The next East Town Business Partnership Business Forum is Thursday, February 15, 2018, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., at Meet Minneapolis – 250 Marquette Ave S. The title for the February forum is “Destination Transformation 2030: Tourism Master Plan.” Networking and lunch will start at 11:30 a.m., with the program starting at Noon. Please register for the event via Eventbrite. If you are a Platinum member or if you have purchased prepaid lunch coupons, please contact Christie for the coupon code.
Attract 50 million visitors to the metro area annually by 2030. Launch a metro-wide branding and marketing campaign. Build an iconic visitors center on downtown’s cultural riverfront. These are only a few of eight major multi-year efforts to advance tourism in the Twin Cities and for downtown Minneapolis. This forum will feature executive leadership from Meet Minneapolis explaining the development and implementation of what is being called “Destination Transformation 2030L Tourism Master Plan”
Melvin Tennant, CAE, is president and chief executive officer of Meet Minneapolis, Convention and Visitors Association, and executive director of Sports Minneapolis. He became the Meet Minneapolis’ second CEO in 2008. He previously served in similar capacities in Charlotte, N.C., San Antonio, Texas and Oakland, Calif.
With an annual budget of $14 million and a staff of 63 on average, Tennant oversees convention sales and marketing programs that bring $460 million of actualized economic impact to the area. Under his leadership, Meet Minneapolis launched Sports Minneapolis (an affiliate organization) in May 2014 to market and sell Minneapolis as a site for amateur and professional sporting events, sports-related conventions and related activities.
Tennant and his team worked closely with the Minnesota Vikings and other organizations as a member of the Minnesota Super Bowl LII Bid Committee to secure the National Football League’s Super Bowl LII for Minnesota on Feb. 4, 2018. He and his team worked with the University of Minnesota and other local leaders to secure the 2019 National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) Men’s Final Four basketball championship only a few months later. Tennant and Sports Minneapolis worked with ESPN to secure the 2017 and 2018 summer X Games, as well. All events will be held in the U.S. Bank Stadium, which opened in July 2016.
Additionally, in 2017, Tennant and Sports Minneapolis worked closely with the University of Minnesota to secure four national championships over the 2018-2022 championship bid cycle, and with the Minnesota Lynx to bring the 2018 Women’s National Basketball Association All-Star Game to Target Center.
Under Tennant’s tenure, Meet Minneapolis has also booked the American Choral Directors Association 2017 National Convention, the National Education Association 2018 Annual Meeting and Representative Assembly as well as the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. 2018 Annual Session.
Tennant’s vision for the destination also has resulted in the city’s first-ever tourism master plan, Destination Transformation 2030, which includes eight major initiatives the organization will focus on to keep Minneapolis viable for the future.
Tennant has proved himself a leader in the travel industry. Currently, he is chairman of the board for Religious Conference Management Association (RCMA), and is the first supplier to serve in this position in the organization’s history. He also currently serves on the Minnesota Super Bowl (LII) Host Committee Advisory Board and EXPO 2023 Advisory Group (working to bring a World’s Fair to Minnesota).
In addition, Tennant has previously served on the boards of the U.S. Travel Association, American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), Center for Association Leadership, Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the MPI Foundation, and is a past chairman of the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI). He currently serves locally on the boards of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce, Minneapolis Downtown Council and YouthLink, an organization that strives to build healthy relationships with youth and the community to address youths’ urgent needs so that doors of opportunity are opened to futures of empowerment, connectedness and self-reliance.
During his career Tennant has received many accolades, most notably the RMCA’s President Award, MPI’s Chapter Legacy Award – Carolina Chapter and Black Meetings & Tourism magazine’s APEX Award.
Tennant received his bachelor’s degree from Rice University, master’s degree in Christian Leadership Studies from Liberty University and holds an Association Executive Certification from ASAE.
11:30 am: Registration and networking
12:00 pm: Welcome + Introductions – Paul Mellblom
12:05 pm: Announcements and Updates – Dan Collison
12:15 pm: Development Spotlight—The Iron Clad Development (Invited)
12:25 pm: Feature Presentation—Melvin Tennant, Meet Minneapolis
12:55 pm: Wrap up – Dan Collison
1:00 pm: Program ends