LeadingAge Minnesota

At LeadingAge Minnesota, I assisted with the registration of 4,500+ attendees, menu and entertainment planning, exhibit hall management, attendee live polling and much more for their annual educational conference, Institute. The 2017 Institute took place at the RiverCentre in St. Paul, Minnesota. It was great to experience event management on a large scale that still brought meaning to attendees. LeadingAge Minnesota is part of the national LeadingAge association of people working in long-term care. Institute gives members the opportunity to complete higher education sessions, network, find new resources and have fun.

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Registration both on and offsite was a long process for the Institute. I used a program called iMIS to track each attendees’ data and transfer it into our app and to the bookkeeper.

I managed the live polling section of the Institute event app through Crowd Compass. We ran into many struggles with the app but in the long run, it was an efficient interface for attendees.

My favorite part of the conference was the 50th Anniversary Bash. I was in charge of hiring unique entertainment as well as helping with menu selection and coordinating with a photo booth service. I decided to hire fire dancers, stilt walkers and fortune tellers. These acts were a huge hit with guests because of their uniqueness. For the photo booth, I worked with the service to coordinate a green screen which coincided with our theme colors. I managed contracts for the entertainment and the photo booth service.

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While onsite at the Institute, I assisted vendors and sponsors where need be. PGA sponsored two areas on the exhibit hall so that we could have activities for our attendees. I worked the PGA booths for a day of the conference.


Overall, the conference went over smoothly. I worked on a team with seven other staff to pull this conference off. We required the help of almost everyone at LeadingAge Minnesota during the week of the conference. It was great to work cohesively to provide members with a memorable experience.

I was proud to be a part of the Institute team and continue to use some of my colleagues from LeadingAge as references:

Jenny Prosser
Vice President of Conferences and Sales, LeadingAge Minnesota
I worked under Jenny as the Institute Intern at LeadingAge Minnesota.
651.603.3548 (Work)

Ashley Peterka
Education Coordinator, LeadingAge Minnesota
Ashley supervised a large portion of my work for LeadingAge Minnesota.
651.603.3559 (Work)

“An Appreciation” email from Heidi Simpson, Vice President of Education at LeadingAge Minnesota:
Thank you so very much for all your hard work helping us to pull off a very successful 2017 Institute. It takes a team of folks to do it and you had a hand in much of it. I am especially grateful for the wonderful work you did in tackling the Institute polling feature to help that be a successful and positive experience for speakers and attendees. The instructions you put together for faculty was masterful. You persevered in spite of the less-than-helpful software company’s representatives and fought for what we needed. I appreciated all the reports on attendance and pre-registration information you gave me because it helped things go smoothly for the faculty, as well as myself. Nice work!”


Heidi Simpson, MEd | Vice President of Education| LeadingAge Minnesota | 2550 University Avenue West, Suite 350 South, Saint Paul, MN 55114 651.645.4545 | LeadingAgeMN.org | hsimpson@LeadingAgeMN.org

*Photographs by Jana Noonan, Don A. Schuneman and myself