Who better to turn to for a unique perspective on Chicago and its offerings than a savvy local who has lived in the city for years? Here's how you can find and use their insights to make your meeting stand-out.
First idea: Go straight to the source.
To give visitors insights from the insiders, Choose Chicago has assembled a team of expert bloggers to bring you the latest on new tours, new restaurant openings, new family-friendly activities, new museum exhibits, new theater performances, new retail shops, hidden gems and plenty more. Use these Chicago Like a Local blog entries to help plan entertainment ideas, group activities and group dinners outside the meeting.
Peppered into these blogs are inside tips on things like how to score the best theater seats, how to enjoy the best cocktails, how to cool off with the best summer treats and how to explore a tropical indoor getaway in the middle of winter. Compile your favorites into a one-pager to include with your attendee materials and help them feel as if they have inside access to the city. Subscribe to the blog to stay up to date on these findings, and keep an eye on the monthly newsletter for highlights on other happenings around Chicago.
Beyond our bloggers, the city is filled with people eager to share their ideas for making the most of a trip to Chicago.
Choose Chicago's Facebook page, for example, is updated every day with unique finds, and also has a network of more than 25,000 people talking, sharing and helping each other to explore the city. Another resource: Choose Chicago's Twitter account is packed with brief tidbits aimed at letting you in on the city's beloved landmarks, attractions and seasonal events.
For groups of six or fewer.
If you are planning an intimate meeting for a small group, let a city-wise local take them on a free two-to-four-hour tour of Chicago. This service, called Chicago Greeter, is fun, friendly and informative. Greeters are matched with your group by language and expertise, and tours are customizable by neighborhood and area of interest, from architecture to music. Register online at chicagogreeter.com two weeks ahead of the visit, or call 312-945-4231.
Looking for something a little less formal? Chicago's InstaGreeter program has locations throughout the city where small groups can walk in for an on-the-spot tour. It's the perfect suggestion to help fill up attendees' itinerary openings.