Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Johnson

Jeff Johnson

Executive Director, Minneapolis Convention Center

Jeff Johnson is an Assistant City Coordinator for the City of Minneapolis and is the Executive Director of the Minneapolis Convention Center, a 1.6 million square foot facility that hosts more than 350 events and 1 million guests each year. The work of the convention center produces significant economic impact of $400 million to the region and helped support more than 8000 jobs in 2018.

The Minneapolis Convention Center provides guests and residents the gateway to exploring the City of Minneapolis. The idea of place is important to Mr. Johnson and there has been significant work done in recent years to make the convention center feel like a more integrated representation of Minneapolis and its people. Significant renovations have occurred and are underway to add amenities that add to relationship building within and around the facility, including unique ways of introducing all forms of art into the spaces of such a large public place.

In addition to the convention center, Mr. Johnson oversees the management of the Target Center arena and the convention and visitors' bureau, Meet Minneapolis, for the City of Minneapolis. Mr. Johnson joined the Minneapolis Convention Center in 2004 and has increased his responsibilities from the Guest Services Manager, to the Director of Event Services, and finally to the Executive Director.

Prior to working for the City of Minneapolis, Mr. Johnson worked at the Xcel Energy Center/Rivercentre in St. Paul, Minnesota, the Bi-Lo Center (now Bon Secours Wellness Arena) in Greenville, South Carolina, and the Wake Forest University Athletic Department in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Mr. Johnson attended Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota graduating with a degree in Business Administration and the University of Minnesota-Mankato graduating with a Master in Sport Administration. Mr. Johnson is married with three young children and is originally from Lakeville, Minnesota.


Please visit http://www.minneapolis.org for more information.

Mr. Johnson can be contacted at 612-767-8000 or jeff@minneapolis.org

Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.