The annual Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference takes place next week from March 5-7. For the first time in years, it's taking place in the Southern region, in Mankato. I'll be attending the Southern Minn-esota Tourism Association meeting on Monday and the regular conference Tuesday and Wednesday. Explore Minnesota brings in the best in the business in the marketing and tourism fields, I always come back with great ideas for marketing Granite Falls.

In addition to speakers and updates from Explore Minnesota Tourism's marketing plan for Minnesota, there are breakout sessions with topics such as "Making the most of travel influencers", "Social Media trends for 2018", "How to make your video go viral", etc. The hard part is choosing which session to attend! In addition, the travel marketplace offers discount deals in advertising for print and online marketing.


The Minnesota Assoc-iation of Convention and Visitors Bureaus has an auction with donated items from participating communities and companies. Thanks to Prairie’s Edge Casino Resort for donating a night stay for our Granite Falls basket. The basket will also contain local travel guides, T-shirts and other coupons.

This will be on display during the entire three-day conference. It's a great way to show off our town to the entire state! I believe that bringing visitors to our beautiful riverside city is an important way to bring economic vitality and growth. A town that people want to visit is also one where people want to live. We have all the ingredients here for a weekend destination with the Minnesota River, K.K. Berge Gallery, Prairie’s Edge Casino Resort, the Andrew Volstead House, The Fagen Fighter's WWII Museum, Memorial Park, Upper Sioux Agency State Park and our unique shops and restaurants.


Yesterday I met with two representatives from the Minnesota Alliance of Local History Museums. Their conference this year is in Marshall and part of it will include a visit to the Volstead House Museum on April 24. After the tour, there will be an education session about Prohibition at the Berge building.

The directors of museums around the state are interested in knowing how to create events around this 100-year anniversary of Prohibition. Museology Museum Services will lead the information session.


Don't forget to RSVP for the Chamber's first Business Breakfast on March 13 from 7:30-9 a.m., Prairies Edge Casino Resort. The topic will be "Art for tourism and economic development" by Ashley Hanson and Tamara Isfeld. __________