Chicagoans have an incredible opportunity to exhibit their civic pride to the more than 6,000 tour operators, suppliers, travel writers and other travel leaders who will arrive in Chicago in just two weeks.
Wednesday night we gathered with more than 300 Ambassadors at Venue One for an exciting kick-off event. Thanks to Jen Hoelzle, Director, Illinois Office of Tourism, and a premier sponsor of IPW 2014, who joined me in thanking and rallying this incredible group as we prepare for "Chicago's biggest job interview." View a few photos from the event here:
Collectively, nearly 800 Ambassadors will volunteer 4,396 hours to ensure IPW 2014 is a success! This dedicated team will act as the face of Chicago’s visitor industry, being the first to welcome and assist this high-profile contingency throughout their time at IPW.
Choose Chicago has partnered with Kendall College as the “Official Ambassador Training Partner” for IPW 2014. Focused training sessions developed and led by Kendall will further reinforce “best in class” hospitality practices. Ambassadors will also be coached in international and cultural sensitivity, as well as IPW 2014 event information to best assist all visitors to Chicago throughout the event.
Needless to say, hosting IPW 2014 presents an unparalleled opportunity to reinforce the image of Chicago as a vibrant city with unmatched architecture, memorable attractions, superb dining, extravagant shopping options, and local charm. Increasing the number of visitors from other countries ultimately means more spending, more jobs and increased prosperity to make Chicago even greater.
When the IPW attendees are not on the trade show floor, they will experience what makes Chicago such a remarkable city by embarking on dozens of sightseeing tours and dining out like a local.
Chicago last hosted the event in 1998, and it is no secret that over the last 16 years, the city has evolved into a global destination with unparalleled cultural attractions, award-winning chefs and restaurants, and endless entertainment options. IPW is a rare opportunity to welcome the international travel community and to showcase our amazing assets, including many that are beyond the Loop.
In collaboration with our 10 global offices, the Chicago Department of Aviation and our airline partners, we are aggressively working towards meeting Mayor Emanuel’s goal of 55 million visitors to Chicago by 2020. Welcoming the international community and serving as great hosts and Ambassadors during IPW 2014 will be key to our success.
On Sunday, April 6 more than 500 international and domestic travel writers and influencers will be treated to an epicurean adventure in the sky atop the John Hancock Center at The Signature Room at the 95th® and 360 CHICAGO (formerly the John Hancock Observatory). Our guests will engage with a collection of Chicago’s top chefs and mixologists while enjoying 360 degree views of the city.This high-profile and influential group will be among the first to preview TILT, Chicago’s newest and highly anticipated attraction. Thrill-seekers are in for an adventure when this architectural marvel delivering unsurpassable views of the city from a never-before-seen angle embarks on its inaugural tilt this spring.
Blockbuster vocalist Janelle Monáe and Grammy Award® winner Frankie Knuckles will take the stage for two unforgettable evenings as invited guests at IPW 2014 experience the best of Chicago.
Monáe, multiple Grammy Award® nominee and one of R&B’s A-list artists, will headline the opening night event, How Do You Chicago? on April 6 at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios. Known as the “Electric Lady,” Monáe and her seductive psychedelic sound are sure to create a one-of-a-kind experience.
Cinespace, Chicago’s largest film stage, will be transformed into the ultimate entertainment venue for one night to dazzle travel leaders from around the world. Chicago’s finest chefs and mixologists will be on hand to craft exquisite food and drink that will further validate why Chicago is an epicurean epicenter. The evening will also include a performance from the record-breaking Broadway hit, Motown The Musical, sponsored by Broadway In Chicago — with a special message from Motown founder Berry Gordy, who recounts his own Chicago experience. Brash and bold entertainment throughout the evening will provide invited guests a glimpse of Chicago’s thriving arts scene, culturally diverse communities and the wonders of Chicago architecture.
The “Godfather of House Music” and Chicago’s own house music legend, Frankie Knuckles will keep the beat going to close out IPW 2014. Chicago Pure Energy, the closing night event on April 9 at the Museum of Science and Industry, will feature Knuckles for a rousing set of his irresistible trademark sound during a Chicago-style block party.
Invited guests will enjoy the celebration as the Museum is transformed into a grand display of Chicago neighborhoods, including the iconic South Side, The Magnificent Mile®, Pilsen, Devon Avenue and Wicker Park/Bucktown. This multi-sensory, uniquely Chicago evening will combine fabulous food and cocktails with Chicago’s signature musical sounds that will keep guests dancing throughout the Museum.
The opportunity for Chicago to host IPW 2014 is an integral moment for the city. As a result of hosting IPW 2014, studies show that the host city can expect an increase in tourism spending from international visitors, as they tend to stay longer and spend more money than domestic travelers. Virtually all of our businesses will benefit in the coming years, and the increase in visitors will create thousands of new travel-related jobs.
Choose Chicago is proud to host IPW 2014, but it’s largely due to the tremendous support we have received from dozens of organizations. The following organizations are to be commended for supporting this critical endeavor.
Chicago Department of Aviation
Illinois Office of Tourism
LEADING CORPORATE SPONSOR
Museum of Science & Industry
Broadway in Chicago
Chicago Federation of Labor
Chicago & Cook County Building & Construction Trades Council
Cinespace Chicago Film Studios
Goose Island Beer Company
Hyatt Hotels & Resorts
360 Chicago (formerly John Hancock Observatory)
Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association
Illinois Restaurant Association
JAM Entertainment & Creative Services
The Peninsula Chicago
The Shops at Northbridge and Fashion Outlets of Chicago
The Signature Room at the 95th
Gibsons Restaurant Group
Great Lakes USA
Intercontinental Hotel Group
Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Inc.
Simon Shopping Destinations
Toque & Bottle
Trinchero Family Estates
Potbelly Sandwich Shop
Nuts on Clark
Volunteer with IPW and work alongside your enthusiastic neighbors, show off Chicago while meeting people from around the world, and get complimentary tickets to some of the city’s best attractions in the process!
Be among the 800-plus volunteers needed to help Chicago host 6,000 people from more than 70 countries as part of the IPW convention from April 5-9.
Special duties for IPW volunteers will include greeting convention attendees, staffing information desks, directing delegates to appropriate transportation, and assisting with sightseeing tours, evening events and more.
Volunteers who sign up and complete two or more IPW 2014 shifts will receive two complimentary tickets to one of the following Chicago attractions: John Hancock Observatory, Art Institute of Chicago, Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry, Adler Planetarium or The Field Museum.
Sign up to volunteer today - spots are going fast!For more information: http://www.choosechicago.com/articles/view/Volunteer/925/
CHICAGO IPW AMBASSADOR OPPORTUNITIES
AIRPORT MEET & GREET
Meet, greet, direct and assist convention delegates to the proper baggage claim and transportation areas throughout O'Hare International Airport.
Assist with evening events for welcoming, distributing items and logistics.
HOTEL INFORMATION DESK
At various hotels, answer questions about the IPW schedule and answer any inquiries about Chicago attractions, museums, shopping, etc. Reference materials will be provided.
REGISTRATION & MATERIAL ASSEMBLY
Work with U.S. Travel Association representatives at McCormick Place for registration bag collation and registering delegates for the Marketplace.
Direct delegates to the proper shuttle buses at a host hotel or an evening event.JOIN THE FUN. SIGN UP TODAY!
For more details and to register: http://www.choosechicago.com/articles/view/Volunteer/925/