Cultural Tourism Newsletter -
May 2015

Choose Chicago Launches New Brand

Over the course of nine months, Choose Chicago engaged with the Executive Committee of the Chicago-based American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) who provided the necessary resources to implement a global quantitative traveler research project. Leo Burnett Chicago conducted the pro bono brand strategy work on behalf of the city of Chicago in tandem with Choose Chicago and the 4A's leadership. The results identified priority consumer segments, geographic target markets, and a compelling brand positioning for the city. This brand position was used as the strategic foundation for creative and media concepts throughout an eight-week agency review process. In April 2014, FCB and Starcom USA joined the Choose Chicago team. Since this time, Choose Chicago has worked aggressively to build a fully integrated, multi-channel campaign to further support Mayor Emanuel’s efforts to grow annual visitation to 55 million by 2020.

Under this new brand, Choose Chicago launched Chicago Epic, a new leisure summer campaign, on April 13, 2015. Chicago Epic is a multifaceted brand campaign comprised of cable TV, online video, digital display, social, paid search and content marketing. The campaign includes three different video elements – a 30-second spot for national cable TV, a 15-second spot for Online Video, and an 80-second "anthem" video. Chicagoans and visitors are encouraged to get involved with the campaign on social media by sharing their own “epic” adventures with the hashtag, #ChicagoEpic.

For the first time, the campaign will go beyond core Midwest markets and into Denver and San Francisco, marking a new chapter in the way we promote the city to potential visitors. Based on analysis, including research from the Cultural Tourism strategy, these two markets present the greatest opportunity to influence perception, encourage travel and spare no expense when it comes to leisure travel.

For more information on the campaign, click here.

Chicago Epic


Americans for the Arts Annual Convention

For the first time, Chicago will host the Americans for the Arts (AFTA) Annual Convention at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers.  AFTA’s mission is to serve, advance, and lead the network of organizations and individuals who cultivate and support the arts in America. From June 12 – 14, the convention will serve as a hub to bring together more than 1,000 arts professionals and community leaders to network and discuss strategies for building stronger towns, counties, and cities through the arts. Attendees can look forward to workshops, sessions and activities where artists, art administrators, and policymakers from across the country join together. This year’s convention explores power and empowerment of the individual.   

For more information and to register for the convention, click here.




Promotional Opportunities

Do you have an event you’d like to add to the Choose Chicago events calendar? Submit information 4 to 6 weeks in advance to Please note that displayed events are targeted towards visitors. Fundraisers, benefits, galas and classes will not be listed. If approved, a confirmation email will be sent to you.

In addition, Choose Chicago offers custom promotional opportunities through Miles Partnership with various platforms including advertising on, print and digital publications. Choose Chicago produces a number of publications aimed at reaching its various audiences. Publications include Chicago Official Visitors Guide, Meeting Professionals Guide, and Travel Professionals Guide. To learn more about these promotional opportunities, please contact Randi Rogers at

Promotional Opportunities


Visitor Information Center Open House

You are invited to celebrate the one year anniversary of Choose Chicago and Macy’s Official Visitor Information Center. The Open House event will be on Wednesday, May 27 from 11am – 6pm at the Macy’s Visitor Information Center, 111 N. State Street, Lower Level. Stop by and learn about the services offered to enhance the visitor experience in this premier, state-of-the-art center while enjoying light refreshments.

Also, don’t forget to send us your brochures to replenish the racks at our Visitor Information Centers (VICs) for the busy summer season. VICs are located at Chicago Cultural Center at 77 E. Randolph Street and Macy’s, 111 N. State Street, Lower Level. Please note that the collateral we display are targeted towards visitors. Residential-type guides, materials or directories will not be displayed. If your organization is interested in displaying your collateral at our centers or have questions, please contact Alicia Silva at

For more information about our services, visit our website.

Macy's Open House


Chicago at SXSW

For a second year, Choose Chicago in partnership with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and World Business Chicago promoted Chicago’s interactive, music, film and fashion industries at South by Southwest (SXSW) multi-media conference. In 2014, the team developed ChicagoMade – a platform specifically created to generate awareness of Chicago’s creative industries.

Building upon the success of ChicagoMade, Chicago presented a tradeshow booth from March 15 – 18, 2015 that featured a background fabricated from original artwork by Chicago artist Sam Kirk. Over 600 attendees stopped by the booth which featured Cards Against Humanities tournaments and Happy Hour meet-and-greets with leading inventors, artists and entrepreneurs. Daily happy hours hosted over 300 attendees and included live performances by local Chicago artists.

An official SXSW music showcase, which attracted more than 1,500 music fans, featured Chicago’s hottest up and coming talent including Vic Mensa, Twin Peaks, Gemini Club, Dos Santos Anti-Beat Orquesta and Leather Corduroys.

For more information visit,

Chicago at SXSW




Choose Chicago is the official sales and marketing organization responsible for promoting Chicago as a global visitor destination leveraging the city's unmatched assets to ensure the economic vitality of the city and its member business community. Read more



Choose Chicago’s Cultural Tourism department’s six strategic objectives are:

  • Develop and implement market-specific positioning strategies and promotional tactics to attract more cultural travelers to Chicago from regional, national, and international markets.
  • Promote and support existing cultural asset infrastructure and future cultural tourism product development.
  • Enhance tourism sales efforts to further develop existing and new cultural tourism product to help position Chicago as one of the top five destinations for international inbound travel by 2020.
  • Elevate visitor services by promoting unique, authentic, and enjoyable experiences.
  • Develop and implement a multi-year neighborhood tourism development plan to drive repeat visitation to Chicago and extend length of stay.
  • Establish metrics to track growth and economic impact of cultural tourism and neighborhood tourism development efforts.



There are two Visitor Information Centers in the downtown area. They are located at the Chicago Cultural Center at 77 E. Randolph Street and Macy’s on State Street at 111 N. State Street, Lower Level. For more information, visit

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