Conference will bring meeting planners to Milwaukee

More than 500 meeting planners from associations all over the country will visit Milwaukee this week for the Connect Marketplace conference to be held Thursday through Saturday.


Usually held in first-tier cities, the marketplace will be the biggest opportunity in Visit Milwaukee’s history to showcase the greater Milwaukee area as an exciting meeting destination.

“This year’s Connect Marketplace is going to be phenomenal,” says Chris Collinson, president and publisher of Collinson Media and Events. “This is our largest event ever and Milwaukee is the perfect destination for the kickoff of our Connect Sports event, as well as a great setting for all of our association planners and suppliers to get business done. The support from the city has been terrific and we look forward to delivering an exciting show with high-quality appointments, outstanding relationship-building opportunities, and educational content that is relevant and timely for all of our participants.”

Surveys of meeting planners have shown that the positive perception of Milwaukee as a meeting destination jumps markedly when planners visit the city. Hosting Connect Marketplace is an exceptionally rare opportunity to reach an unprecedented number of planners.

“Again and again we hear how surprised planners are to discover attractions like the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Harley-Davidson Museum and Discovery World, that also double as impressive offsite venues. The RiverWalk linking walkable neighborhoods, spectacular lakefront, proximity of the airport and attractive convention package make unexpected value-added selling points to planners looking for unique destinations,” said Paul Upchurch, president and chief executive officer of Visit Milwaukee.

Visit Milwaukee estimates that more than 250 groups will convene in the city in 2013, accounting for 228,000 room nights and $140 million in economic impact to the greater Milwaukee area.

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