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 +1 612-767-8000 or jeff@minneapolis.org

Coming up in April 2020...

Guest Service: First Impressions Matter

Hotels spend large amounts of money on marketing their operation and brand, but sometimes they fail to remember that guest service is the lifeblood of their business. It is outstanding guest service that allows a hotel to create an amazing and lasting impression, one that will remain with guests far beyond the duration of their stay. In pre-internet days, first impressions were formed the moment a guest walked through a hotel's front door. These days, first impressions are created long before a guest arrives at a hotel property. They begin when a customer visits a hotel's website or social media pages for the first time. When a guest connects with a property online, they immediately form an opinion of the hotel. First impressions matter and because of that, a hotel website should be mobile-friendly with blistering fast speed; it should be graphically appealing; and it should provide visual representation of the kind of experience a guest can expect. It is also vital to engage the customer; to actively solicit and respond to guest feedback. When a hotel personally engages with someone, it is demonstrating to other customers that guest opinions matter, and that management is willing to go the extra mile to provide superior guest service. Similarly, when a hotel sends out personalized emails with satisfaction surveys attached, it demonstrates that management values guest feedback, so that service can be improved at every level. Additionally, social media messages can be sent out prior to a guest's arrival to learn more about them, so their visit can be personalized. It's the small touches and details that are most remembered and appreciated. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will examine what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate excellent guest service in their operations.