A Meeting Planner to Know: Kathleen Haase
Boston Scientific, One Scimed Place, Maple Grove, 55311
Fresh out of college, Kathleen Haase began working at Dayton’s as an assistant buyer. She watched wide-eyed as myriad special events were held throughout the year at the downtown department store—and she decided she had found her calling.
“It made me want to be a part of this world instead of just a bystander,” she says.
She got her wish: Five years later, she became an event manager at the store, and then a corporate event manager. She then served a stint as group event manager at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
Today, as group marketing manager at Boston Scientific, Haase and her team of four meeting planners oversee a number of large-scale annual sales and marketing meetings for multiple company divisions; the events range in size from 50 attendees to 2,000.
One of Haase’s cornerstone events is the company’s annual national sales meeting—which brings together 2,000 people from four Boston Scientific divisions under one roof; this year's event was held in February in San Antonio.
Haase says the greatest challenge is creating unique experiences for each division while still keeping an overall theme and overarching objective consistent and visible to all attendees.
To accomplish that goal, the team worked with a company called Event Mobi to develop a mobile app that showcased the event’s overall theme—“Game On”—but included separate tabs, which allowed each business division to communicate with their respective colleagues and share group-specific messages and agendas. The app was used to share agenda changes, showcase photos and videos from the week-long event, provide maps of each hotel and convention center, recommend nearby restaurants, and provide additional information about event speakers.
Haase and her team also placed stickers containing the event’s tagline throughout the city, helping people navigate between the convention center and the four hotels that housed attendees.
In addition, Haase wanted to bring together members from all four divisions, outside of the meeting’s typical joint general session. This was accomplished by bringing everyone together for a 5-K charity run in the city that benefitted Challenged Athletes Foundation, which provides grants to athletes with disabilities.
“After all the evaluations were reviewed and tabulated, the meeting received high marks in all categories,” Haase says.
Haase and her team also played key roles in Boston Scientific’s 2011 CRV MN Expo, a 5,000 person, all-employee meeting, which was named a winner in the 2011 ISES Awards, an annual event by the International Special Events Society.
• University of Wisconsin, Madison, bachelor of science
• Certified Meeting Planner designation, 2001
• Dayton’s Department Stores: assistant buyer (1989-1991); department manager (1991-1994); event manager (1994-1998); corporate event manager (1998-1999)
• Minneapolis Institute of Arts, group event manager (1999-2000)
• Boston Scientific, group marketing manager (2000-present)
• Named “Meeting Planner of the Year” by Minnesota Meetings Magazine, 2010
• Received the “Vision Award for Leadership” from Meetings: Minnesota Hospitality Journal, 2010
Outside activities & interests
“I enjoy spending time with my husband, Jim, and our two daughters—Emily, 5, and Grace, 2,” she says, adding that favorite family pastimes include hosting backyard movie nights for neighbors and friends and summer camping trips.