EMT Express - March 13, 2019
|Como Conservatory in Winter - Photo By Visit Saint Paul|
Last month, Gov. Walz released his budget recommendations for the next biennium. In summary, the recommendation includes funding for the continuation of the New Events grant program at $1 million each for fiscal years 2020 and 2021, which follows the recommendation made by the Explore Minnesota Tourism Council. There was no increase to the base budget for Explore Minnesota (any increases reflected are to cover adjustments to pensions).
Following the governor’s budget recommendations, the Senate Environment Finance Committee held a hearing that included the tourism funding bill reflecting Tourism Council recommendations. Anna Tanski (Visit Duluth), Terry Mattson (Visit Saint Paul) and Sarah Psick (Minnesota Tourism Growth Coalition) provided testimony regarding new event grant funding and Explore Minnesota’s base budget. At the House Environment Finance Committee meeting, John Edman presented the governor’s tourism budget recommendation and articulated the use and purpose for both the base budget and new events grant funding.
Miles Partnership is Explore Minnesota’s new website vendor, who was selected via a competitive RFP process. Miles is charged with producing and maintaining the new exploreminnesota.com, which will feature a mobile-first design, flexible and user-friendly backend systems, and best-in-class functionality, drawing on their experience working with DMOs all over the world.
Work has already begun: The team is wrapping up the discovery phase this month, and will move into development and design this spring and summer. The site is expected to be up and running by winter 2020.
As the host state for the 2019 NCAA Men’s Final Four, Minnesota is sure to be top of mind for basketball fans as a premier sports and entertainment destination. To capitalize on this weeks-long televised event, commonly known as March Madness, Explore Minnesota is targeting NCAA tournament “superfans.” As the tournament progresses, the advertising will ramp up and focus on Sweet 16 and Elite Eight markets who have elevated interest in the Final Four.
In addition to paid social media and digital ads, Minnesota will be featured on the official NCAA.com website and within live game content via streaming TV. Advertising will link to a variety of content areas touting the Final Four, along with other must-see Minnesota attractions.
To round out the campaign, Explore Minnesota is partnering with Travelzoo, a global media company that offers travel deals and inspiration to its millions of members, to feature Minnesota in a custom article. The content will be promoted to over 2 million travel enthusiasts and feature things to do while here for the Final Four, as well as planting future Minnesota travel ideas.
The Brand USA FY18 Playbook provides an overview of international marketing programs and results from Explore Minnesota’s partnership with Brand USA during fiscal year 18 (Oct. 1, 2017 - Sept. 30, 2018), with links to various campaign assets that feature Minnesota in destinations across the globe.
At the Meet Minneapolis annual meeting last month, Explore Minnesota Director John Edman received the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his career of service to the Minnesota tourism industry. Stressing that he’s “not done yet,” Edman has served under four Minnesota governors, is a Brand USA board member, and has served on various regional and national commissions and boards throughout his tenure, including Mississippi River Country, the University of Minnesota Tourism Center, MSP Airport Foundation, Great Lakes USA and the National Council of State Travel Directors.
John would like to thank his staff, colleagues and countless partners for their ongoing support and hard work on behalf of the Minnesota tourism industry.
The Minnesota Festivals and Events Association (MNFEA) will host its annual conference at the Best Western Plus Kelly Inn in St. Cloud March 13-15.
This year's conference will be packed with valuable information for event and festival professionals, vendors and service providers. Click here for the conference schedule: www.mnfea.com/page-18188.
The University of Minnesota Tourism Center is offering a one-week online course on sponsorship for festivals and events April 8-13.
Sponsorships and strategic partnerships are important elements to sustainable events. Participants will learn how to identify partners, create sponsorship packages and tailored outreach, and strategies for sponsorship renewal. You will also have an opportunity to hear from expert practitioners, and create your own sponsorship program for your event.
Register by March 29 and save $50! The early bird rate is $99 per person, or $149 after March 29.
National Travel and Tourism Week is an annual tradition for the U.S. travel community. It’s a time when travel and tourism professionals across the country unite to celebrate the value travel holds for our economy, businesses and personal well-being.
The Toolkit is now available on the U.S. Travel Association website.
Designed for new and renewed byway leaders throughout the nation, the Scenic Byway Leader Training will be held May 7-8 in Sandstone. The event is sponsored by the National Scenic Byway Foundation (NSBF), hosted by the East Central Regional Development Commission, the St. Croix Scenic Byway, Veteran’s Evergreen Byway, Lake Mille Lacs Scenic Byway and their partners.
