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Early Registration: 
October 5 - January 6
MNFEA Members $250/person
Non-Members $300/person

Standard Registration: 
January 7 - Onsite
MNFEA Members $300/person
Non-Members $350/person

Conference fees include general sessions, breakouts, networking activities, included optional events, and most meals.


2024 Conference Sessions


Sessions at the 2024 Conference will cover a variety of topics for event producers, marketers, operations teams, suppliers and more. We'll tackle some of the hot topics that are facing our industry, like the legalization of Cannabis products, climate change, and AI; we'll dive into safety planning and communication needs; we'll highlight innovative trends and marketing ideas; and we'll hear inspiring tales directly from industry leaders. Stay tuned as more sessions are added to the 2024 schedule!

Schedule At-A-Glance
       Schedule is subject to change. Session descriptions, speakers and more details can be found below.


11:00am      Special Presentation: Dine in the Dark Luncheon
                    This event is not included in your conference registration. Learn more & register here to attend.    

5:00pm        Wednesday Night Networking Event: Ice Bowling at The ROC


8:00am        Registration & Breakfast
9:00am        Sessions Begin

12:15pm      Lunch (provided)
        Sessions Resume          
5:00pm        Day 1 Sessions Conclude
6:00pm        Thursday Night Venue Crawl


8:00am        Registration & Breakfast
9:00am        Sessions Begin

12:00pm      Annual Meeting with Lunch (provided)
        Sessions Resume
2:30pm        Day 2 Sessions Conclude


Dine in the Dark Luncheon
We are proud to present this special presentation as a sideline event to kick off the 2024 Conference! As part of our focus on inclusivity in events, join us at Warehouse Winery on March 20 for a transformative sensory experience, and a delicious networking lunch with industry peers!
This signature program, presented by Mark Valenziano, is a sensory awareness experiment that will be educational, fun, and memorable. In addition to giving a compelling glimpse into what it’s like to be blind, this Dine in the Dark Luncheon will get you out of your comfort zone as you attempt some hands-on tasks while enjoying lunch and conversations – all while blindfolded.

This event is not included in your registration & additional registration is required to attend.

    *Schedule and sessions are subject to change.


    Designing Radically Inclusive Events with AI
    Nick Borelli, Marketing Director, Zenus
    It might seem counter-intuitive, but machines can help us make more human experiences. Generative AI can give us windows into others' experiences, which can help us create a greater sense of belonging for a wider audience. Discriminative Deep Learning can provide us with the data we need to test how successful our designs are with different groups of attendees. With AI being managed by designers leaning on empathy and creativity, your events have the chance to reach new heights. In this session, you'll discover demonstrations of AI being used to aid in the most inclusive versions of event staples, how data can reveal unconscious biases that are holding your events' potential back, and which human skills to focus on to future-proof your career in a world with powerful AI tech advancements.

    Creating an Event Risk Management Plan
    Jeff Beahen, Senior Director, Security, Minnesota Twins Baseball Club
    Safety and risk management should be the top priority for events and festivals. Whether you have a current plan or you are starting from the beginning it is time to focus on creating the safest environment possible for your guests, volunteers and vendors.

    6 Lessons on Guest Experience from the "Happiest Place on Earth"
    Caroline Correia, Account Manager, BeEvents

    Enhancing Your Marketing Footprint with Media Partnerships
    Alyssa Olson, Marketing Director, Cumulus Media; Kate Bendell, Promotions & Partnership Manager, 5 Eyewitness News/45TV/; and Matt Perkins, Partnership & Events Manager, Star Tribune
    Working with your local media doesn't need to break your marketing bank. In this session, we'll break down the different ways you can connect with your local media (with or without agency support) to develop mutually beneficial partnerships across TV, radio and print media. We'll identify a variety of ways in which each of these media channels work with local events, what free and paid programs are available to you, and how to make connections that spread awareness of your event, while also answering your questions about working with the media.

    Marketing on a Budget: Your $5k & Under Marketing Plan
    Alyssa Olson, Marketing Director, Cumulus Media
    Whether you are developing a new event or trying to increase exposure, your marketing budget is a key component to your event's success. In this session, we'll run through must-have elements, wishlist items, and what you can drop from your marketing plan to build a powerful and effective marketing plan with a $5k budget.


    Experiential Design: How to Turn Your Events Into Experiences
    Moderator: Paloma Rodrigues; with Amy Zaroff, Ashley Cook, Grant Whittaker, and Brittany Morris
    Attendees are no longer content with ballrooms or just sitting and listening, attending a vendor market, and listening to a band. They want opportunities to engage, interact, and network. And at the end of the day, they want to attend events that are Tweet- and Instagram-worthy. How do you create unique, authentic experiences that are worth sharing? It all starts with giving attendees choices! 

    The impacts of Climate Change on our Weather Patterns for Festivals and Events
    Mike Augustyniak, Director of Meteorology, CBM, CCM, WCCO-TV Minneapolis, CBS Sunday Morning

    The Legalization of Cannabis & Events
    Cory Lake, Agent, Lake Group Insurance; Jason Tarasek, Counsel, Vicente LLP; and Allison Vaillancourt, Founder/Creative Director, BLNCD Naturals
    The legalization of cannabis has offered challenges and opportunities for events and festivals in Minnesota. The new legalization is constantly evolving and changing the rules of engagement. This session will share the latest impacts on our industry and how you might benefit from embracing this new revenue stream and prepare you for the pitfalls that should be on your radar.

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