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Regular Registration: 
March 1st - April 1st

MNFEA Members $160/person
Non-Members $200/person

Late/Onsite Registration: 
April 2nd - April 13th

MNFEA Members $180/person
Non-Members $220/person

All fees include sessions, workshops, networking, activities and most meals.

Register Now

2018 Conference Schedule

The Annual MNFEA Conference strives to provide event planners, volunteers and vendors with education, networking opportunities and industry knowledge. Each session is crafted to meet the educational needs of the event industry. Sessions are presented by local planners and professionals who are leaders in their field. Not only will you learn event management skills, you will come away with innovative ideas, new connections and applicable practices for your next event.


Wednesday Night Networking Event  5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Set ashore for the Island on Wednesday night for Xtreme Bowling and interactive games. MNFEA will provide the bowling, pizza and fun. The Island will handle the cash bar. Don’t bowl? No worries. Come early to meet conference attendees and laugh along with others! Social starts at 5 p.m.; bowling and evening activities start at 6 p.m. Join us at any time!

Thursday Morning Ice Breaker:    9:15 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.
The best part of a conference is often times the connections that you make. Take this opportunity to get to know your fellow colleagues, where they are from and what size festival (or vendor) they are representing.  This will be a quick, lively session designed so you can jump start your networking and relationship building at the conference..  

Annual Thursday Night Soiree  6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
The Island is calling you Thursday night! All aboard the S.S. MNFEA Shuttle for the Treasure Island harbor. We’ll be alone in the deserted paradise for a tropical-themed night of food, fun & games. Wear your beach party apparel and prepare for a fiesta MNFEA-style!

Thursday - April 12th

8:30 a.m. 
Networking Breakfast and Registration

9:15 a.m. 
Morning Icebreaker: Get to Know Your Fellow Attendees!
Join us for this quick networking session and learn more about the festivals and vendors that are at the conference. This is a great chance to meet other people that are from similar size festivals as yours.

9:50 a.m. 
Conference Welcome and Opening Remarks

10:00 a.m. 
Keynote Speaker - The Impact of Your Personal Brand in Building Business
Every person has a brand and that brand has a voice in every way we show up through our image, our communications, and the experience we deliver in personal interactions. This powerful and interactive presentation will help you understand and leverage your personal brand to create and build meaningful connections and grow your organization. She will cover:  The secret to an effective and memorable personal brand message in memorable day-to-day interactions and online; How to bring your brand to life consistently and intentionally through your image, your communications, and in the experience of working with you to leave a lasting and positive impact.
Speaker: Kathleen Crandall, Know My Impact

10:50 a.m.
Optimizing the Volunteer Experience
Volunteer Recruitment & Retention; Volunteer Incentives & Managing their Expectations. Tracy shares insights, tips and unique perspectives of working with volunteers at events.
Speaker: Tracy Nielsen, HandsOn Twin Cities

11:50 a.m.
An introduction to Google Analytics
Knowing your audience and what they want is an important factor to market to them successfully. By using Google Analytics, you are able to see valuable insights that can shape how you run your business. In this session we will discuss why you need it, how to get it, and how to use it to pull the most effective data for your business.
Speakers:  Tory Kalousek, Hubbard Interactive
Ruth Tambornino, Hubbard Interactive

12:30 p.m. 
Networking and Lunch

1:15 p.m. 
Turning Difficult People Into Fans
We live in a world where the disgruntled can impact the reputation and success of your event, company brand, or personal brand with one tweet or post. It is critical to understand the triggers of bad behavior and fan behavior, and how to turn a difficult situation into a positive. This powerful presentation will help you understand and leverage difficult people and situations to create opportunities that build your fan base.
Speaker: Kathleen Crandall, Know My Impact

2:10 p.m.
Breakout Session: Ask the Vendors Poker Crawl!
Vendors spend many hours at festivals and events throughout the year. We've paired each vendor with a festival that uses their services. Together they will share their best tips and tricks for festival management. Bring your questions! Pick three sessions, 20 min each:
Jim Bach, Apres Tent Rental / Jon Iannazzo, Atmosphere Events
Diana Rohlfson, Biffs, Inc / Dot Belstler, Twin Cities Pride Festival
Wendy Famodu, Ziegler Power / Tom Sullivan, Pro Events
Mary Anderson, Anderson Race Management / Kate Frye, City of Saint Paul
Gary Range, Midwest Radio / Deb Schaber, Saint Paul Winter Carnival
Vince Vanella, Environmental Svcs / Steve Madson, SRO Productions

