TBEX North America 2016 was hosted by Mall of America over Memorial Day weekend, welcoming over 530 travel media and tourism professionals to Minnesota.
The much-celebrated event included pre- and post-conference FAM trips arranged by partners Visit St Paul, Meet Minneapolis and Explore Minnesota. Two days of workshops, presentations and keynotes were topped off by evening parties held at the legendary First Ave. nightclub in Minneapolis and Harriet Island on the Mississippi River in St Paul.
Highlights included the thrilling opening night party in the Nickelodeon Universe theme park inside Mall of America with themed stations featuring Minnesota food and beverages and 10 thrill rides available to guests; live Periscope interviews with honored guests such as Johnny Jet and Lou Mongello at the onsite social media command center; the debut of the latest Mall attraction FlyOver America; and a personal, extremely funny closing keynote speech by Andrew Zimmern.
In less than a week, reports and images of the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota racked up millions of impressions on Instagram and tens of millions of impressions on Twitter. Thanks to the onsite Mall of America social media command center driving conversations, it was, by a staggering order of magnitude, the biggest travel media event in Minnesota’s history, possibly the entire Midwest.