Compference19: About Minneapolis

Compference19 will be here before you know it. You may be asking yourselves, “why Minneapolis?”  Well, why not? Not only does Minneapolis have a rich history and culture, it’s also enjoying a flourishing startup scene.

Minneapolis might be known for having brutal, freezing winters. Fortunately, Compference is scheduled for September 26-27, when temperatures hover pleasantly between an average high of 77°F and an average low of 52°F. Not too hot and not too cold. But, apart from the weather, there are many great reasons to visit Minneapolis.

Minneapolis Cultural Icons

If you’re like me, your first exposure to Minneapolis was the Mary Tyler Moore show – albeit in reruns. Who could forget the iconic opening intro, a young and exuberant Mary Richards driving her Ford Mustang on the way to Minneapolis to start a new job as a producer at the fictional WJM-TV. Perhaps ahead of its time, the show unapologetically presented prescient topics such as gender pay equity and workplace injustices head-on. Mary was fighting for many of the same workplace equity goals we’re still trying to achieve today.

Or perhaps you’re more familiar with Bob Dylan and Prince: two iconic musicians who launched their successful careers in Minneapolis. Each with distinctively different styles. Bob Dylan is a folk singer, whose songs like “The Times They Are a-Changin’” and “Blowin’ in the Wind” became synonymous with the Civil Rights movement. Prince, on the other hand, meandered the worlds of funk, rock and R&B. He also rejected traditional gender roles, blurring the lines between masculine and feminine style.

With so many iconic cultural influences, it shouldn’t be surprising that Minneapolis has one of the most vibrant theater scenes in the country. In fact, Minneapolis ranks as the fifth-most “creatively vital” city in the country, according to a report by the Western States Arts Federation. The Hennepin Theater Trust manages a triad of active theaters including the Pantages, State and Orpheum Theatres – all within a block of each other.


Eat Your Way Across Minneapolis

There’s more to Minneapolis than theater. Esquire magazine once boldly declared that “Minneapolis Is the Food World’s Best Kept Secret”. Like any American metropolis, the food scene has evolved over time with the influx of international influences.  So, you can get everything from Midwestern classics to international fare. Try the Juicy Lucy, a burger stuffed with delicious things like cheese, or peanut butter!  Or how about Tater Tot Hotdish, Tater Tot Casserole, with a twist.

If you’re looking for a more culturally adventurous cuisine, you could eat like the early settlers, and try some Scandinavian favorites like lefse, pickled herring, gravlax and Swedish meatballs. Or take your taste buds on a tour of Vietnam. Minneapolis is home to a large Southeast Asian population, and they the restaurants to prove it!


Walk off the Calories – Museum Style

After you’ve had your fill of fabulous cuisine, head to any one of the city’s museums.

The Minneapolis Institute of Art boasts upwards of 80,000 pieces of art, including photography, paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture. The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden features both modern and contemporary works of art, nestled among and outdoor urban park. The American Swedish Museum and the Mill City Museum pay homage to Minneapolis’ rich cultural history.

The Best Reason to Visit Minneapolis

Last but not least, the best reason to visit Minneapolis, of course is Compference19! Don’t forget to register and take advantage of the discounted price while you still can.

Let Us Know Your Thoughts

Do you have any hot tips on places you’d recommend? We’d love to know more. Feel free to comment below or join the discussion on Twitter.