Expect to learn:
Presenters Jan Gammon, Chris Sieverdes, Penny Simonsen, and Sharon Strouse (all NSBF board members) will lead the sessions. The cost is $95 and includes meals/snacks and all materials. Reduced rate overnight accommodations will be offered at the Audubon Center of the North Woods, Lowry Lodge. The Center is 5 miles from I-35, with hotel accommodations available.
Scholarships are available for attendees registered from East Central Minnesota (Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs and Pine counties). Scholarship inquiries can be made to email@example.com.
Contact Sharon Strouse, firstname.lastname@example.org for registration information, overnight accommodations at the Center and questions. Registration deadline is April 10.
Groups that help people become hunters or anglers—or keep on hunting or fishing—can apply for grants from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Priority in awarding grants will go to programs for new and diverse audiences and those with an ongoing impact rather than one-time events. Types of activities could include fishing or hunting educational programs, clinics, workshops, camps, or funding for fishing and hunting equipment and transportation.
Groups may apply for this round of grants through Thursday, April 4. The grant program began in 2015 and this is the fifth round of grants. In this round, awards will range from $5,000 to $49,999. A total of $300,000 in grant funds is available in this fifth-round cycle. Funded projects must be located in Minnesota and completed by June 30, 2020.
As in the last round, there is no required funding match. Organizations are nonetheless encouraged to include a cash or in-kind match in their project proposal. In-kind contributions can be in the form of labor, materials, or services. Match amounts will be considered in the selection process.
To learn more about the DNR’s work in recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3), and to find grant application requirements, visit mndnr.gov/r3. Details about the grant and a list of award winners can be found at the link under “Help others discover.”
EMT Express - February 26, 2019
|Ice Climbing in Robinson Park|
On the heels of this month's Tourism Conference, plans are already underway for the 2020 event! If your CVB, property or community is interested in hosting the conference, please look over the RFP by following this link: https://supplier.swift.state.mn.us/psp/fmssupap/SUPPLIER/ERP/h/?tab=SUP_GUEST
The conference brings 350+ tourism industry partners and sponsors to your area, and is a great opportunity to highlight the best of your city.
Any questions about submitting a proposal should be directed to Elizabeth Randa at MMB, email@example.com.
This year, Hospitality Minnesota is scheduling a series of four "Days" at the Capitol that will use small group tactical teams to create persistent visibility and messaging on the associations' most important issues.
The dates have been selected to coincide with key policy deadlines. Ideally, each "Day" will have a mix of members from the Minnesota Restaurant, Lodging and Resort & Campground Associations from districts all around the state. Please limit your registration to one of the following days only:
Appointments with your senator and representative will be made by Hospitality Minnesota and will target both representatives from the district you live as well as the district your business is located (if different). We will need both your home and business addresses during registration to accurately set up appointments with your elected officials.
For more details and to register, go to http://web.hospitalitymn.org/events/Hospitality-Tourism-Days-at-the-Capitol-756/details.
The Minnesota Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus has been building an Online Tool Kit designed as a one-stop repository of information pertinent to CVB/DMOs in Minnesota. The resource is now available in its first reiteration at minnesotacvbs.com/macvb-toolkit-2/.
The Tool Kit is built to be a dynamic tool to grow and change as quickly as the tourism industry. If you are looking for something and it's not there, let us know. We look forward to continuing to build the resources you need to do your job better, serve your community, and grow Minnesota's tourism industry.
On Thursday, Feb. 28, bicycle and active transportation advocates from throughout the state will gather in St. Paul for the annual Minnesota Bike Summit on Capitol Hill.
The day will focus on funding for the state-level Active Transportation Grant Program; including biking and walking in updated climate, energy, and greenhouse gas goals; as well as the hands-free cell phone bill; making state policies more bicycle friendly; and more. Attendees will hear from leaders in state and local government (including members of the Minnesota Mayoral Active Transportation Caucus), legislators, and other experts in the morning. After lunch, attendees will cross the street and meet directly with their legislators.
BikeMN will schedule appointments for attendees to meet with their legislators. Morning sessions will include training and coaching on talking with your legislators. Appointment times with specific legislators will be posted the morning of the Bike Summit to assist you in mapping your day.
For more information and to register, visit the Bicycle Alliance event page.
The Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota (BikeMN) wants you to put your brain in gear to help them learn more about what Minnesota needs to make walking and biking easy, safe and fun for everyone. Your knowledge and opinions are incredibly important and they will help BikeMN make positive, forward-thinking changes for the next generation.
