Bloomington, Minnesota


Bloomington_horWith a beautiful location on the banks of the Minnesota River, the city of Bloomington has much to offer travelers. Not only is it home to the world-famous Mall of America®, but this city of 85,000 also houses the stunning Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Water Park of America, an extensive system of hiking and biking trails and much more. Twin Cities visitors also enjoy Bloomington’s many travel conveniences, including its central location, proximity to the airport, and easy freeway access to Interstates 35W and 494. In addition, Bloomington offers free parking, free hotel shuttles to the airport and Mall of America, and the Hiawatha light rail line, which runs from the Mall of America, to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and downtown Minneapolis.

The city of Bloomington’s #1 attraction by far, is Mall of America, the largest shopping center in the United States, welcoming over 40 million visitors annually. This shopping center boasts 2.5 million square feet of retail space, over 500 stores and countless entertainment options that range from nightclubs to the Nickelodeon Universe® amusement park to a 14-screen cinema.

Another popular Bloomington destination is the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, spanning 14,000 acres, with miles of hiking and biking trails, prime bird-watching opportunities, and an extensive visitors center.

With all these great attractions, fine restaurants, and convenient location, it’s easy to see why the city of Bloomington is home to more hotels than Minneapolis and St. Paul combined – over 37 total, ranging from luxury to economy to suit families, tourist groups and business travelers alike.

Click here for the Meetings Quest in Bloomington Guide

Meetings Quest Bloomington Schedule of Events


 Wednesday, July 13, 2016

 2:00 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. Meetings Quest Registration Desk Open
JW Marriott Third Floor
 2:00 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. Arrivals Lounge
JW Marriott Third Floor
Welcome to Bloomington! Attendees are encouraged to gather for happy hour and networking prior to departing for the Opening Celebration.
 2:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Exhibitor Setup
JW Marriott Diamond Ballroom. Click here to view the floor plan. Click here to view the exhibitor manual.
 5:45 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Bus Loading for Opening Celebration
JW Marriott Lobby Side Entrance
 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Opening Celebration
Join your colleagues at the Pool & Yacht Club for an evening of networking, dinner and drinks, followed by dessert on a chartered boat ride down the Mighty Mississippi on the Betsey Northrup courtesy of the Padelford Packet BoatCo.Hosted by:
Bloomington_hor VSP_Logo_OfficialCVB    Pool-&-Yacht-Club-logo-Black
 9:45 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Return to JW Marriott Minneapolis Mall of America

 Thursday, July 14, 2016

 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Registration Desk Open
JW Marriott Third Floor
 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.  Breakfast Buffet Open
JW Marriott Third Floor
 9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. Welcome to Bloomington!
JW Marriott Diamond BallroomOpening remarks by Tim Schneider, Publisher, Association News; Bonnie Carlson, President & CEO, Bloomington Convention & Visitors Bureau; and Gene Winstead, Mayor of Bloomington.
 9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. Crisis Management and Event Security
JW Marriott Diamond Ballroom
Hacker-Steven1-ret-cropped-120x151 The outbreak of the Zika virus and the terror attacks against civilians in Paris and San Bernardino are among the most recent examples of external forces that can have ramifications for planners of meetings and events large and small. With travelers’ concerns being heightened by unusual natural phenomena and ongoing terrorist threats, meeting planners must recalibrate how they plan for event security and other inevitable crises.

This interactive session will provide an overview of the steps to take when organizing your events and will detail available resources for appropriately planning for the safety and security of your events. Information on working closely with your host venues and destinations–including developing a plan for managing security issues on-site–and considering in advance how to respond should your event be affected by a crisis, will be shared in this timely and insightful session.

Presented by Steven Hacker, CAE, CEM, FASAE
The Association News Association Doctor

 10:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Networking Break
JW Marriott Third Floor
 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Drones: Redefining the Future of Events
JW Marriott Diamond Ballroom
hoff-2 The next pop culture sensation has arrived and will soon be buzzing around your events and exhibitions if it isn’t already. The drone invasion is underway. In the next five years, the drone market is forecast to reach $4.8 billion worldwide. Commercial drone applications are already transforming the way we live, work and play. Now is the time for savvy event planners to learn how to harness the power of a drone’s sophisticated sensors, enhanced digital technology, photographic elements and GPS systems.

