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Economic Impact: Major events already making profit in Milwaukee

Posted at 8:03 AM, Oct 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-25 09:03:43-04

MILWAUKEE — City leaders believe hosting the 2020 Democratic National Convention will have a $200 million impact on our local economy, and Milwaukee is already collecting.

"We're actually seeing economic impact of the DNC already right now," said Marco Bloemendaal, Senior Vice President of Sales for VISIT Milwaukee. "People coming in, staying at our hotels, having pre-meetings. Secret Service coming in on a regular basis."

With the Ryder Cup golf event in September boasting a $130 million economic impact next fall, we reached out to Visit to learn more about what those figures mean, and how they’re calculated.

Essentially, economic impact is the sum of commerce generated by a big event. It’s every dollar… added up.

"Anybody that comes and visits, spends money here. Kind of like you have a carbon footprint, you leave an economic footprint," Bloemendaal explained.

Visitor and convention bureaus across the country use the same formula, adapted for their markets, to pull those impact numbers out. It’s the input data from every event that produces a unique profile.

"The input is really the number of employees that come to an event, what type of event it is, that's key," Bloemendaal said. "That triggers certain algorithms, and the distance where people are coming from."”

Longer distances and longer stays, mean more money on hotels and restaurants. Some conventions need more space then others. Some rent more equipment than others. It all goes into the formula, which for Milwaukee is producing some pretty big numbers for 2020.