to help grow sales at metroConnections. He soon became a partner and co-owner and later recruited his brother Mike Graves and past client Tom McCulloch to join us as partners in the new millennium. We are excited for David to take this new role. His ability to think outside the box, together with his passion for what we do, have combined to make metroConnections a national hospitality industry leader. We all agree David will continue to be the catalyst for change, innovation and growth. We congratulate David and look forward to many successful years ahead with him as our President. Sam Thompson Founder & CEO 2
  3. 3. (continued from page 1) metroConnections added even more wow factor by designing the décor, handling the production and creating customized reusable centerpieces with Schwan’s logo for the leadership conference at the “The staff at metroConnections is Mariott City Center in Minneapolis. top-notch at customer service and satisfaction. Pete, Nicole and the entire team consistently made it a TEAM LEADS: Pete Gnoza, Nicole Cardamone priority to listen to our needs and incorporate our meeting goals, theme and ideas into the event for flawless delivery. The staff was incredibly friendly, creative and detail-oriented. From the professional production at the hotel for our meetings, to the creative, educational, interactive and fun event at Mill City, our attendees have given rave reviews proclaiming that ‘this was the best meeting ever!’ Thank you for playing a huge role in the success of our event!” “metroConnections’ execution was flawless. Once we met with Pete and Nicole to discuss our ideas, Shelly Peltier they went to work and came back with a brilliant Sr. Administrative Assistant program that met all of our expectations.” Schwan’s Shared Services Cheryl Hoffard Manager of Schwan’s Shared Services 3
  4. 4. Conference Services One solution, all the meeting details, no problem! Attend-eSource® Expedite For the last decade, metroConnections has been providing integrated attendee management solutions. Now you can plan faster and manage easier with Attend-eSource® Expedite — the affordable and speedy custom solution that allows you to launch a registration Web site within days to your attendees. The experts from Attend-eSource University can fully train you to manage attendee data, OR you can leverage metroConnections’ in-house customer service call center. Learn more about how Attend-eSource Expedite can make your life easier by contacting a metroConnections Conference Services Account Manager. CONFERENCE SERVICES TEAM: Mike Graves, Tom McCulloch, Jason Rudoy 4
  5. 5. Meeting trends Conference Web sites for mobile devices Now your attendees can access important up-to- the-minute conference information on their mobile devices. It’s the cutting-edge alternative to printed conference agendas, which become outdated the moment you need to make a breakout session room change. Texting announcements Communicating instantly via text message is perfect for updating your attendees about a breakout session room change, reminding them that the general session is about to begin or informing them that lunch seating is ready. Call for papers online Would you like to streamline your process for selecting speakers and featured presentations for your next conference? Invite potential presenters to submit their information via your conference ‘call for papers’ Web site. First, prospective presenters upload their proposals. Then, you run a report which outlines your options. It’s an efficient way to organize the materials without shuffling papers and filtering emails. Conference video on the home page Create excitement for your attendees with a video introduction right on the home page of your custom conference Web site. Both are services of metroConnections. 5
  6. 6. Event & Production Services Stand by your brand Branding. It’s more than just a trend, it’s the standard the audience expects when they see your company in promotions and at events. metroConnections works with clients to make their productions all about a brand experience. Profile 1 TEAM LEADS: CLIENT: Target Corporation (Events Marketing) David Graves, Andrea Hansen, Brian Riebe EVENT: The Children’s Trust Family Expo LOCATION: Miami, Florida The CONNECTION: metroConnections produced two 40’ x 40’ Target branded spaces: an education/activity area where kids colored bucket hats and activity books and a park-themed “Hydration Station” where Target provided free water from customized water stations. Profile 2 TEAM LEADS: CLIENT: Unilever Stacy Fantauzzi, Melanie Armada EVENT: Unilever Night at the Minnesota Timberwolves Game LOCATION: Target Center – Minneapolis, Minnesota The CONNECTION: metroConnections produced and staffed the promotion, introducing Klondike® bars with a bear mascot, paw print trails on the floors and Klondike plush giveaways with onsite game. Other Unilever promotional features included outer and skyway window graphics and custom oversized Unilever products. Profile 3 TEAM LEADS: CLIENT: Ecolab David Graves, Brandt Krueger, EVENT: 2010 Senior Leadership Meeting Mindy McReynolds, Matt Graves, LOCATION: Washington, D.C. The CONNECTION: metroConnections produced a unique and intimate feeling for the general session room. Stadium seating was created around a triangle- shaped stage facing a 30-foot panoramic screen while the walls were draped in fabric and lit for dramatic effect. AV for six breakout rooms and an evening banquet (complete with production and décor) were also provided. 6
