Northwestern Mutual’s annual meeting expected to bring 11,000 visitors to Milwaukee

Economic impact of $13.2 million expected

Northwestern Mutual Tower & Commons

Last updated on July 19th, 2019 at 12:43 pm

Northwestern Mutual’s annual meeting is expected to draw more than 11,000 visitors this weekend to downtown Milwaukee, generating an estimated local economic impact of $13.2 million, according to VISIT Milwaukee.

The Milwaukee-based life insurance company’s 139th annual meeting will be held for the first time at Fiserv Forum. The event runs July 20-23.

“Northwestern Mutual is an excellent partner choosing Milwaukee for its annual meeting year after year,” said Paul Upchurch, president and CEO of VISIT Milwaukee. “This is Milwaukee’s largest and one of the city’s most important annual conventions, and we’re excited to see their attendees experiencing all that Milwaukee has to offer.”

Northwestern Mutual’s visitors, which include the company’s financial advisors and family members, are occupying about 12,000 hotel room nights during their stay, VISIT said.

Projected attendance is lower than last year, which VISIT tallied at about 12,000 visitors. The event’s projected local economic impact, however, is higher compared to last year’s, which was estimated at $12.9 million.

“VISIT Milwaukee continually upgrades and improves our economic impact calculator to reflect changes in attendee spending, taxes, etc.,” said Lindsey McKee, VISIT spokesperson. “This number reflects current spending levels. Attendance from year to year also fluctuates, and this is just our estimate of this year’s attendance.

Advisors from about 75 offices across the country convene every year for the meeting, which includes educational sessions, networking opportunities and a run/walk along Milwaukee’s lakefront. Events and seminars will be held at the Wisconsin Center, Fiserv Forum, the Deer District and hotels, including the Hilton Milwaukee City Center, Hyatt Regency and the Pfister Hotel. The company also hosts events at Henry Maier Festival Grounds, Pier Wisconsin and the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Northwestern Mutual held its 2018 meeting at the now-demolished Bradley Center. A private Zac Brown Band concert for the company’s visitors last year was the final official event at the Bradley Center before it was torn down.

The company’s 2020 meeting has been pushed back to later in the summer, a scheduling change prompted by the Democratic National Convention. The meeting will be held Aug. 10-12, 2020 at Fiserv Forum.

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Lauren Anderson
Lauren Anderson covers health care, nonprofits, education and insurance for BizTimes. Lauren previously reported on education for the Waukesha Freeman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied journalism, history and African studies. In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time with family and friends and seeing live music wherever she can.