Log in

Log in




Early Bird Registration: 
October 1 - January 7
MNFEA Members $150/person
Non-Members $200/person

Regular Registration:
January  for 8 - February 28

MNFEA Members $200/person
Non-Members $250/person

Late & Onsite Registration: 
Begins March 1
MNFEA Members $250/person
Non-Members $300/person

Conference fees include sessions, workshops, networking activities, included optional events, and most meals (onsite only).

Register Now

2022 Conference Sessions

As always, the education sessions will be packed with valuable information for event and festival professionals, vendors, and service providers. While we will focus on getting back to business, sessions will also highlight general business, operations plans, diversity, and more!

Equally important, networking opportunities will be built into the program to maximize connections across and within each platform so you can meet & connect no matter what attendance style you prefer. We encourage all in-person attendees to bring a laptop with to be able to connect with virtual attendees throughout activities.

With a hybrid model in place, we have been able to approach speakers that have been leading national conversations, further elevating the knowledge that will be shared with you during the Conference! 

Thursday, March 24

7:00 a.m.   Wake Up & Move with Morning Yoga

Wendy Famodu, Ziegler Power Systems
Join us for a rejuvenating morning yoga session and prepare your mind, body, and spirit for the day ahead! The class will be led by long-time MNFEA member and yoga instructor, Wendy Famodu with Ziegler Power Systems. The hotel will provide towels for use, or you are welcome to bring your yoga mat.

8:00 a.m.   Vendor Booths Open & Breakfast

9:00 a.m.    Welcome & Sessions Begin

Keynote Speaker: Collaborate - Grow - Succeed - with Laughter!
Sarah Routman, Laugh Healthy
Jump into a kaleidoscope of fun with purposeful playful laughter as Sarah intrigues you with her unique approach to making it through the day with a smile, no matter how steep the challenges. Victor Borge said, “Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” We’ll start with Smile-Ups, explore Laughter Breaths, and then connect over oodles of healthy laughter as an empowering tool for self-care. It’s time to stretch your silly muscles, tickle your funny bone and leave stress, overwhelm and anxiety behind, right next to negative self-talk and burnout. You won’t know what hit you, but you’ll feel so amazing at the end of this interactive experience, you’ll be telling everyone you know about it as you sail through festival and event planning with a smile plastered on your face and a joyful lift to your step. With a giggle in your pocket and an amazing array of health benefits accompanying every chuckle, you’re sure to put laughter at the top of your to-do list after this. Come as you are – no special clothes, previous experience or sense of humor required.

10:20 a.m.
Accessibility Beyond Physical Access - Creating inclusive events

Jillian Nelson, Autism Society of Minnesota
The greatest part of any event is building a community, and the best communities are inclusive communities. Join Jillian Nelson from the Autism Society of Minnesota to learn how AuSM has partnered with festivals and community groups such as Twin Cities Pride, Irish Faire, Rock The Garden, Guthrie Theatre, Disability Day on The Hill, Bell Museum and MORE to create sensory friendly and inclusive events and learn tools and tips on how you can make your event more inclusive.

11:15 a.m.
Event Website & Social Media Critique

Nick Borelli, All Seated
Customers are often introduced to your event or company through your internet presence. This session will critique a variety of websites and social media channels in real time to help you learn what others are doing right or areas of improvement. Learn tips and tricks to up your online game.

12:00 p.m.

Sustainability in Food
Heidi Marsh, Mayo Civic Center
Health, taste, and sustainability menus that work. The session will highlight plant-forward eating from restaurant to events and into the future.

1:00 p.m.
Forecasting for the Future; Equipment Rental, Supply Chain, & Labor

Panelists: Vince Vanella, TVG Events; Sierra Johnson, United Rentals; Jim Bach, Aprés Event Décor & Tent Rental; Paula Kennedy Smith, Kennedy Concessions; Lana Thomas,
Minnesota Food Truck Association; and Shad Gordon, Biffs Portable Restrooms
How do you plan for the unexpected? Well, it's what we do! From event services and equipment rental to supply chain and labor challenges, this panel of experts will outline what you should be planning for ahead of your event season to prepare for the unexpected year ahead. From the vendors themselves, get the answers to your questions and the help you need to navigate the 2022 event season and beyond.

