Dm-Connection & Events was recently invited to a small, private tasting in the kitchen of The Wisconsin Center District with Levy Restaurants. The District's slogan is BPX which stands for Bold, Proud and Experience Obsessed. That definitely held true with the event that was produced last night. Walking in the door to be greeted by the WCD and Levy staff, we followed a carefully carved out pathway to the kitchen created by warming ovens. Once inside the kitchen, the catering staff served our first appetizer course on a mini-tray that came down a conveyer belt with a social distanced cocktail for one (in a bag), very clever!
You can hold events during a pandemic, it was a small, socially distanced event, the guests sat on couches with a small table in front of us for our food and drinks. We watched as Chef Chris Pulling created a signature mustard and also the waffles for one of the dishes. Everything was served on small plates with mini samples, including the drinks: a Bloody Mary with beer chaser! The highlight of the night was hearing more about the Wisconsin Center District's expansion (300,000 sq. ft. addition), the GBAC accreditation, which is the gold standard for what people who use facilities will look for as as far as sanitation, cleanliness, according to Marty Brooks, CEO.
The Center and Catering staff outdid themselves with a bold event (held during a pandemic), being proud of the center and food they serve and providing our group with a great intimate dining experience in the kitchen.
#WiscCenter #LevyRestaurants #milwaukee #meetingprofs
Braise Restaurant just unveiled their two new rooftop domes this week named - Summer and Winter. Milwaukee restaurateur's have been adding unique ways to bring customers outside to dine in the cooler months while allowing social distancing due to COVID-19. The domes popped up at Cafe' Benelux several years ago and were a huge hit. The addition of the Domes will help restaurants serve their customers and allow for a unique dining experience. Braise overlooks the Rockwell Clock Tower in The Walker's Point neighborhood of Milwaukee and provides a different perspective for dining. In order to Dine in a Dome, Braise is taking reservations online after downloading this app: www.exploretock.com/app/
To explore all the delicious food at Braise: www.braiselocalfood.com/
#milwaukee #diningindomes #eventprofs
Photo credit: Braise Restaurant
The statistics are staggering for Wisconsin alone, yet Nationwide this is and remains a huge issue for the recovery of the events industry. Small businesses, hotels, restaurants, DMC's,AV companies, staging, etc. need Government help to stay afloat.
*The Wisconsin Hotel & Lodging Association reported from an internal survey that an estimated 47% of lodging facilities could close within 12 months without any loan or grant assistance. The survey also indicated that over 50% of Wisconsin hotel staff remains furloughed or laid off.
*Prospects for Wisconsin restaurants looked slightly better than the nationwide number — 37% — of restaurants that reported they were unlikely to still be operating in six months if no additional relief is available from the federal government.
*The Live Events Coalition recently surveyed businesses across the country, receiving over 1200 responses. The shocking truth that comes from asking just one question: “How much longer can you hold on and keep your business afloat, without further aid from the government?”
7.44% My business has already folded.
12.43% My business can make it less than another 30 days.
27.56% My business can make it for 30 to 90 more days.
20.85% My business can make it for 3 or 4 more months.
27.06% My business can make it for 5 to 9 more months
5.23% My business can make it from 9 months to more than a year.
4.66% My business will not be undone by COVID-19.
With federal relief efforts stalled and live event workers & businesses missing out on up to $1 trillion in income due to COVID-19 shutdowns, the industry is finding that the majority of its businesses will go under in the coming months, unless the stalemated U.S. Congress is able to deliver the next relief package soon. Continue to write to your Congressperson and let them know how important events are to the economy and how we need help now!
We are proud to announce that Dm-Connection & Events is now a member of the DMC Coalition. As we navigate through the unchartered territory of a pandemic and the aftermath, it is important than ever to be connected with colleagues from around the world and the DMC Coalition gives us that opportunity. Check out the link and see the resources available to members or non-members.
Dm-Connection & Events celebrates four years in business today. As I ponder how well everything has come together and the great clients my team had an opportunity to assist, 2020 threw everyone in the meeting/event industry a curve ball.
