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An Event Retrospective

The Event

The Minneapolis Foundation Centennial Preview Party

The Challenge

Create a one-of-a-kind, once in a lifetime celebration worthy of 100 years of community impact in Minneapolis.

Client Objectives

Produce an event that represents and celebrates the unique qualities and attributes of Minneapolis while providing an entertaining and memorable experience for world class futurist conference sponsors and donors to The Minneapolis Foundation.

Our Strategies

  • Custom design and produce an interactive environment that allowed guests to truly and realistically experience Minneapolis at sunset.
  • Select food and beverages offerings, activities and entertainment that represent Minneapolis.
  • Create a finale performance that showcases the best of Minneapolis arts performance organizations, all of which are supported by The Minneapolis Foundation.

Tactical Elements

  • Custom designed and created life-sized representations of actual places in Minneapolis – Minnehaha Falls, Uptown, Northeast, Loring Park, Lake Harriet Bandshell and the Minneapolis Farmers Market.
  • Created food stations featuring food truck backdrops and unique offerings representing the cultural diversity in Minneapolis.
  • The Minneapolis Farmers Market offered healthy local food choices.
  • Beverage offerings included some of the most popular local craft brews in Minneapolis.
  • Two pop-up stages played continuous music by local bands performing a variety of musical genres until the finale. One stage represented the Lake Harriet Bandshell and the other represented Loring Park.
  • A 16-foot high LED video wall featuring footage of a flowing Minnehaha Falls, including sound effects of the water crashing, created the perfect photo opportunity for guests as they entered the event space.
  • Award-winning Musical Director, Raymond Berg, was recruited to create a one-of-a-kind finale performance that began with the University of MN Marching Band bursting through the ballroom doors playing the U of MN Rouser, which attracted guests’ attention and movement to the large multi-level proscenium stage on the side of the room which had up to this time been without activity. Berg’s finale performance featured:
    • Guthrie star, Greta Oglesby, narrating the story of The Minneapolis Foundation using historical photos on large screens which flanked the stage
    • Minnesota Orchestra
    • VocalEssence
    • Twin Cities Community Gospel Chorus
    • James Sewell Ballet
    • Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus
    • MacPhail’s Community Youth Choir
    • Direction by Phillip Brunnell

The show also featured Oglesby singing a moving new Raymond Berg arrangement of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” before she led the crowd in singing “America the Beautiful” before ending with a stunning indoor fireworks display.

Once the preview party was complete, we tore down the event and reset the room to accommodate a breakfast for 1,800 conference attendees in the same room in under nine hours.

The Results

  • Considered the best and most talked-about event of the year.
  • Attracted 650 people – a “who’s who” of Minneapolis philanthropy and corporate and community leadership.
  • Inspired attendees, which carried over to the next day to launch the futurist conference which engaged 1,800 attendees to work together to make a difference in Minneapolis in the next 100 years.
  • Sparked conversations between The Minneapolis Foundation and event sponsors and attendees around annual futurist conferences and meetings being held to focus on collaborative community problem-solving.
  • Came in $50,000+ under budget for all centennial events.

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