VISIT Milwaukee celebrated a remarkable year for tourism. The city surpassed pre-pandemic benchmarks with the collaborative efforts of local small businesses, sports organizations and artists. Looking to build on this success, the convention and visitors bureau announced a series of new initiatives. Some of the initiatives are an innovative art tourism program called Authenticated Experiences that utilizes NFT’s.

The AX program made its debut in partnership with Summerfest, featuring five distinct art pieces by Milwaukee artist Tiara Nicole. Using the Vennity app, participants can embark on a scavenger hunt-like experience. It is reminiscent of the popular Pokémon GO game, but users would search for and acquire NFTs.

To complete the collection, participants must visit five entertainment-focused destinations across the city, such as The Rave, The Back Room at Colectivo, Radio Milwaukee, Pabst Theater and American Family Insurance Amphitheater. Each NFT has an initial release of 55 copies. Collectors will gain access to exclusive real-life experiences and prizes, as noted on the VISIT Milwaukee website.

Photo Credit: Casey Lovegrove

The meeting also included an awards ceremony honoring individuals who made notable contributions to Milwaukee’s tourism industry. Among the recipients were the social media team of Milwaukee Public Library, whose viral online videos brought national attention and showcased the city in a positive light. The Joe Bartolotta Hospitality award went to Erik Kennedy, co-founder of ElevAsian, for his advocacy and work. They also recognized USA Triathlon and Brian Johnson of Milwaukee Downtown BID #21 for their achievements. Johnson was commended for his homeless outreach efforts.

More Developments

During the meeting, Eve Hall, who served as the board of directors chair for VISIT Milwaukee, announced her decision to step down from the position. Sarah Smith Pancheri, president at Milwaukee World Festival, Inc., is her successor. Smith Pancheri expressed gratitude for the opportunity and emphasized the importance of the upcoming year.

VISIT Milwaukee will soon unveil a revamped online presence starting with the launch of a temporary website in the coming weeks. This update will provide a fresh look and improved user experience. The organization has plans to introduce a fully rebranded website, complete with a new logo and advertising campaigns, in early 2024.