A big move: Inventors Congress taking show to the Twin Cities
REDWOOD FALLS — The Minnesota Inventors Congress is taking its annual show to the Twin Cities area in 2014, ending a 56-year run in its home community of Redwood Falls.
Program Director Deb Hess announced the plans Thursday, saying that the decision has been a difficult one but necessary. Inventors have been urging a move to an urban venue to increase the exposure they can receive.
It’s expected that an event in the Twin Cities will attract a larger crowd. Importantly, it makes the show more accessible to people from a greater array of businesses and other resources important for inventors.
Unfortunately, Hess said they have often heard from professionals in the Twin Cities area who said they could not devote a full day to make the trip to Redwood Falls and attend the Congress.
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development awarded the Inventors Congress a two-year grant that is helping make the move possible, said Hess.
She said the Minnesota Inventors Congress is currently negotiating with a prospective partner in the Twin Cities. The Inventors Congress has not yet selected a site or place for the show, but is expecting to hold it in the spring.
The Inventors Congress moved its traditional date for the show to April for the 2013 event, but a late season-blizzard reduced attendance.
The show in Redwood Falls has typically attracted 2,000 to 2,500 during the weekend.
Hess said her main concern in making the move is making sure the same energy and excitement enjoyed at the shows in Redwood Falls will continue at a new location. Some of that excitement can be attributed to the local volunteers who have always taken pride in the event, she noted.
But Hess also pointed out that the motivation and creativity of the inventors is also a big reason the show is so much more than your typical trade show.
Prior to publicly announcing plans to move the show, the Minnesota Inventors Congress contacted local sponsors and supporters. She said the response was very encouraging to her.
People told her they realize that the Minnesota Inventors Congress exists to serve inventors, and had to make the decision that best supports that mission.
“They get it,’’ said Hess.
The Minnesota Inventors Congress will maintain its year-round office and operations in Redwood Falls. Hess said the office has contacts with more than 2,000 inventors a year.