Take the 15-minute survey for a chance to win prizes and spread the word to your friends and family. The survey will close March 15. Take the survey here.
Brand USA, the destination marketing organization for the United States, announced the expansion of "Hear The Music, Experience The USA," an integrated marketing campaign that uses the power of American music to promote U.S. destinations to international travelers.
Minnesota was chosen as one of the destinations, and the video features local singer Lady Lark as she takes viewers around Minneapolis' music, arts and food scene. In the video, Lady Dark covers the popular hit "What I Like About You" by The Romantics.
Watch the video on YouTube.
Part of Explore Minnesota's winter advertising campaign that launched in early January, this interactive mobile ad mimics a snow globe by allowing prospective travelers to add snowfall to miniaturized Minnesota scenes by shaking their mobile device. The ad served as a vivid reminder of the snowy wonderland that can be discovered throughout Minnesota during the winter months.
The Northwest Minnesota Tourism Conference, presented by the Riverland Association, will be held on Tuesday, April 2, at the University of Minnesota in Crookston. This one-day seminar is scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Sergeant Student Center's Bede Ballroom and is designed to provide tourism education in northwest Minnesota.
The conference will also include a panel of business owners highlighting northwest Minnesota success stories and best practices.
Anyone interested in attracting more people into their community, business or event are invited to the conference. The cost is $40 for members and $45 for non-members, which includes conference materials and lunch. The registration deadline is Tuesday, March 26.
Explore Minnesota recently posted a request for proposals to develop and conduct a Traveler Profile of leisure visitors to Minnesota. The goal of this project is to help guide EMT's marketing strategies and improve the overall effectiveness of the agency's programs to attract more travelers to the state. Please share this information with any vendors you think may have interest.
Vendors must be registered with the state of Minnesota and use their SWIFT vendor number to view RFP details and submit a proposal, via the Swift supplier portal. The Event Name is "EMT RFP PT Traveler Profile Research" and the Event ID is B2001-2000009233. Vendors not already registered with the State of Minnesota should visit the SWIFT vendor resources page at SWIFT vendor resources page to register and obtain a vendor number, and may call for assistance at 651-201-8100. Any questions regarding the request for proposal must be emailed directly to Explore Minnesota at firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions and answers will be posted in SWIFT as an Addendum to this Request for Proposals on or after March 5, 2019. The deadline for submitting proposals is 2 p.m. on March 11, 2019.
You may also view the Explore Minnesota Traveler Profile RFP directly.
EMT Express - February 13, 2019
|Gov. Tim Walz at the Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference|
Thank you to everyone who attended, presented, exhibited and worked hard to make the 2019 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference come to life in our capital city of St. Paul. Set against a historic backdrop, the conference focused firmly on the future and all that is new and exciting for tourism marketing in our state.
An energizing welcome by Minnesota's new Governor Tim Walz kicked off this year's conference, which included 340 attendees, 41 presenters, 34 sponsors, 16 award recipients, three keynote speakers, two debates, and 990 minutes of educational programming wrapped into a new, extended conference format.
Attendees also got a first look at the new "Find Your True North" campaign from Explore Minnesota director John Edman and advertising agency Adventure Creative who, along with their partners True Media, teed up the new creative and media strategy for the campaign. A True North toolkit featuring campaign assets, ad samples and other resources can be found on the new tourism industry website, which was also launched on the first day of the conference at https://mn.gov/tourism-industry.
The conference generated significant media buzz locally, regionally, nationally and into Canada. The majority of the coverage stemmed from the Find Your True North campaign launch and remarks by Gov. Walz, which generated nearly 400 media placements with an estimated audience reach of 313 million.
A special thank you to Terry Mattson and his staff at Visit Saint Paul and the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront Hotel for being such fabulous hosts. We'd also like to thank our other gold sponsors, Mall of America, Take 5 Media Group, Tempest, True Media and Adventure; our silver sponsors Midwest Living, Miles Partnership, Ad Taxi, Greenspring Media, Star Tribune and Two Six Digital; and all of our breakout session and travel marketplace sponsors and exhibitors. We hope you made connections that can help you achieve your marketing goals in the coming year and beyond.
Please take a few moments to fill-out the attendee survey that was sent electronically. Click here for the survey link. We appreciate you taking the time to rate the sessions, and provide feedback and suggestions so that we can continue to improve future conferences.
Look for more information on the 2020 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference and location in the coming months. We look forward to seeing you all next year!