The meeting and live event industry has been decimated and we need the help and support of everyone to take immediate action here and send a letter to Congress asking them to support live event workers and the industry.
Tonight Milwaukee will be lit in red to show support of an industry that is hurting and hurting bad. Outside Fiserv Forum will be a 'non-event' which will feature an empty event set up to show the meetings and events industry has an economic impact of over $1 Trillion annually on the US Economy.
I know many small business owners that are on the brink of closing their doors, some have been in business for 20+ years. Many people have been laid off permanently and those people cannot afford to put food on their families tables. Another statistic: 77% of people in the events industry have lost 100% of their income, including 97% of 1099 workers.
Please help Save Live Events, don't let them go Dark! Thank you.
#WEMAKEEVENTSMKE #SAVELIVEEVENTS #REDALERTRESTART #EXTENDPUA #EVENTPROFS
The PGA of America and Ryder Cup Europe jointly announced today the Ryder Cup scheduled September 22-27, 2020 at Whistling Straits has been postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The new dates will be September 21-26, 2021, the tournament will still be held at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin. The event is scheduled to bring in an estimated impact of $135 million to the local economy.
#RyderCup #visitmke #golf
Businesses are starting to open up for events after COVID-19, which is great news for the meeting and events industry, especially in Milwaukee. One company took the opportunity to continue with renovations during the pandemic to have their event space ready for July 2020. The new event space is called The Factory on Barclay, which is home of The Original Cheesehead Factory.
The Main Factory event space features 3,500 square feet of space that can accommodate up to 400 guests (300 seated). Currently with social distancing rules, that is less. The space offers the Milwaukee cream city brick and beautiful wood accents throughout with plenty of natural light. The chandeliers provide additional accent to the beautiful space.
A full service bar is made of reclaimed barn wood and hosts a diverse selection on local, craft and micro beers on tap as well as a barista bar. There is a list of exclusive caterers and the space has an ample size kitchen with an area for loading/unloading of food/decor/sound equipment, etc.
I toured the space and felt it very warm and inviting especially with the natural light. The company will be adding a deck off the back which overlooks a bike trail and offers some additional greenery. Parking is a breeze either on the street or in locations right next to the building.
You can incorporate a team building activity within your event and have teams build their own cheeseheads or have them take the factory tour. The space lends itself to gala's that have silent auctions, since there is a separate space to have the auction items and dancing.
Here is a link to their webpage for further information and to book: www.thefactoryonbarclay.com
Or you can send an email to: email@example.com or contact their office at:
What will the future hold for meetings and events?
By: Kathryn Gleesing, MBA, CMP, DMCP
President & CEO – Dm-Connection & Events
I have thought a lot about this since the pandemic hit and the only thing, I am confident about is that there will never be a ‘normal'. This devastating virus has forever changed the world, some ways for the worse, some ways for the better.
Its forced business owners to make very tough decisions that ultimately meant people lost their jobs. Hotels and restaurants closed their doors, hopefully only temporarily. Most states imposed stay at home orders and face to face meetings were either postponed or canceled. Zoom and Skype became ways to stay in touch with family members, co-workers, clients and friends.
The pandemic has been compared to 9/11 and the economic crisis in 2008 in both instances the meeting industry suffered. According to DMAI, It took 54 months after 9/11 for hotels to regain occupancy and 48 months after the economic crisis in 2008.
According to Oxford Economics, for the week of April 4, 2020, the nation suffered an $18.6 billion loss on travel compared to 2019.
If a vaccine is found which will eradicate the virus, then the economy could rebound sooner. In case this is still 12-24 months away, then we must be prepared for a shift in how we plan, prepare and host meetings and events in these unchartered waters.
The Switch to Virtual
The first reaction to staying relevant for companies in the meetings industry was to still stay in touch with employees and clients in addition to their family members. This was accomplished through platforms like Zoom, Skype, GoToMeetings, etc.
