Milwaukee World Festival has been in the event business for over 50 years and understands the best practices it takes to create and produce successful events. Details are our business, and our talented staff, backed by proven production and operation systems, can arrange and oversee any or all aspects of your event, offering you creative solutions and a great return on your investment.
Establishing an effective and efficient event strategy is critical to any event’s success. Multiple factors are considered as we work to shape recommendations. At Milwaukee World Festival, we will work closely with you to determine your objectives, then design an event to deliver against those objectives. We analyze all elements from multiple perspectives including:
- Venue Selection
- Venues within Henry Maier Festival Park
- Alternative event sites
- Site Design and Layout
- Event footprint layout
- Vendor/supplier negotiation, acquisition, and management
- Thematic branding and signage
- Talent booking and production
- Interactive activities
- Event Operations & Management
- Food and Beverage
- Admissions and ticketing (if required)
- Security planning and operations, including interface with local and state law enforcement and safety agencies
- Event communication systems
- Permits and insurance
- Financial Modeling
- Budget development and reconciliation
Milwaukee World Festival Team
Imagine having all the creative talent, legendary service and vast event know-how at your disposal as you plan your event. Led by President and CEO, Don Smiley, and Executive Producer, Gayelin Littell, the Milwaukee World Festival team harnesses over 100 years of combined experience in all disciplines of the event industry and are simply unmatched in the market. Let us collaborate with you to create an event that perfectly meets your objectives while exceeding expectations.
Guest Services & Event Operations
With significant permanent infrastructure, Henry Maier Festival Park offers guest amenities that are both convenient and flexible based on your needs. Additionally, our event operations are designed with your guests’ utmost safety and comfort in mind.
- First Aid Locations: We offer up 3 First Aid locations which can be staffed by Bell Ambulance EMTs. For larger events held on the grounds, we require Bell Ambulance to have an ambulance on-site for EMT services as well as to staff at least one of their First Aid location locations (one north, one mid and one south). MWF contracts Bell Ambulance on the behalf of event organizers who are then billed for these services.
- Lost Kids Area: A standard practice for Summerfest or any large-scale events produced by us at the Park that include a lot of children is to offer a designated tent inside the South Admission Gate for children who become separated from their parents/guardians. Lost children may be brought to this secure area and checked in by our personnel. This service includes Milwaukee World Festival issuing complimentary identification wristbands to all children under the age of 10 to help ensure that should a child become lost, security personnel would easily be able to contact the child’s parent or guardian to reunite them. The inside of the wristbands allows parents to list the child’s name, guardian’s name, phone number, and important information, i.e. allergies, etc.
- Lost & Found: A location for lost items can be arranged for a fee if requested. Lost items are typically donated or disposed of within 14 days following the event if not claimed.
- Wheelchairs and strollers: Your event manager can provide you with information regarding wheelchair or stroller rentals.
- Parking: Milwaukee World Festival controls several parking lots adjacent to Henry Maier Festival Park that may be made available to event guests. Please click here for a list of our lots and their capacities.
- Restrooms: There are a number of permanent public and/or private restrooms throughout Henry Maier Festival Park, most with changing tables, and all with drinking fountains. Please view our Venues page for a list of our restrooms and their capacities and amenities.
- Shuttle Service / Taxis / Uber: Though the Henry Maier Festival Park is within walking distance of downtown hotels, many event organizers contract with a shuttle service to bring guests to and from the Park grounds. There are several locations throughout the park where shuttle buses may pick up an drop off guests. In addition, guests using either taxi or Uber service may be picked-up or dropped-off at our admission gates and MWF will coordinate locations with event organizers.
- Weather Contingency / Rain / Severe Weather: Henry Maier Festival Park is primarily an outdoor venue and events held at the park normally go on rain or shine unless there is severe weather or threat of severe weather. We retain a weather forecasting service that will provide precise forecasts and advance notices for weather at the Park. Fortunately, within the park, we have various roofed buildings or tents that can shelter guests in the event of rain. However, certain severe weather, such as a tornado warning, will require an evacuation of the Park.
- Security / Safety: Milwaukee World Festival has experience in producing safe and secure events of all sizes, both public and private. Rest assured that the same level of expertise will be applied to your event. Milwaukee World Festival will utilize its seasonal security force to provide venue security and crowd management and will coordinate with your organization for any additional security needs or concerns. Please note that Milwaukee World Festival security does not secure private property.
In addition, MWF will contract directly with all local agencies to provide a safe and secure event including, but not limited to:
- Police / Fire
- EMT / First Aid
- Fencing: The venue has permanent perimeter fencing on the west and south sides of the event footprint and the lagoon borders the east side. Barricade fencing is often used to define a select event footprint within the park and Milwaukee World Festival Security will man the barricade line to ensure that any non-working personnel or other park patrons enter your event footprint.
- Generators / Electricians: The Park has many permanent electrical panels located throughout the event footprint, thereby minimizing the need for generators. Staff Electric is the exclusive electrical contractor for the venue and an electrician must be on-site during your event to address any electrical issues.
- Site Accessibility: Henry Maier Festival Park features accessible picnic tables, drinking fountains, and restrooms throughout the venue, as well as accessible viewing areas at each stage.
Site Design and Venue Operations
When you choose to host your event at Henry Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee World Festival will analyze your space requirements, determine the best footprint available to meet your needs, and provide a comprehensive CAD layout, identifying any required existing and temporary infrastructure.
While we recognize Henry Maier Festival Park to be a premier world-class facility, we understand that sometimes an event does not belong or work effectively at our site. If needed, Milwaukee World Festival can either:
- Analyze an existing venue
- Research or recommend a new venue
- Create a venue
Additionally, we offer complete site design/build services that can enhance an existing site layout or establish an entirely new infrastructure (e.g., food/beverage stands, stages, etc.).