Madison Meetings Insights


Fantastic Facilities

We’re proud to host convention events in Madison, where we have state-of-the-art venues that lead the way in sustainability and amenities. But don’t just take our word for it—read on to learn more about recent news at just a few of our facilities:

LEED-ing the Way

  • Monona Terrace® Community & Convention Center just earned esteemed LEED Gold Certification for sustainability efforts in the Operations & Management of its Frank Lloyd Wright-designed facility. Learn more about their accomplishments, including operating with an energy use rating that is 27% below that of similar facilities nationwide, and a water usage level 46% below the LEED benchmark!

  • The Dane County Regional Airport also achieved LEED Gold Certification this year, for implementing advanced practices at their airfield maintenance building. Learn more about the airport’s continuous commitment to sustainable operations, including a rooftop solar array, geothermal heating and cooling, rooftop skylights, and more. Also at the airport: American Airlines will be adding two daily nonstop flights from Madison to Charlotte, NC starting April 5.

New Venues

  • Graduate Madison (formerly known as Campus Inn) re-opened its doors in downtown Madison in spring. Soon to follow on its 7th floor: The Madison Blind, a rooftop restaurant that provides panoramic views of Lake Mendota—a perfect place for receptions and social events.

  • North Central Group has broken ground on a new downtown hotel: AC Hotel Madison, the first Marriott brand property downtown. This 10-story hotel will provide 164 guest rooms and amenities including flexible meeting space and a rooftop bar/restaurant.

Recent Renovations


Rocking the Rankings

Madison, Wisconsin consistently ranks as a top community in which to live, work and play. This Midwestern getaway is also growing in recognition as a premier meeting and convention destination. Read on to discover which lists we’ve recently topped—and what it means for meeting attendees.

Bike-Friendly Communities (League of American Bicyclists)
The Best Cities on Earth for Biking (Yahoo Travel)
#3 in Top 100 Best Places to Live 2016 (
#6 in Unlikely Foodie Cities (Fox News)
20 College Towns We Love to Visit (Fodor's Travel)
10 U.S. Cities Perfect for a Weekend Getaway (Buzzfeed)

And, we cannot help but give a shout-out to the GMCVB’s sales team lead: Director of Sales Rebecca Ramsey recently earned the prestigious President’s Award for her work with the PCMA Capital Chapter. This is the largest of PCMA’s chapters, which serves 1,500 members from Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Congratulations, Rebecca!

Read all rankings about Madison, Wisconsin.


What’s Your Plan B?

As you finalize plans for upcoming events, part of every meeting planner’s work should also include a “Plan B”—risk management, contingency and other critical tools to ensure safety and success. Below, our CMPs share a few top tips and resources for risk management planning.

Top Tips

  • Consider All Areas of Contingency Planning. Plan for the worst and hope for the best.
    “Could an event like the one in Paris affect your event? Sure. But it’s more likely that someone will have a health issue; or that a weather event or labor crisis will happen. Plan for them all, with the most attention paid to those most likely to occur. Have professional counsel explain potential legal liabilities and consider event insurance to indemnify your association for anything not included in your association’s current liability insurance coverage.”
    —Jeff Holcomb, CMP, Senior Convention Sales Manager, GMCVB

  • Identify Information Sources. “Know before you go” contacts are essential.
    “Make sure to connect with your local CVB when planning special events. They will know what permits you’ll need, the rules and regulations in the community, and will be your best resource in determining potential threats that could harm your event and, more importantly, your attendees.”
    —Janine Wachter, CMP, Director of Convention & Event Services

    “Establish multiple channels of communication prior to the event and let attendees (and their emergency contacts) know how those channels will be used. Establishing this prior to an emergency helps declutter misinformation and if one channel fails, attendees know where to go next. Create a hashtag, make an emergency-specific page on your website, send mass texts. Also, designate who will be updating each outlet.”
    —Laura Senz, CMP, Convention & Event Services Manager

  • Be Aware of your Surroundings. Planning goes beyond your own event.
    "Know what other events are happening in the city or venue, and who might be there as well (in addition to general population numbers) and take that into consideration when planning. If your emergency evacuation plan only factors in the 200 people at your convention, what happens when that plan has to be put in place with another 400-person meeting in the building and all the other guests? Your number of emergency exits, hospital beds, cell phone towers, etc. won’t change, but now you’ve just multiplied the demand to use them."
    —Jill Schmitz, CMP, Organizational Events Manager

  • Training. Once your plans are in place, plan for ongoing training in these disciplines and ongoing research to ensure you’re aware of emerging best practices.


Related Resources

Association: Event Safety Alliance
Blog: via
Article: Developing a Good ‘Plan B’
Article: Rethinking Risk
Article: 9 Tips in the Event of a Crisis