January/February 2013

Milwaukee Area

by Jeff Heilman

  • /Portals/0/images/articles/MA/2013/MA_1301/Milwaukee1.jpg

  • /Portals/0/images/articles/MA/2013/MA_1301/Milwaukee2.jpg

  • /Portals/0/images/articles/MA/2013/MA_1301/Milwaukee3.jpg

Since first drawing settlers to its natural harbor on the western shore of Lake Michigan, Milwaukee, also served by three confluent rivers, has progressed industriously toward the future.

In the 1860s, the city was the planet’s leading shipper of wheat, followed by a boom in processing industries derived from Wisconsin’s farms and fields, and then the manufacturing of heavy machinery and other equipment. Led by German families, a diverse body of mainly European immigrants swelled the growing city, with names such as Pabst, Schlitz and Miller giving rise to Milwaukee’s legendary beer industry.

The city’s founders and early pioneers would be dazzled—but perhaps not surprised—by the energy of Milwaukee’s transformation today. “Brew City” is becoming “New City” in a number of exciting and dynamic ways, and for conventioneers and other groups, this means cultural, culinary, heritage and other engagements like never before. Enhanced by the growing appeal of suburban neighbors Brookfield and the jointly marketed communities of Waukesha and Pewaukee, it looks like Milwaukee’s best is only getting better.

Known for the preservation and repurposing of its many treasured historical buildings, Milwaukee has also invested more than $2.5 billion in new tourism product since 1998, creating a dynamic platform for groups to realize their full meetings potential.

“We have increased our marketing budget for conventions, as research shows that for those meeting planners who know Milwaukee, we are in the top quartile of destinations,” says Brent Foerster, vice president of sales and marketing for VISIT Milwaukee, the city’s award-winning CVB.

Describing “an urban, ‘easy’ city on beautiful Lake Michigan with a three-venue convention campus in a safe, walkable downtown,” Foerster says Milwaukee has a “wow” factor when it comes to meetings.

“Our focus is on getting the word out to planners who have yet to discover all that Milwaukee offers,” he adds.

Attracting diverse groups, from national associations and corporations to sports and religious groups, vibrant, cosmopolitan Milwaukee continues to wow newcomers and returnees alike. Even after a decade-plus of transformative change, “Milwaukee 2.0” has the buzz of something fresh, new and exciting, or as the New York Post wrote in 2010, “[Milwaukee] is just damn fun to spend time with.”

Pages: 1  2  3  View All  
Newsletter Subscriptions


Contracts: The Basics

11.06.2013 • 1:00 PM ET

Contracts: Advanced

11.20.2013 • 1:00 PM ET

2014 Meetings Focus Trends

12.18.2013 • 1:00 PM ET

View all Webinars »
comments powered by Disqus