  7. 7. “On behalf of our entire Unilever team, we want to send a special Thank You to you and all of your staff for once again making our Second Annual Unilever Night a huge success! We heard nothing but accolades throughout the entire evening on all of the product branding, games, floor minders, etc. metroConnections was truly Best in Class in helping us to bring our Vitality Mission into the Target Center and we look forward to a continued partnership in the future. Thanks a million again!” The Entire Unilever Team 7
  8. 8. What’s hot in team building exercises these days? The latest and greatest gadgets! The metroConnections team handles all the technology so you don’t have to. Event trends Wii Bowling® Bring the alley to them! When you only have a little time to spare, throw a Wii bowling tournament down the hall from your general session, complete with lanes, seating and trophies. Scavenger Hunt 2.0 Introduce your team’s mission via videophone, then send them on a scavenger hunt using a digital camera and an iPod touch®. This message will self-destruct in five, four, three… Rock On Create a club-like atmosphere for your attendees as they take center stage with Rock Band® or Guitar Hero®. It’s a fun way for them to let their hair down and channel that inner rock star. TEAMBUILDING EXPERTS: Stacy Fantauzzi, Pete Gnoza, Kellie Schechinger 8
  9. 9. Transportation National Transportation and DMC...going the extra miles When clients first consider a destination like CLIENT: FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Minneapolis, they go to an established DMC Leaders of America) (Destination Management Company) like EVENT: 2010 National Leadership Conference metroConnections for their planning needs. ATTENDEES: 5,500 But once the program concludes successfully LOCATION: Chicago, Illinois and it’s time to move on to the next city, clients The CONNECTION: Since their visit to Minneapolis ask themselves, “Why reinvent the wheel?” in 2002, metroConnections has worked with the That’s when metroConnections hits the road planners of FCCLA’s National Leadership Conference. and joins them at their next destination. The transportation experts at metroConnections have always coordinated the ground transportation metroConnections has provided services in 39 for their events. And because metroConnections of the United States, and in nine countries other knows the group like the back of their hand, FCCLA than the U.S. recently signed on for three more years of partnership. See you in Chicago, FCCLA! TEAM LEADS: Renee Splittgerber, Andrea Maus, Tracy DeJong Transportation trends Short and sweet Short-term bookings and shorter lead times are all part of today’s planning. metroConnections can handle both and is ready to get you rolling. The mini is mighty Smaller groups are on the rise, and metroConnections can fit your small group with the right transportation. Mini coaches have become popular for this very reason. Efficiency to the max Planners are scheduling offsite venues closer, not only to double up on equipment, but to be enviromentally friendly. If you’re flexible, metroConnections can help you design a transportation schedule that saves time and money. 9
  10. 10. In The News Minnesota Meetings + Events Reader’s Choice Awards metroConnections was named “Best Teambuilding Facilitator” and “Best Event Production and Décor Company” by the readers of Minnesota Meetings + Events magazine. This marks the seventh year the company has been recognized by the magazine’s readers for a Best of the Industry Award. New Hire: Rachel Woulf, New Hire: Beth Vriesen, Program Coordinator – Attend-eSource® Event Production Support Manager Promotion: Stacie Karkhoff, Promotion: Adam Gale, Program Manager – Artist/Shop Foreman Conference Services Promotion: Mindy McReynolds, Show Manager – Event Production With President Obama’s signature, the Travel Promotion Act has officially been passed. Minnesota had the largest delegation ever representing Minnesota’s tourism industry at the Travel Leadership Summit held in September in Washington, D.C. Pictured are: Doug Killian (Mall of America), Sam Thompson (metroConnections), John Edmund (Explore Minnesota Tourism), Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, Bonnie Carlson (Bloomington CVB), Colleen Tollefson (Explore Minnesota Tourism), Julie Larson (Roseville Visitors Association) and Sunny Bhakta (Comfort Inn Lakeville). 10
  11. 11. metroConnections is right at home on the road. States in which metroConnections has provided a service. Countries we’ve served: Mexico Bermuda Canada Jamaica Puerto Rico Virgin Islands England China Costa Rica 11
  12. 12. Places VENUE: The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa LOCATION: Scottsdale, Arizona CLIENT: Pentair EVENT: 2010 Global Leadership Meeting The CONNECTION: metroConnections created general session productions along with special events that included a welcome reception, a rodeo-themed dinner event and a sangria-making competition. Attendees enjoyed the world-class event accommodations. The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa offers 183,000 square feet of dedicated indoor and outdoor meeting space, including 37 meeting rooms, for limitless possibilities. 1219 Marquette Avenue, Suite 110 Minneapolis, MN 55403 Phone: 612.333.8687 Fax: 612.333.4169 Toll Free: 1.800.747.8687 Web: www.metroconnections.com Inquiries: info@metroconnections.com 12