BVA Board Approves 71st Convention Site
by Christina Hitchcock
BVA National Headquarters and the Association’s National Board of Directors have selected Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as the host city for the 71st National Convention. The gathering will be held at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center and the Milwaukee Convention Center August 21-26, 2016.
Located in the heart of downtown Milwaukee, the Hilton is surrounded by shops, restaurants, and bars that will be easily accessible to attendees. The average August temperature in Milwaukee is 78 degrees with low humidity. General Mitchell International Airport (MKE) is a short 15-minute taxi ride from the Hilton. For those preferring to travel via train or bus, the station is a seven-minute walk (0.3 mile).
Home to numerous organizations supporting both the veteran and blind community, Milwaukee is an accessible and walkable city featuring an extensive para-transit system. Surrounding attractions include the Harley Davidson Museum, Milwaukee Brewers Stadium, and the Milwaukee War Memorial. The Potawatomi Casino is a ten-minute hotel shuttle ride.
The name Milwaukee comes from the Native American word “Milliocki,” meaning gathering place by the water. The city is the 22nd largest in the United States. Photo courtesy of Visit Milwaukee.
Youth attractions include Discovery World featuring a science center and an aquarium with interactive displays and a touch tank.
The City of Milwaukee also plays host to a large cultural scene. Known as the City of Festivals, Milwaukee comes alive in the summer months with music and art. Convention attendees may well wish to explore Milwaukee’s lakefront and stop in at the art museum. Milwaukee also boasts a proud German heritage.
Interested parties will be able to experience guided restaurant tours throughout the city. They can also pop into local sausage and cheese factories for a tasting. The historic “Third Ward” bustles with shops while the indoor Milwaukee Public Market, the latter of which draws visitors with tantalizing aromas of indulgent desserts, cheeses, and homemade balsamic vinegars and olive oils, is also a great attraction.
After a long day of meetings or other activities, convention goers will discover relaxation as they raise their feet and enjoy a cold beverage at one of the many breweries and distilleries in the area. Milwaukee is the home of Schlitz, Pabst, Miller Brewery, Lakefront Brewery, and Great Lakes Distillery, to name just a few.
Milwaukee’s renowned Riverwalk, conceived in the 1990s, has grown to include art displays, water taxi landings, cafes and brewpubs, and Riverwalk Park. Photo courtesy of Visit Milwaukee.
The 71st convention will feature educational sessions on Monday and Tuesday. Topics are still being finalized and suggestions are welcome. Tuesday will also bring the opening of the Exhibit Hall. We are hoping to beat Louisville’s new record for exhibitor participation. BVA general business meetings for the membership begin on Wednesday and conclude on Friday. The week will include dinners, luncheons, various offsite trips, and the traditional closing Awards Banquet and officer swearings-in.
Further information about the convention, including registration packets, will be available at the end of May 2016. We welcome any suggestions or ideas for the convention. Please let us know what you would like to see and do during your stay. If there are ways we can improve our member experience at the conventions, we would like to hear about them.
We are also looking for topics and instructors for various educational sessions. These could include such areas as Smartphone accessibility, navigation and GPS, self-defense, and financial planning. If you or someone you know are interested in presenting an educational topic on one of these subjects, or if you have suggestions, please contact me, Christina Hitchcock, at 800-669-7079.
We look forward to taking the 71st National Convention to the City of Milwaukee. We hope you will join us there.