If 2020 will be your first time attending a Minnesota Annual Conference, welcome! We're so glad you are joining us. Here are some details and advice that will be especially useful to you. If you have additional questions, please contact Gail Johnson (612-230-6125).
Each Annual Conference participant is responsible for his or her own lodging arrangements. Courtesy blocks of rooms have been reserved for our conference at a number of hotels near the Sioux Falls Convention Center. Contact them directly and refer to “Dakotas Minnesota Annual Conference” for a group rate. Two nearby campgrounds are also available. Learn more
The easiest way to register is online. Register by May 1 to avoid extra fees. The registration fee is different depending on whether you are coming to Annual Conference as a clergy member, a lay member, or a non-voting visitor. Learn more and register. Pre-registration ends on June 1; after that you will need to register on-site.
Local churches are forming car pools (and some vans). Check with the churches in your area if this is of interest to you.
There are materials to read before attending Annual Conference. These include procedures, proposed legislation, a proposed budget, and reports from various committees and groups. Most materials will be available online by early May. You can read them online and print the pages you want to reference (this is recommended), print all the materials yourself (usually 50-75 pages), or order a printed set to be mailed to you (for $15) while registering. Additional materials will become available and be emailed to all participants the week before Annual Conference—these include nomination reports and a few other items that will have just become available. Watch for these.
Subscribe (if you are not already) to our MN Connect and Special Alerts e-newsletters so you can keep up-to-date with all the news and key information that the Minnesota Conference disseminates in the weeks before Annual Conference and during the gathering. Each day of Annual Conference, a special e-blast will be sent out containing news articles and links to photos and videos from the event.
When you arrive at the convention center, you will check in. You will receive a name tag connected to a lanyard; the color of the lanyard indicates your voting status. The name tag must be worn throughout the conference. You will also receive a receipt confirming any workshops or optional meals you signed up for when registering.
Orientation: 11:30 a.m. Wednesday
Recommended for newcomers to Annual Conference, this is an opportunity to hear what to expect, find out how legislation is handled, and learn about the budget and other proposed legislation. The orientation session will be Wednesday at 11:30 a.m., and lunch is provided. There is no fee, but pre-registration is appreciated. Indicate your participation when registering.
Checking in at your hotel
Most hotels start check-in at 3 p.m. Annual Conference begins at 1 p.m. on June 10. This means you may not be able to check into your hotel until the dinner break. Plan accordingly.
Bring a sweater and dress in layers—temperature control in conference spaces is difficult and frequently varies within the room. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes—you will be sitting a lot, things are spread out, and some walking will be necessary.
Be brave and introduce yourself to people; everyone in the room has a shared role and mission.
There are sessions you are expected to attend—these are in bold on the schedule and include plenary, worship, teaching sessions, and district gatherings. There are also some optional gatherings that you can choose to attend or not, including workshops, lunches, and dinners.
Meals and snacks
Lunch will be provided for all participants on Thursday and Friday. Other meals are on your own.
There are optional meals available for Wednesday lunch and Thursday dinner for folks who would rather not have to leave the convention center. If this interests you, reserve and pay for your meal when registering.
There are some groups meeting during mealtimes. In some cases, purchasing the meal is required, and in others it is optional.
Beverages (regular and decaf coffee, and tea) will be provided at most breaks. Quantities are ample but limited (to control expenses). Water is available throughout the event. We recommend bringing a water bottle with you; you will be in theater seating, rather than at tables, for much of the time.
Resources for reporting back to your church
The day after Annual Conference ends, resources for reporting back to your church will be emailed to you; those resources will also appear in the Annual Conference section of the website. You will have access to:
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church