2:00 p.m.
Creating a Safe Environment at your Event
Kelly Sayre, The Diamond Arrow Group
As society gets to the other side of this pandemic, the attendance at live and in person events will increase exponentially. As event organizers and planners, how will you create a safe environment for attendees, volunteers, staff, and talent? For years, the world of event security has been taught from a top-down and reactionary mindset. What if there’s a better way? A viewpoint that takes into consideration that everyone has the ability to recognize pre-threat behaviors, they simply need to be shown how. Humans have unbelievable intuition skills. Kelly will teach you how to use your natural strengths and abilities to recognize, report, and articulate warning behaviors BEFORE a potentially dangerous situation happens. This presentation discusses the intuition process, how to strengthen all your senses to observe your environment, and key points to successfully use de-escalation.

3:00 p.m.
Case Study: Moving Your Event from Free to Paid Admission

Tom Whelan & Lora Harper, Irish Fair of Minnesota 
Irish Fair of Minnesota was for years the largest free Irish festival in the US. In 2021, at our 41st Fair, we made a strategic move to become a ticketed event. Learn why we did it and what we learned along the way.

3:45 p.m.
"Huddle Up" for Event Game Plays
Maureen Bausch, Bold North Associates

6:00 p.m.   Imagination Soirée

Friday, March 25

7:00 a.m.   Wake Up & Move with Morning Yoga

Wendy Famodu, Ziegler Power Systems
Join us for a rejuvenating morning yoga session and prepare your mind, body, and spirit for the day ahead! The class will be led by long-time MNFEA member and yoga instructor, Wendy Famodu with Ziegler Power Systems. The hotel will provide towels for use, or you are welcome to bring your yoga mat.

8:00 a.m.   Vendor Booths Open & Breakfast

9:00 a.m.    Welcome & Sessions Begin

Build a Lifestyle and Business Culture that Works Best for You
Beatrice Adenodi, Mirror Ink
Our world is in chaos! In this overly stimulating environment, we are overwhelmed by so many situations coming at us from different angles. We’ve trained ourselves to react to these situations without at times asking for support or thinking. As a result, we tend to fall back on unhealthy patterns of behaviors that keep us stuck. How do we navigate our minds through overwhelming or uncertain times? In this talk, awareness advocate Beatrice Adenodi provides tips on how to move from reactive to reflective in your decision-making. You’ll discover the secret to embracing a growth mindset and learning to handle challenging day-to-day situations with patience and grace.

10:00 a.m.
Inclusive Event Planning 2.0: Moving from Practical to Transformational

Katie Battis-Troyer, Claim Our Space
Last year, Katie Battis-Troyer joined us to share her expertise on implementing practical steps into event planners’ current processes in order to host events that are welcoming to broader audiences including guests from Black, Indigenous, Latin, and Asian, LGBTQIA +, and the Disabilities communities. This year, she will revisit these practical steps. We will then begin to explore how we, as event planners, can deepen our understanding of how planning inclusively can transform our personal thinking, our organizations, and our industry. Katie will share stories of her own personal and organizational transformation, along with data on the economic impact we can have by transforming our own practices.

10:50 a.m.
State of the Industry & Meet the New EMT Director
Lauren Bennett McGinty, Explore Minnesota Tourism
Join us to meet the new Explore Minnesota Executive Director, Lauren Bennett McGinty. Lauren will provide a tourism update and discuss a new vision for Minnesota Tourism. We are excited to introduce her to the Festival and Event Industry.

11:20 a.m.
Updating Your Event "Floor Plan"  
Case Studies from: Meghan Gustafson, Mpls Aquatennial; Steve Madson, Stone Arch Bridge Festival; and Becky Pierson,
James J. Hill Days
Is it time to update your site plan or maybe change venues altogether? What factors should you consider? Our panel will tell you how they updated some of the metro’s largest events and will share some tips & tricks you should think about when it’s your turn.

12:30 p.m.  Annual Meeting & Lunch

1:15 p.m.
Arts & Entertainment at Your Festival

Panelists: Nate Berg, GL Berg Entertainment; Rina Rossi, MN State Arts Board; and Joanna Schnedler, MN Music Coalition
It’s time to think outside the box and shake up the arts and entertainment game for your festival. Hear from a variety of professionals in the industry on how to engage your audience in new ways, discover what’s trending, best practices and learn about some fresh ideas that will inspire you.

2:00 p.m.
Sustainability for Events

Shelley Villalobos, Council for Responsible Sports

2:45 p.m.  Closing Remarks

*Schedule subject to change

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software