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)
National Services • Trends
• In The News
• Featured Venue
New Year, New Decade,
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,
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
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.
Founder & CEO
(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
Manager of Schwan’s Shared Services
One solution, all the meeting
details, no problem!
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
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
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
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
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.
“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
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.
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…
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.
Stacy Fantauzzi, Pete Gnoza, Kellie Schechinger
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!
Renee Splittgerber, Andrea Maus, Tracy DeJong
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.
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 –
Promotion: Mindy McReynolds,
Show Manager –
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
metroConnections is right at home on the road.
States in which metroConnections
has provided a service.
Countries we’ve served:
VENUE: The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa
LOCATION: Scottsdale, Arizona
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
Toll Free: 1.800.747.8687