Prevue May/June 2016 - (Page 16)

planner's pick PLANNER: Lori Gamble Associate Executive Director National Association of Sports Commissions Milwaukee Vibrant culture and an all-American experience offer groups great value Harley Davidson Museum Center L ocated just 90 miles north of Chicago on Lake Michigan sits another quintessential Midwestern city, Milwaukee. Nicknamed Brew City, Milwaukee's circa-1850 German immigrant culture is still vibrant and alive, with craft beer, sausages and cheese aplenty. Plus, major American brands such as Harley Davidson and Pabst Brewing Company were founded here-a fact that attracts groups from all over to learn more about America's Heartland. These are just a few of the reasons that the nonprofit National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC) held its annual Sports Event Symposium 2015 here from April 27 to 30 for roughly 1,000 sports tourism professionals. The city's sports focus and added value prospects have made it somewhat of a hub for sports associations, says Lori Gamble, associate executive director for NASC. "The site-selection committee seeks out destinations that can not only meet the required areas of the bid, but are willing to offer unique added value to NASC members who may attend the symposium," Gamble explains. "Our members are extremely savvy when it comes to travel for professional and industry development and expect a high level of service and quality venues for a reasonable rate. Milwaukee's bid promised to deliver on all areas." The NASC symposium took place at the Wisconsin Center, and the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee and Hilton Milwaukee City Center both served as host hotels for the group. The Harley Davidson Museum Center (HDMC) also hosted two off-site events. The first was the association's spring course in its Certified 14 | Sport Event Executive program. Class participants learned about branding and toured the museum as part of an assignment. The second event at the HDMC was the Visit Milwaukee opening party. Gamble describes the HDMC as "bringing to life an important part of Milwaukee's history" because the popular Harley Davidson motorcycle brand has had a strong presence here ever since being founded in 1903. "Attendees enjoyed tours of the museum, fun interactive games, an outstanding local band, and all the tastes specific to Milwaukee and Wisconsin in general. Plenty of cheese, sausage and local craft beer was on hand." Not only were attendees able to tour the HDMC-which features everything from antique Harleys to a room filled with motorcycle engines to design notebooks dating back to the 1940s-but there were also life-size games such as Operation and Jenga that encouraged interaction. At the end of the event, there was even a fireworks display accompanied by the band Bella Cain, which provided entertainment all-night long. The NASC Sports Legacy Committee also hosted a community service project for attendees in addition to raising funds for a local beneficiary. More than 100 NASC members flooded into Washington Park to assist with preparation for the spring season. The Sports Legacy Committee also donated new benches for the sidelines of the park's soccer field. "Coming from organizations involved in the development of sports opportunities for youth in our own communities, being able to provide resources to our host community is an important part of our mission," says Gamble. That mission was well received. Gamble says the NASC recommends Milwaukee to other meeting planners based on the high level of service we received not only from our members at Visit Milwaukee, but for the friendliness of the community, quality of venues and ease of access to and from Milwaukee. -Jessie Fetterling; "Our members are extremely savvy when it comes to travel for professional and industry development and expect a high level of service and quality venues for a reasonable rate."

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Prevue May/June 2016

Planner’s Pick: Milwaukee
Fresh Meets: Marriott’s Big Plans for 2016
Bureau Buzz: Quebec City Business Destination
Good Business: Carbon Conscience
Sea Shores: New Luxury Cruise Options Debut
The New VIP
On Location: Miami Beach Visionary Summit
On Location: South Africa
On Location: Branson
On Location: Alberta
On Location: Atlantis Paradise Island
Checkout: Hilton West Palm Beach

Prevue May/June 2016