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 August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.