SALEM, Ohio — A new generation of group travel planners will gather in Milwaukee this October when they kick off the inaugural meeting of Boomers in Groups (BiG).
Baby boomers are the fastest growth segment of the population, and the travel industry has been anticipating when they would begin to start traveling in groups. The answer to that question is — now.
Boomers have begun to turn 65, the magic number that allows the freedom to travel due to retirement and reduced obligations such as children and mortgages. Those factors have begun to show up as increased numbers of boomers choosing to travel as groups.
BiG will deliver the new travel clubs and groups to the travel industry in an easy and affordable three-day meeting that will include scheduled appointments as well as social interaction and networking.
Well traveled and relaxed
“Boomers are well traveled and a relaxed set,” said Joe Cappuzzello, president of BiG. BiG will reflect that and resemble more of a weekend getaway than the normal conferences the travel industry attends.”
The new meeting style will be evident in an opening registration set around pizza and beer, and a closing sendoff that cements relationships with a networking opportunity in a casual club setting of hors d’oeuvres and Bloody Marys.
The Milwaukee Convention and Visitors Bureau agreed to host the inaugural BiG Conference based on past success of the organization’s sister travel conferences.
BiG is headed by Cappuzzello, who also oversees such travel industry conferences as the BankTravel Conference, the Small Market Meetings Conference, the Going On Faith Conference and the African American Travel Conference.
The Group Travel Family of Brands that Cappuzzello heads focuses on delivering travel clubs and groups to the travel industry and developing the emerging group markets, including the baby boomers market.
Boomers attending the BiG Conference will make travel industry contacts, network among other boomers and discover Milwaukee as a destination.
Milwaukee sightseeing will include the Harley-Davidson Museum, the Potawatomi Bingo Casino and the Milwaukee Public Museum.
“Milwaukee will showcase itself as a surprise destination that boomer groups will find exciting and young; we are the best value in destination selection,” said Wendy Dobrzynski, group tour manager for Visit Milwaukee.
Boomer groups in attendance will include all group travel categories; the only factor considered will be that the traveling group consist of boomers.
“Boomers are setting new standards in group travel. They may be a group of golfers, a bank that has formed a new boomer-focused club or even a teacher that gathers 30 friends for a couple of vacations a year,” said Cappuzzello.
The teacher reference hits home to Cappuzzello who learned at his last Thanksgiving family dinner that his sister-in-law, who is a teacher, organizes a few trips a year for her friends, all boomers.
“My sister-in-law is a boomer travel leader; she organizes travel for more than 100 boomers and generates $100,000 a year in group travel,” said Cappuzzello. “That’s the emerging boomer group-travel market in a nutshell.”
The BiG Conference will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Milwaukee Oct. 21-23.
Boomers and travel industry members may register or get information about the BiG Conference by contacting Kim Dolan at 800-628-0993 or email@example.com, or they may visit www.boomersingroups.com.