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MRA Report: Leverage the Hospitality MN Conference

New lodging models? Bolder local flavors? Curated guest experiences? The hospitality industry is growing and changing every day, and the place to learn more about the evolution is at the Hospitality Minnesota Conference & Expo on Tuesday, October 1, at the St. Paul RiverCentre. 

Bring your team and cross paths with hospitality professionals and vendor partners from the restaurant, lodging, resort and campground segments. It’s the largest statewide industry event and it’s being re-imagined and expanded this year.

If it seems like you can’t afford a day for you and your team to be away from your operation, I encourage you to consider that perhaps, you can’t afford not to. In today’s always-changing hospitality world, access to emerging trends and solution-oriented knowledge and information can mean the difference between merely surviving and thriving. The Hospitality Minnesota Conference & Expo keynotes, education sessions and Learning Hubs will be loaded with practical and proven approaches you and your people can use immediately. 


Can You Answer These Questions?

As our world has evolved to an experience economy, are you and your staff prepared to navigate it to the fullest advantage? 

Are you attracting and retaining the best employees? 

What are the opportunities and challenges for your experience business in the current climate?

What are others doing that might work for you? What are you doing that might help others in the industry? Are there opportunities for partnership you haven’t considered before?

Are you managing business risk as well as you can? 

Is your marketing approach dialed in to the digital age? 

Are you up to speed on the latest labor and regulatory policies and laws impacting your business?

These are just some of the questions that will be addressed by subject matter experts, presenting keynotes and breakout sessions in one, high-impact day. Bring your team and get the most out of the conference offerings.


Team-Building Food for Thought

In 2018, Pizza Lucé CEO JJ Haywood took a new approach when she decided to attend the conference and expo. She brought the bar managers from all eight Pizza Lucé locations as part of a team-building day. In addition to being exposed to the thinking and insights shared by the variety of speakers, the group conducted a high-energy and competitive scavenger hunt on the expo floor. It was a fun and engaging way for the Pizza Lucé team to come together in a setting outside of the restaurants, covering the ground to learn from and network with a broad range of hospitality industry peers.

“It’s hard to find time for professional development opportunities for our team because everyone is so darn busy,” said Haywood, “but going to the expo was definitely a good investment.” As for the value and overall conference experience, Haywood states, “I think it’s eye-opening for our staff to talk to folks besides foodservice and restaurateurs as we have so much we can learn from one another.” Haywood continues, “My team was energized with new insights they could immediately apply to their work—and we had a great time together.” 

After a full day at the expo, JJ and her Pizza Lucé team headed to a post-conference happy hour where they talked about what they learned, including the new resources they discovered from their expo hall scavenger hunt. We thought the Pizza Lucé team experience was such a great model, that we’ve instituted a discounted group rate this year to encourage more organizations to bring their teams and co-workers.


We’ve Changed It Up

Customer expectations continue to evolve and change, and Minnesota’s largest hospitality event is changing, too. We’re more focused on timely and relevant topics. Think bolder, bigger and better. 

This year’s expo will feature:

Larger, more dynamic expo floor with nearly 200 vendor exhibits to help you source new products and services;

Increased opportunities for new product demonstrations and sampling;

Demonstration stage featuring Minnesota adult and youth chefs;

Mixology Lounge showcasing trends and ingredients for new flavor experiences to add to your menu.

Register your team today at www.HospitalityMNExpo.com so you don’t miss your chance to connect with industry peers and find inspiration for creating a more complete guest experience. For sponsorship and exhibitor information, contact Scott Mayer at scott@hospitalitymn.com or 612-870-1234. 


About Hospitality Minnesota: 

Hospitality Minnesota serves more than 2,000 hospitality businesses across the state. Formed in 1958 to serve the Minnesota Restaurant Association, the Minnesota Lodging Association and the Minnesota Resort and Campground Association, Hospitality Minnesota advocates for the interests of business owners and their employees and provides opportunities for education and training to grow and strengthen the hospitality industry in Minnesota. Hospitality Minnesota is committed to helping member businesses succeed.  www.hospitalitymn.org 

Liz Rammer is the president & CEO of Hospitality Minnesota, which includes The Minnesota Restaurant, Lodging and Resort & Campground Associations.

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