Perched on the edge of a vibrant downtown, the Minneapolis Convention Center is the largest convention venue in the Upper Midwest, as well as one of the newest. Opened in 1990, the center boasts 475,000 square feet of exhibition space, 87 meeting rooms, and a state-of-the-art, 3,400-seat auditorium on a 1.6 million-square-foot campus. The venue is connected to parking, hotels, and restaurants via climate-controlled skyways and is rimmed by a 70,000-square-foot plaza filled with trees, seating, and revolving art installations. A $14.5 million renovation project is underway that will outfit the venue with cosmetic and environmentally friendly improvements.
WHERE TO SLEEP
A block from the Minneapolis Convention Center, the 136-room Hotel Ivy is a luxury property located in a National Historic Register building. Nearby, a Hilton Garden Inn and a Holiday Inn Express are economical alternatives. Thousands of hotel rooms are located within walking distance of the MCC, and most can be reached by enclosed skyway.
WHAT TO EAT
The MCC is located mere steps from a wealth of shops and restaurants on a pedestrian plaza called the Nicollet Mall. The Local is a favorite hangout for old-world ambiance and solid Irish fare, or dazzle clients and colleagues with American comfort food at Café Lurcat, an exquisite eatery with indoor and outdoor dining areas as well as private space for groups.
HOW TO GET THERE
The MCC is 12 miles from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, and taxis are available for approximately $35 each way. Shared shuttles are $16 each way (www.supershuttle.com
), and light rail to downtown Minneapolis is available for around $2. The convention center has ample parking underground and in adjacent parking ramps, however rental cars are often unnecessary when staying downtown.
The MCC has exclusive providers for electrical and booth-cleaning services as well as catering.
Exhibitors are permitted to provide their own grounded 120 volt cords.
The MCC has a business center that can provide shipping and freight services, copies, wide-format printing, and more.
Exhibitors can unload, install, and dismantle their own exhibits using full-time employees.
For a unique reception, check out the Prohibition Bar at the W Minneapolis Hotel - The Foshay, the Walker Art Center, or a boat cruise on the Mississippi River.
Exhibitors may handle their own freight, but use of the loading dock is restricted to the event-service contractors and show staff.
Free Wi-Fi is available in the MCC lobby. Additional networking services are available from Smart City.
Helium balloons cannot be distributed in the MCC, but they may be used in exhibits with permission.
Exhibitors that wish to provide food and beverage sampling must obtain a permit to do so from the Minneapolis Health Department.