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Record Numbers and Major Events Set Minneapolis Up for Success in 2024 and Beyond

Melvin Tennant and Courtney Ries from Meet Minneapolis present event successes at Annual Meeting

Minneapolis had a big year in 2023.

Last year, Meet Minneapolis brought more than 700 events to the Minneapolis region, welcomed nearly 713,000 people to the Minneapolis Convention Center (MCC) and helped increase hotel demand in the city by more than 15% year-over-year—all of this on top of setting a record in 2023 for most future group hotel rooms booked (579,000) in the DMO’s history.

All of the news was presented in front of a record audience—to continue with the record-setting theme—at the Meet Minneapolis Annual Meeting February 29, where more than 600 local hospitality and tourism professionals gathered to celebrate the city’s success and prepare for the future.

“In 2023, the impact that our industry had on our city was undeniable,” said Meet Minneapolis President and CEO Melvin Tennant. “From marquee events translating into record-breaking hotel demand to marketing campaigns resulting in changed perceptions, the efforts of Meet Minneapolis and its partners positively benefited our community, especially in terms of the jobs and livelihoods impacted by our work. We know, however, that there is additional ground to gain to increase our city’s competitiveness in the marketplace.”

Record-Breaking Weekends

Many cities in the U.S. experienced a major economic boost on a particular weekend, thanks to the Taylor Swift effect and her wildly popular Eras Tour. The case in Minneapolis was no different, when the mega star’s concert fell on the same weekend as the Twin Cities Pride Festival and Kiwanis International Convention, June 23-24, which collectively brought an estimated 500,000 visitors to town, a new record for hotel rooms occupied on a weekend and nearly $6 million in hotel revenue.

On Friday, June 23, Minneapolis matched its highest occupancy night of 2023 at 96.3%. That mark was also reached on Tuesday, June 13, with the USA Volleyball Girls Junior National Championships at the MCC, a Twins-Brewers game at Target Field and other events in the city.

The MCC itself had a positive year, generating $18.5 million in revenue, an increase of more than 14% compared to 2022.

[Related: The Essential Guide for Meetings in Minnesota]

Future Events Booked

Building on its success, the Meet Minneapolis team reported that in 2023 it booked the most future hotel room nights in the organization’s history, securing business such as:

  • Herbalife International of America, June 2024
  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, May 2025
  • North American Irish Dance Championships, July 2028
  • National Council of Teachers and Mathematics, October 2028
  • Lions Club International Convention, July 2029

Sports are also big business in Minneapolis, which has formerly hosted the Super Bowl and NCAA Men’s Final Four. This spring, it will play host to both the men’s and women’s Big Ten Basketball Tournaments, and in June, the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Gymnastics will come to town, sure to put the city under a microscope as the rest of the country tunes in to view famous athletes like Simone Biles and Suni Lee compete.

The roaring success Minneapolis is experiencing is in line with trends reported by Mike Dominguez during the Annual Meeting.

“The same statement is coming out everywhere: The urban markets are going to be the winners in 2024,” he said.

[Related: 6 Minneapolis-St. Paul Sports Venues With Winning Event Spaces]

Other News in Minneapolis

More notable news from the Annual Meeting included:

  • Minneapolis Tourism Improvement District (TID): A task force of hotel general managers is working on the parameters for a Minneapolis TID. If approved, city hotels would enlist Meet Minneapolis for additional sales and marketing efforts to drive even more tourism and overnight stays in Minneapolis. Used in 200 communities and 21 states, this is a hotel-led initiative that would provide supplemental tourism funding.
  • Destination Minneapolis: Charting the Future of Minneapolis Tourism: Meet Minneapolis is developing a strategic road map by aligning the public, private and civic sectors around a shared tourism vision. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey is chair of the board steering committee looking at what Minneapolis needs to remain competitive in the meetings, events and visitor markets for the next 10 years and beyond.
  • Native Tourism Opportunities: Meet Minneapolis announced its new board chair, Robert Lilligren, from the Native American Community Development Institute. Lilligren is a former Minneapolis City Council Member, a citizen of the White Earth Ojibwe Nation, a third-generation  Minneapolis Urban Indian and the first Indigenous individual to be board chair of the city’s tourism organization. Lilligren said one of his major goals is to increase awareness of native tourism opportunities in Minneapolis.

Read this next: Major Sporting Events and Infrastructure Improvements Boost Kansas City’s Meetings Scene

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About the author
Danielle LeBreck | Senior Content Director

Danielle started at Meetings Today in March 2019 after seven years of editorial experience in the travel and food industries. She oversees all of the destination content for Meetings Today and collaborates with the team on digital content strategy and content marketing initiatives.