This session will explore how to manage drone use at your events in ways that enhance rather than diminish the attendee and exhibitor experience. You will discover how to marry drones and events properly, including conducting virtual site visits, tracking traffic and managing exhibitor use of drones. You will learn how to ensure a safe and secure experience for your attendees and exhibitors. The future is now and drones are here to stay. At MeetingsQuest, you’ll learn how drones can help your event grow!

Presented by Jennifer Hoff, CEM
Principal, Taffy Event Strategies, LLC

 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Keynote: Accelerate with Lyn St. James
JW Marriott Diamond Ballroom
 ST_St John

As the first woman to win the Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year award, Lyn St. James understands the drive it takes to achieve your goals. Through determination and hard work, St. James broke into a world that at one time seemed unattainable for women, setting 31 international and national speed records during a 20-year period. By honoring her own goals, commitments and guideposts, St. James was able to stay on track throughout her professional career and personal life. Named by Sports Illustrated as one of the top women athletes of the century, St. James will share insights on how to develop a viable action plan that can help you accelerate your success—whether that means landing a valuable client or hosting a memorable meeting.

Presented by Lyn St. James
IndyCar Racing Legend

 12:00 p.m. – 12:15 p.m. Instructions for Expo and Dismissal for Lunch
JW Marriott Diamond Ballroom
 12:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Expo Open
JW Marriott Diamond Ballroom
 12:15 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch in Expo Hall
JW Marriott Diamond Ballroom
 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Expo Appointment Sessions
JW Marriott Diamond Ballroom
 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Exhibitor Tear Down
JW Marriott Diamond Ballroom
 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Departures Lounge with Passport Prize Drawing
JW Marriott Third Floor

Photo Gallery

On July 13, the Meetings Quest Opening Celebration, sponsored by the Bloomington CVB and Visit St. Paul, took place on the Mississippi River. The evening began with a reception and dinner hosted by the Pool & Yacht Club. Following dinner, attendees boarded the Betsey Northrup for dessert and a chartered cruise on the mighty Mississippi courtesy of Padelford Riverboats.

On July 14, Bloomington CVB President and CEO Bonnie Carlson and Association News Publisher Timothy Schneider welcomed attendees to Meetings Quest. The event continued with a full morning of educational programming. Steven Hacker, author of the monthly “Association Doctor” column in Association News, facilitated a Learning Lab on crisis management and event security. The session provided an overview of the steps to take when organizing meetings and detailed available resources when planning for the safety and security of your events. In a second Learning Lab, Jennifer Hoff of Taffy Event Strategies lead a session on how drones are redefining the future of events. Hoff explored how to manage drones to enhance the attendee and exhibitor experience at your events.

The morning concluded with a keynote address from IndyCar racing legend Lyn St. James, who shared insights on how to develop a viable action plan that can help meeting planners accelerate their success. Meeting Quest in Bloomington continued with a luncheon and an afternoon appointment-based expo. The event concluded with an exciting drawing for cash prizes and a Departures Lounge, where attendees had a final opportunity for business networking.

“Being able to provide those who attend Meetings Quest with diverse and valuable programming is something that we take very seriously,” said Timothy Schneider, publisher of Association News, which organizes Meetings Quest. “We are proud to be delivering world-class content at Meetings Quest in Bloomington.”

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Attendee Comments

“You and your team are definitely experts at what you do. The hotel and food, the networking and trip down the Mississippi River was wonderful. It is the perfect-size opportunity to meet everyone and actually become friends versus ‘ships passing in the night.’ I look forward to attending the next Meetings Quest.”
Debb Childs, CMP
Manager, Global Accounts
President’s Club, HelmsBriscoe

“Meetings Quest Bloomington exceeded my expectations. Fantastic networking opportunities at what seemed to be around every corner and the program flow was terrific. Kudos!”
– Robin D. Roane, CTE, HMCC, CMP
Senior Sales Manager, Visit Alexandria

“Really enjoyed my experience with Meetings Quest. The show exceeded my expectations.”
– David M. Jackson 

Official Media Partners of Meetings Quest Bloomington

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