If you’re in the meetings industry, it’s no secret costs are on the rise, from A/V to F&B. That the need to plan events hosted simultaneously in-person and online is here to stay. Those two factors alone may be the reason a recent study by Future Partners indicated that 77.7% of meeting planners say they’re open to sourcing new U.S. destinations they had not considered before — ones that are true partners who offer valuable collaborative services. 

To that, we say: it’s time to consider Madison, WI. 

We were honored to be covered in the March/April edition of PCMA's convene magazine, in a feature called Top 10 Reasons to Meet in Madison. It showcased why so many planners and attendees fall in love with our capital city:   

“Madison has big city perks — like a buzzing food scene and deep intellectual capital — in a smaller package that’s walkable, convenient and surrounded by nature.”  

But don’t just take our word for it. Read on for five times others recognized us for the benefits of meeting in Madison, from planners to attendees to media and more. 

Setting it straight: the airlift myth 

It’s true that other meeting destinations might have more direct flights. But upon arrival, Madison boasts a mere 15-minute ride to the downtown convention center and 100% walkability for the rest of the stay — something many destinations can’t say. Melissa Friedman, Spiritual Directors International, summed up her stay: “The airport was great, and all of the staff and board were able to fly in on their preferred airlines. Impressive lift for a small airport.” Non-stop flights already exist from destinations like Denver, Dallas and D.C and we look forward to welcoming more soon. 

We know culinary celebrities 

We’ve been focused on locally owned and locally grown since the beginning. But lately, we’re getting noticed on a national level for our commitment to culinary artistry. Madison’s chefs and restaurants have earned 42 James Beard honors, including 4 Best Chef: Midwest awards. Try dishes from the 2024 nominees at CocoVaa, Pasture & Plenty or Mint Mark. Or, if you prefer your restaurant reccos from celebrity TV, Bravo’s Top Chef included Madison among three Wisconsin cities featured in Season 21.  

Intellectual capital connections 

Our capital city is home to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, making it easy for meeting planners to connect with subject matter experts that can serve as event speakers. It’s our pleasure to create connections with a university that is Top Ten in the U.S. for research volume, with 20 Nobel Prizes awarded to faculty and alumni, and 131 patents issued for inventions created on the UW-Madison campus. 

Our accommodations: location, location, location 

Amy Moore planned the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Travel & Tourism Conference and made certain to comment on the convenience at her conference. “The proximity of hotels to convention center was key! So helpful!” Indeed, planners and attendees love that 1,800 of our city’s 12,000 hotel rooms are within walking distance of the Monona Terrace convention center. There’s a Hilton attached to Monona Terrace and just steps away is a brand-new Embassy Suites, set to open in May.  

Rocking the rankings 

Major media outlets have recognized us in rankings that planners looking for wow-worthy convention destinations can’t ignore: Forbes named us the #11 Most Beautiful City in the U.S., Expedia says we’re #2 among Most Walkable Cities and WalletHub named us #3 Best State Capitals for Safety & More. So you can explore without worry and enjoy every memorable moment.