Visit Milwaukee is launching a campaign that positions Milwaukee as a “bold, modern, and experienced-obsessed” destination ready to safely host meeting and events.
Created in collaboration with the Wisconsin Center District, the campaign targets meeting and event planners across the country with an emphasis on key markets in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Denver. There is an additional focus on industry segments that have proven successful for the destination including religious, sports, diverse, agricultural, and hobby and vocational groups.
The goal of the campaign, from Milwaukee-based Hanson Dodge, is to support long-lead convention bookings for 2022 and beyond and maximize event attendance for 2021, says Megan Suardini, chief marketing officer at Visit Milwaukee.
The tourism group paused meetings-focused marketing in 2020, she says. This year’s effort is bigger as a result, she adds.
“We wanted to take this opportunity to re-engage with the audience and maximize Milwaukee’s exposure knowing that a strong convention recovery will have a significant impact on our local economy,” Suardini tells Marketing Daily.
“Additionally, last year we received approval to expand the Wisconsin Center, an expansion that will be completed in 2024, so it’s really important that we make sure meeting planners understand all the opportunities available for this year and future years.”
Meetings industry research indicates 64% of planners surveyed reported that they’re planning in-person events in 2021. A return to events will happen most quickly in the sports market, with 40 sport event organizers saying recovery will happen within the year, with the majority confident full recovery will happen within the next two to three years, Suardini adds.
The campaign creative showcases Milwaukee as a community with top-notch infrastructure and amenities. "It's brought to life through striking side-by-side visuals that balance meetings-centric experiences with the city's lifestyle,” Markussen tells Marketing Daily.
The media buy for the campaign blends highly targeted digital and programmatic ads, utilizes trade publications, targeted emails, and sponsorship activations at trade shows.
A new safety video, "Meet Confidently in Milwaukee," will be promoted as part of this campaign.