The 2019 Explore Minnesota annual Tourism Awards dinner was held on Tuesday, Feb. 5, in conjunction with the Tourism Conference. (Take a 360-degree peek inside the awards ballroom courtesy of Be More Colorful.) Individuals, organizations and tourism businesses were recognized in several categories, including the first-ever "Only in MN" awards.
Guests enjoyed a special performance by Minnesota's own Michael Shynes, whose music is featured in the new True North campaign. And in a touching tribute, MACVB presented the Roger Toussaint Award posthumously to Visit Roseville's Carrie Ford.
For the full list of award winners, please see the awards press release.
At last week's Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference, it was announced that the tourism industry website has undergone a major overhaul to better serve the Minnesota tourism industry.
The site hosts a wealth of information on the economic impact of tourism in Minnesota, as well as Explore Minnesota programs and opportunities, in a device-responsive design with improved search capabilities and easier navigation.
In conjunction with the "Find Your True North" Explore Minnesota campaign, a toolkit has been produced for the industry to discover the style and voice of the campaign and incorporate certain elements to tell their own "True North" story.
The Explore Minnesota tourism industry website can be found at https://mn.gov/tourism-industry/. We encourage you to browse around the site and let us know what you think and how we can help improve the usability and content to meet your needs.
The new tourism industry website features a brand new "Tourism Works for Minnesota" video. We encourage you to share this powerful message with your stakeholders, which highlights all regions, seasons and activities across the state, and how they impact Minnesota's economy.
Other resources that can help spread this message to legislators and other influencers in your communities include the new Tourism & Economy fact sheet (PDF) and the annual Explore Minnesota cereal box. If you didn't get a cereal box at the Tourism Conference and would like one, please get in touch with your regional manager.
Explore Minnesota unveiled its new marketing campaign to attendees of the 2019 Tourism Conference. The 'Find Your True North' campaign not only highlights the hidden gems and popular attractions found throughout Minnesota—including distinct outdoor adventures, urban cultural experiences and notable landmarks—but the emotional qualities of travel and human connections that all visitors can relate to. The new campaign will begin this spring and feature an all-new series of television, radio, print, social and digital ads.
The campaign will also deliver Minnesota's tourism offerings to a national audience with a hyper-focused online strategy targeting content and lifestyle characteristics. For the coming season, this new strategy will reach travelers who are passionate about hiking, biking or arts & culture, who are willing to travel in search of new experiences. Golf will be added to the mix for fall, and winter recreation and shopping will be the winter travel season niches.
While the current budget only allows for a finite amount of activities and destinations to be featured, it is anticipated that future seasons will expand into additional niches.
Minnesota experienced growth in all six lodging metrics during 2018, bolstered by the positive impacts of Super Bowl VII in early February 2018.
Analysis and graphs of 2018 lodging metrics are available in a separate post.
The Community of Minnesota Resorts exists to help family-owned and operated resorts in Minnesota to continue as a viable segment of the Minnesota tourism industry. To this end, each year we visit the Minnesota State Capitol to lobby legislators during our "Day on The Hill" event.
This year's CMR "Day on The Hill" will be Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 19-20. We develop our legislative agenda based on issues presented to us by our membership and our paid lobbyist. We then visit legislators to discuss the issues and communicate how they impact resorts specifically and tourism in general.
This event is open to Community of Minnesota Resorts member resorts as well as non-member resorts concerned about how various legislation impacts their ability to operate in today's ever-changing tourism industry. Won't you join us?
To register or ask questions, email Jim Wherley, Legislative Chairperson, at email@example.com. Registrations will be taken until Feb. 17.
Great customer service creates positive visitor experiences. Refresh the service your businesses provide with the At Your Service program from the University of Minnesota Tourism Center.
Attend the train-the-trainer session on Friday, March 8, and get everything you need to deliver an effective workshop in your community or business.
Register online at tourism.umn.edu.
Discover St. Louis Park is seeking a business development manager to join their team. This position will help the organization meet its vision to market, promote and sell St. Louis Park/Golden Valley as a convenient destination for visitors, travelers, meetings, special events and groups. The business development manager will actively network and develop strong relationships and partnerships to secure ongoing business and attend trade shows, traveling when necessary, to promote all assets of the community.
The ideal candidate will have a bachelor's degree in business, marketing, hospitality or a related field, and a minimum of five years of related experience. Must demonstrate excellent business sense, superb communication skills and a responsive business philosophy. To be successful, the candidate should be a team player who is results driven, energetic, focused, and has a positive attitude and willingness to help wherever needed.
To be considered, please email your resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Business Development Manager, followed by your first and last name.
No calls please. Closing date to apply is March 1 at 5 p.m.
Download the full job description here.