Webinars have become the best way to provide information in short bursts to online audiences. MPI held it is first ever GIRD conference and set a world’s record for having over 13,000 people on a webinar. People are craving for information in these times of uncertainty and they want to stay in touch with people, although virtually right now.
What will come back first?
Leisure travel is expected to come back first, people would rather drive a short distance to visit with family or friends. According to Longwoods International survey, 88% are planning to travel within six months. 64% are planning leisure trips. Weddings and leisure travel will resume which will drive hotel bookings. Individuals traveling for their company will also resume. Large meetings and conventions will take much longer to rebound.
Companies are all scrambling to assess how to do business once stay at home orders are lifted. Time will tell, once thing is certain, people will crave face to face interaction and will use meetings to learn, network and stay educated in their industries.
What will face to face meetings look like?
Meetings will look a lot different, more space between attendees and hand sanitizing stations being very visible.
Air travel may look different, some airlines are considering not filling the middle seats and others may require passengers to wear masks.
Ground transportation will also be impacted, loading buses at 50% capacity, which could also be like restaurant seating.
Hotels are outlining their cleaning protocols to include a more intense deep cleaning between guests. Machines that emit UV rays to kill bacteria will be used more frequently also ionizers. Cities will continue to offer virtual site visits for planners to make the best use of your time.
Planners will need to be creative when it comes to exhibit halls, this could be done virtually or in-person through pre-set meetings, so attendance is limited in the booth area. Incorporate a health and wellness component to the hall, including infrared temperature scans for all attendees.
No more food buffets in the near future, either box lunches, plated meals or custom food stations where food is served to attendees by gloved servers. Its coffee to go stations where its poured upon demand or ordering online to have it delivered to your seat in the convention hall. That feature is currently in use in arenas through a mobile app.
Evening receptions and parties where guests have space to roam and not be confined within four walls will be the norm, more use of outside spaces is what I predict.
Appetizers maybe displayed behind plastic shields where guests no longer can graze, rather food attendants will select their food and hand it to the guest, again customizing and providing the attendee a different experience.
Virtual team building sessions are already being promoted for companies that would like to engage their staff. Virtual cooking classes or hands on activities where attendees can watch and grow could become an attractive option for tours. Some tour companies are already offering virtual tours to showcase a city.
Your local DMC professional will be your best resource when navigating face to face meetings again. We have been in contact with vendors to find the best solutions that will keep your attendees safe and your meeting successful.
How long will this go on? It is unknown, at least until the virus is contained or a vaccine is found. There is a lesson we can all learn from this and that is how quickly we adapted to change and found work arounds to continue conducting business. This is short term but necessary to get us through the pandemic.
The one item that remains constant is that people need human interaction and face to face meetings will return.
It is no longer thinking outside the box that applies here, its thinking beyond four walls and the safety of attendees at future face to face meetings.
The Democratic National Convention has been rescheduled for the week of August 17, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Here is a link to the DNC webpage with their statement regarding the rescheduled convention.
Businesses all over the country have been affected by the coronavirus. Some businesses in Milwaukee had to quickly find a new way to earn income. One of those companies is Milwaukee Food Tours. They are well known in the community for their food tours from pizza, fish fry's and custard. When the meeting and leisure traveler stopped booking tours because of the coronavirus, the company had to find a new way to help stay afloat. Theresa Nemetz, Founder and Chief Experience Officer offered up Shelter In Style kits. They combined a lot of the food offerings from their tours and packaged them into a subscription service. You can check out the different offerings on their website.
Whether you are craving pretzels, chocolate, coffee or cupcakes, you can order them for your staff or send them to a loved one who could use something fun each week. They deliver them in the Milwaukee area and are left on your doorstep, no need to come in contact with anyone (social distancing orders are still in force). The kits can also be shipped anywhere.What a fun way to support local Milwaukee businesses and enjoy some delicious treats! Enjoy!
something to think about...
We like to share interesting articles and posts that pertain to our industry and the area we serve. Enjoy!