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Milwaukee, WI Event Planning

Key Highlights

Hotels 140
Total Sleeping Rooms 17,518
Committable Sleeping Rooms* 729
Committable Meeting Rooms* 28
Convention Center Space 188,695 Sq. Ft.
Largest Exhibit Space 189,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Ballroom 37,506 Sq. Ft.
Average Hotel Room Rate USD $141
Average Daily Meal Cost USD $65
Average Weekly Car Rental USD $230
*Maximum for a single hotel

Milwaukee, WI Meeting Planning Overview

Located on Lake Michigan less than 90 miles north of Chicago, Milwaukee combines natural beauty, outstanding hotels and facilities, and world-class attractions with a cool, urban vibe all its own. Soaring modern architecture meets lovingly preserved historical façades, and a scenic RiverWalk connects colorful, walkable neighborhoods. Hotel options, from flagship properties to independently owned boutique hotels, offer more than 5,200 hotel rooms within a mile of the Wisconsin Center. Add an airport just 8 miles from downtown and a location within a day's drive of a third of the U.S. population, and Milwaukee is an ideal Midwest meetings destination.

Experience the incomparable ease of meetings at the Wisconsin Center campus, with its three venues — the Wisconsin Center, Miller High Life Theatre, and UWM Panther Arena — providing flexibility and value. Connected to the convention center via short, convenient skywalks, the Hilton Milwaukee City Center, Hyatt Regency Milwaukee, and SpringHill Suites total 1,360 rooms, all of which are close to more than 150 restaurants and entertainment options.

Excitement is mounting as construction progresses on the new $524 million Wisconsin Entertainment & Sports Center, just blocks from the Wisconsin Center. The new home of the Milwaukee Bucks is set to open in fall 2018. Also in 2018, the first phase of a new streetcar system linking downtown attractions is scheduled to begin operation, with future phases continuing to transform the cityscape in the next five years.

Unleash your inner rebel at the world's only Harley-Davidson Museum, where indoor and outdoor spaces accommodate events of all sizes. Spectacular views of Lake Michigan are guaranteed at events at the breathtaking Milwaukee Art Museum and adjacent Discovery World. Potawatomi Hotel & Casino adds to the mix with gaming, acclaimed restaurants, and impressive meeting space. And nothing serves up more fun and added value to summer conventions than nonstop music and ethnic festivals at the 75-acre Henry Maier Festival Park on Lake Michigan in the Third Ward.

Stroll the scenic RiverWalk to the bustling Milwaukee Public Market in the Historic Third Ward, a converted warehouse district that's now home to restaurants, pubs, boutiques, galleries, and a theater complex. Don't forget a thumbs-up photo op with the riverside “Bronze Fonz” statue on your way to Old World Third Street, where Milwaukee's German heritage is celebrated at the legendary Mader's restaurant and in specialty cheese, sausage, and spice shops.

Embracing its history and its own unique personality, Milwaukee has an indie spirit that earns national kudos for its lack of chain restaurants, numerous James Beard-recognized chefs, the emerging culinary scene in Walker's Point, and the fun of neighborhood food tours. Milwaukee's beer-brewing culture also thrives today more than ever, with entertaining tours at iconic Miller Brewing and the popular Lakefront Brewery, as well as the best in modern craft beers at more than 20 local microbreweries.

A true “water city” location on Lake Michigan and at the intersection of three rivers sets the stage for urban adventure. Milwaukee's green, 90-acre lakefront provides ample opportunities for beach sports, running, and biking. Exploring downtown rivers by kayak or canoe is a great way to check out a different urban perspective and see more than a dozen bridges that span the river.

Add in spectacular Miller Park (home of the Milwaukee Brewers), excursion boats, and a lively arts and cultural scene, and Milwaukee is a destination with an unexpected “wow” factor. You'll find an undeniable energy in fun, urban-easy Milwaukee!

About Milwaukee, WI / Additional Info

Have you heard the buzz? From its arts to food to affordability, everyone is talking about Milwaukee. But don't take our word for it; check out these national rankings from 2016-17 — Milwaukee just might surprise you.

Meeting Planners International (MPI) ranked Milwaukee as one of its 4 Emerging Cities in Meeting and Event Destinations in 2017, describing the city as “safe, clean and easy to get around,” adding that it's “also awesome to be right on Lake Michigan, where meeting attendees can experience the beautiful lakefront.”

Milwaukee as one of six Cities to Watch in 2017? Conde Nast Travel thought so, saying, “Its ecologically diverse location makes it a hotbed of locavore cuisine, and a spate of award-winning restaurants have helped the city shed its beer-and-cheese reputation.” agreed, including Milwaukee on its list of America's Most Underrated Food Cities, giving a nod to three-time James Beard-nominated chef Justin Carlisle and his restaurant, Ardent, along with Bryant's Cocktail Lounge, a classic since 1936. Local online news site OnMilwaukee announced Milwaukee's 4 semifinalists for James Beard Awards in 2017.

Milwaukee's Bradford Beach made Travel Channel's Best City Beaches in 2017, while Summerfest, the largest outdoor music festival in the world, was listed among Travel Pulse's 5 Amazing Summer Music Festivals Worth Planning for Now.

Thrillist even included Milwaukee on its 2017 list of Underappreciated American Cities You Should Totally Move To!

In 2016, Lonely Planet recognized Milwaukee as one of the Best in the U.S., its most unexpectedly exciting places to see in the United States, and Sherman's Travel cited Milwaukee as one of 5 Cities with Newly Revitalized, On-the-Rise neighborhoods. Milwaukee even landed on Vogue's list of 5 Industrial Cities Making America's Rust Belt Shine Again in 2016.

Along with too many craft beer awards to mention, Milwaukee also has a love affair with its bloody marys, which were recognized by USA Today on a list of the 10 Best Bloody Marys to Start the New Year.

Milwaukee also wins kudos for arts and major attractions. USA Today has ranked the trendy Historic Third Ward as one of the 10 Best City Art Districts Around the USA.

It's even fun to fly into Milwaukee, as General Mitchell International Airport has been included on Conde Nast Traveler's list of the Best Airport Food in the World. The airport's Renaissance Book Shop has also been named by USA Today as one of the 10 Best Independent Bookstores. And where else can you play table tennis in the waiting area of an airport and put your shoes back on in the “Recombobulation Area”?

You guessed it — in Milwaukee.

There's even more awaiting groups in Milwaukee:

  • 150 state and county parks.
  • 15 county golf courses and numerous private courses. Also within a one-hour drive are Whistling Straits and Erin Hills, venues for national and international golf events.
  • 130 miles of bike trails.
  • 17 museums in downtown and 25 when the surrounding counties are included.
  • 25 theaters within city limits; more than 30 in the greater Milwaukee area.
  • 150 restaurants in downtown.
  • 30 seasonal festivals, including Summerfest, the world's largest outdoor music festival, and a variety of ethnic festivals. Most are celebrated in the 75-acre permanent, lakefront Henry Maier Festival Park.
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