Mar 30, 2023
Celebrating Global Meetings Industry Day at Saint Paul RiverCentre
For the past 25 years, Saint Paul RiverCentre has prided itself on being a place where great memories are made. From city-wide conventions to naturalization ceremonies to sporting competitions, trade shows and meetings, the halls of Saint Paul RiverCentre have been bustling with life and energy since its inception a quarter-century ago.
With March 30 being Global Meetings Industry Day, it is a reminder to everyone the importance of what meetings bring not just to venues like Saint Paul RiverCentre but to the community as a whole.
“I’m so glad there is a date set aside for the importance of meetings to be highlighted,” Kate Setley, Executive Director/General Manager of Saint Paul RiverCentre, said. “They are beneficial for the attendees, who can network and collaborate, but also for our city, community and people that work in and visit Saint Paul. When events take place here, it adds to the vibrancy of our city and attendees can experience all that Saint Paul has to offer. It really is a win-win,” Setley said.
“Economic impact created from meetings and events held at Saint Paul RiverCentre creates job growth, supports local businesses and stimulates our economy by inviting new visitors who stay in hotels, eat at local restaurants and shop in neighborhood stores,” Cindy Dupont, Interim President & CEO of Visit Saint Paul, said. “This dynamic, beautiful, historic city welcomes and invites all people to visit, to get to know its true character, to enjoy everything it has to offer and to come back again and again — because there is always something new to connect with and be a part of in Saint Paul.”
When meeting planners walk through the doors of Saint Paul RiverCentre, they are met with people who genuinely care for their event, something Setley thinks is our calling card. “We want them to leave feeling like they have a true partnership with us, that we’re on the same team,” she said. “It is what we’re known for.” So much so that people have joked with Setley that they want to take RiverCentre’s staff on the road with them. “Venues are made of bricks and mortar, but it’s the people inside of them that make the real impact.”
Setley thinks the meeting industry has changed over 25 years. The advancement of technology has brought more interactive elements into play during a meeting and provided more outside-the-box thinking. The industry was hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic, although full recovery is nearly complete.
Staffing has also been something that has evolved. Over the past quarter-century, some employees have come and gone, but many have stayed for 15-25 years. Combine that with an influx of new employees and you get a beautiful intersection of experience and a fresh outlook on things.
“I’m really proud of the staff that works here. They are an impressively talented group of people that invest so much passion in their work. Day after day, they display genuine care about our venues and events and each other and create great memories for people,” Setley said. “When you have that it creates a foundation for a thriving business which then helps to create a thriving community."