12/6/13: Final Prep Meeting is Tuesday, Dec 10, 2013 9:00 am
Final preparations for our booth will be Tuesday, December 10 at 9:00 am. Find us at the Holiday Inn St Paul East, located just off the McKnight Road exit of I94. Big shout-out to Vickie Gallagher of Sand Hospitality for hosting (you might remember her as Vickie Anderson). Refreshments will be available; come hungry and ready for caffeine.
Plan on a couple of hours to proof your two pages in the joint profile, recap our give aways and booth operations, and prepare over 750 items for the operator registration bags. Those include a postcard about the booth, suggesting they stop by to spice up their group itineraries, and a Watkins chili seasoning packet (pictured).
If you're involved in securing any of the items for food gift baskets or items for booth give-aways, be ready to give us an update.
11/14/13: Progress on ABA Marketplace 2014 Preparations
Things are coming together for our booth preparations. There had been a delay in the scheduling information for booth sponsors. That is all finalized now and reflected in our own schedule posted below. Time now to focus on getting your two personal pages completed** as we assemble our joint profile. We're finalizing an item from Watkins for our tour operator bag piece. We also need to secure the booth give-aways for our wheel - the Blue Plate Special.
As discussed at our meeting, we will in fact do gift baskets. Our reversal on this is because food baskets are much easier to assemble. The goal is to secure three: one each from Cooks on Crocus Hil, Mill City Museum and Mississippi Bluff Country. They will focus on food items and utensils/cookbooks, and must be ready to include in our shipment on January 6 to Nashville.
Don't forget to get your appointment requests in. If you haven't secured a hotel room yet, good luck; the options have really dwindled. And be sure to mark down 9:00am on Tuesday, December 10 at the Holiday Inn East in St. Paul for our final preparation meeting. That morning includes proofing your page contributions, reviewing the booth schedule, assembling the operator registration bag items and handling last minute needs.
If you want to order a vest like the one below, we'll try to secure additional ones for those lacking. Price is approximately $40. Please advise Sandy of your interest and we'll try to secure a smaller quantity for fulfillment.
**Your pages are similar in style to last year's book. Refer to that for the contact information necessary, layout and text to include. Like the overall theme, be sure to emphasize culinary options, including brew pubs, wineries, food tours, etc. Each of us will feature a recipe. Be sure to include a good one, a favorite one, an easy one - but more than heat and eat!
Join the Minnesota Booth at ABA Marketplace 2014
American Bus Association Marketplace 2014 will be held in Nashville. Dates are January 11-15, 2014. Are you planning to attend? Full ABA membership and Marketplace registration information is available at www.buses.org.
Yep, it's that time of year where we put our collective minds together to formulate another memorable booth at American Bus Association's annual Marketplace. We'll be downtown in the new Music City Center downtown, rather than out at Gaylord Opryland.
The Marketplace is the largest annual opportunity to meet with over 700 tour operators. Through affordable co-sponsorships of $500-600, you can be part of the Minnesota presence. Our booth is always located in a prime position near the entrance to the bustling appointment area. Our use of Minnesota foods has proven to create its own buzz, and is key to getting additional face time with tour operators and expand business potential in the group market. All the details can be found at: www.buses.org/marketplace.
Our initial planning meeting is set for Tuesday, Oct 15 at 3 - 4:30 pm, and our host is Bloomington CVB, located at 7900 International Dr, Ste 990, 55425. The offices are in International Plaza, adjacent to the Hyatt Place, between 24th and 34th Avenues off American Blvd. PLEASE NOTE: There's construction at the 34th Ave exit of I494; allow yourself a little extra time and approach from 24th Ave.
Even if you're not able to personally be at ABA Marketplace, co-sponsorship helps your visibility, with a two-page messaging means in our joint profile, and other exposure potential. If you're signing up again to attend ABA Marketplace, or just interested in the notion, please join us this month.
If you're new to the notion, come find out more. And if you're a veteran, be sure to join us to make this another banner year. Even if you can't be there in person, please consider joining for a phone link. Let me know of that need and your date preference and I'll follow up with phone-in details for the appointed date.
RSVP re the kick-off meeting on Oct 15. And keep informed about plans throughout the weeks ahead on this page.
Two sponsorship levels are again offered at the same price as previous years. Entities that attend ABA and wish to be part of the Minnesota booth pay $600. We also offer a co-sponsor level to those who seek visibility but won't be onsite, at a cost of $500. Representation for both realms includes:
- a two-page presence in our materials distribution
- sponsor mention on communication to booth visitors.
- first crack at lead share from EMT, weeks before it is posted on our industry website.
- a complete contact list of tour operators attending ABA 2014, with notations of those who visited our booth
Culinary adventures is the theme of our 2014 Group & Packaged Travel Planner, so it will be easy to keep the food coming. We plan to again have SPAM, wild rice salad and lefse.
Each year we seek a themed giveaway for tour operators who stop by our booth. We'll discuss options at our October kick-off meeting.
We will again provide a single collateral piece for distribution, featuring two pages per sponsor, plus additional pages with state highlights, map and sample itinerary(ies). In conjunction with the 2014 planner, the piece will have a culinary theme, probably a menu to help operators plan great adventures in Minnesota. In addition to the two-pages per sponsor, the profile includes a sponsor listing page with logos, itinerary tied to the theme and general state information to assist in group tour planning, including a useful map and distances from key markets to our state.
By the November 22 deadline, please submit: updated contact info, new image if desired, and profile content. This deadline is quite urgent; we have little time to turn around the project for printing. You can always submit early!
|SEP 16, 2013||appointment requests available for selection|
|OCT 15, 2013||kick-off meeting|
|NOV 22, 2013||text due from sponsors for profile|
|DEC 3, 2013||appointment request deadline (5:00 PM EST!)|
|DEC 6, 2013||appointment schedules available, manual scheduling begins (Noon EST)|
|DEC 10, 2013||final prep meeting: assemble operator bag items. complete proofing of sponsor text|
|DEC 13, 2013||manual scheduling ends (Noon EST)|
|DEC 27, 2013||all items for pallet shipment due at EMT offices|
|JAN 3, 2014||pallet shipment to Nashvile|
|JAN 10-11||booth set-up in Charlotte|
|JAN 12-15||four days of SPAM grilling, lefse making and wild rice salad serving|
|JAN 12||Networking Recption (Noon - 5:30 PM)|
|JAN 13||DMO appointments (9:00 AM - 6:00 PM)|
|JAN 14-15||Lodging/Attractions/Associates appointments (9:00 AM - 6:00 PM)|