We’ve all been there when it comes to conferences. 

The networking and learning, we love. 
The planning and traveling… maybe not as much. 

In a world where 76% of people attend conferences for the networking and 85% agree that conferences build brand awareness and increase sales—according to an extensive 2023 research report by zippia.com—conferences and meeting events are necessary for any growth strategy.  

That’s good news if you’re a local: because Bring Your Meeting Home was built to balance it all. 

For more than 50 years, Destination Madison has been helping local leaders host meetings in Madison through its Bring Your Meeting Home initiative. Whether you’re a board member of a super-active association in your field, or it’s your turn to host the tournament for your sports club, or you have a colleague who is co-chairing a committee and is asking for all sorts of advice, there are plenty of perks in partnering with Destination Madison to bring your meeting home. 

1. Skip the travel. 

When you host your meeting locally, you get to trade packing and flying for the pride of showcasing the highly-ranked capital and campus city where you live and work. 

It’s exactly what was motivating Kristina Boardman, Deputy Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation the year she was chairing the board of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA). She wanted to host its upcoming conference in Wisconsin, preferably Madison, because of its affordability, accessibility and chance to showcase Monona Terrace as a meeting venue. 

“It was wonderful working with Kristina because she was such a cheerleader for our city,” recalls Sarah Lemmers, Sr. Convention Sales Manager at Destination Madison. “But I knew being a national board chair while balancing her day job as Deputy Secretary at the DOT was already a lot. I was able to step in as a one-stop-shop for coordinating with Monona Terrace and multiple hotels that could host the 2,400 room nights needed for this event.” 
The AAMVA event brought $1.69 million in economic impact to downtown Madison—but that wasn’t the end of the story. Four more meetings followed in some of Madison’s smaller, unique venues including the National Association of Motor Vehicles Board and Commissions meetings; Nlets, the Finance and Management meeting; and the Vehicle Solutions Network board meeting. 

2. Planning optional. 

With 78 years of combined experience, our sales and services team can lead or supplement event planning details, from setting up site visits to navigating and closing contracts to creating custom itineraries. 

It’s exactly what happened when Dr. Timothy Camp from the UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health reached out about bringing the International Society for Heart Research to Madison in June 2023. “Initially, Tim wanted to find a main meeting space and hotel rooms,” says Convention Sales Manager Keola Shimooka, “but as we dove into discussions, I realized I could help with so much more. Over the course of nearly three years, I helped create a conference budget. I put together a pitch deck the team could present to the Association Board of Directors. And I applied for and secured grant funding to support their ideal event.” As attendees arrived at Monona Terrace, Destination Madison also supplied maps and other information at registration. 

“Being there as a single voice on the planning side allowed the School of Medicine to focus on coordinating campus department tours and conference speakers that really reinforced their reputation in leading cardiovascular research,” says Shimooka. “Together, we brought $424,991 in economic impact to our community while creating an indelible impression of Madison on an international stage.” 

3. Rewards immeasurable. 

Overwhelmingly, meeting planners and attendees love our lake-city-lake landscape because it’s beautiful, walkable and our LEED-certified meeting spaces are so inspirational.  

Just ask Jane Roland of the National Association of County Veterans Service Officers, who gave her Madison meeting experience a five-star review. 

 “The top three words I’d use to describe Madison? Welcoming. Friendly. Accommodating. Though my event was in June 2023, we began planning during COVID and Sarah Lemmers expertly walked us through it all,” says Roland. “Destination Madison’s assistance with the grant and event branding was invaluable. And the service at Monona Terrace? Exceptional. Every single employee I spoke with was helpful.” 

When you bring your meeting to Madison, you’ll not only be building your own brand—you’ll be building our city. Last year, visitors added $1.4 billion to our local economy, which translates to more jobs, better amenities and an improved quality of life for all