3:20 p.m.
Great Events from Greater Minnesota
Planning events outside of a major metropolitan area can sometimes be challenging.  These event planners will give an overview of their events and share how they find vendors, challenges and concerns with permitting and how they market their events in greater MN.
Junia Joseph-Benham, Rooted Creative, Moderator

Meghann Southwick, Rochester Downtown Alliance
Jared Olson, Eelpout Festival (Walker, MN)
Stacy Wegner, Red Wing Collectors Society
Evy Nerbonne, Hudson Hot Air Affair and RiverFest
Deb Anthony, Defeat of Jesse James Day (Northfield, MN) 

4:15 p.m.
Influencer Marketing:  The New Endorsement
You have heard of the effectiveness of influencer marketing, with macro influencers like Kylie Jenner, Jennifer Aniston, Gigi Hadid, and many more. Although influencer marketing isn’t as expensive as some other forms of advertising, small businesses may struggle to set aside funds for it. That is where micro-influencers come into play. In this session, we show you how to find your own influencers and tactics to utilize them for your business.
Speaker:  Ashley Konz, Hubbard Interactive

5:00 p.m. 
Take a break before our evening activities.  A shuttle runs all night between the hotel and the Treasure Island harbor.  The first shuttle leaves at 5:50 p.m. 

6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Annual Thursday Night Soiree
The island is calling you!  Hop aboard the MNFEA Shuttle for the Treasure Island Harbor.  We'll be alone in the deserted paradise for a tropical- themed night of food, fun and games.  Wear your beach party apparel and prepare for a fiesta MNFEA style!  Grab the shuttle back anytime you're ready to end the evening.

Friday - April 13th

8:00 a.m. 
Networking Breakfast and Registration 

9:00 a.m.
What's Brewing at the Brewery?
We're bringing together some of the state's best breweries to get the inside scoop on pulling off successful events in the middle of a working brewery. What events are they hosting? How can event producers and vendors partner to host their own events there? Panelists include:
Kevin Stocks, Liquid 12 Festivals, Moderator
Laura Preston, Fulton Brewing
Jenny Seabloom, Sociable Cider Werks 
Andrea Graham, Surly Brewing
Austin Jevne, Forager Brewing

9:50 a.m.
Cash Management:  Best Practices on Setting up and Managing Your Program
Is your cash safe during your event?  Topics will include determining beginning cash needs, creating an audit system for your board and local police, and selecting the right team (volunteer or paid) for cash movement and the counting room. 
Speaker:  Randy Dewitz, Fanfare Attractions

10:30 a.m.
When the Circus Comes to Town
Participants will learn first hand about the hidden risks at community events and what questions public safety officials and city and county staff will ask event planners during the planning stage and before granting permits.  Participants will receive a checklist of what topics should be covered in the pre-event planning meetings and other helpful resources. Presenters will demonstrate what items should be included in contracts and permits that will help planners manage their risk.  
Speakers:  Angela Mens-Eastman, Events by Eastman
Stuart Glaser, City of Stillwater Fire Chief

12:00 p.m.
Networking Lunch & MNFEA Annual Meeting

12:40 p.m.
Sponsorship Strategy: How to Deliver Results
Festivals and Events provide great opportunities for sponsors to engage with the community and enthusiasts.  This session will explore best practices to identify prospects, create on-point sponsorship packages, ensure benefit delivery and prove sponsor ROI.  Topics covered include:  Prospect identification, Understanding sponsor goals and ROI measurements; Building packages; Managing Deliverables and Sponsor recaps. 
Speaker: Sara Soli, National Sports Center

1:30 p.m.
Closing Keynote - Giving is Good Business
While you work toward and continue to grow in all areas of your life, the focus should be on how you keep your personal, professional, and community goals in balance and on track, in order to enjoy and achieve success and happiness for yourself, and those with whom you interact. Through stories, tangible examples, success and failure experiences, and the outgoing pursuit to find a true passion and drive, Wayne will inspire and energize you to take the next steps towards tapping into and finding your passion for success in your personal, professional, and community lives.  Each conference attendee will receive a copy of the Taste of the NFL's book, Bring out the Best!
Speaker: Wayne Kostroski, Taste of the NFL, Cuisine Concepts

2:30 p.m. 
Closing Remarks

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