PARTNER NEWSLETTER: JULY 2015

LAST CALL TO SIGN UP: CHICAGO GOLF CLASSIC

Chicago Golf Classic

Last chance to register!

Join Choose Chicago and industry colleagues for a great day of golf at this year's Chicago Golf Classic. The Chicago Golf Classic is a terrific opportunity to network with colleagues, entertain clients and enjoy a great day of golf while fostering and developing partnerships within the industry.

Not a golfer?  There are still many opportunities to be involved in this annual hospitality industry fundraiser.  Other sponsorship opportunities include but are not limited to:  food and beverage, gift, course, reception, prizes etc.  Call or email Lori Adlesick today to discuss how you can get involved: ladlesick@choosechicago.com or 312-567-8496.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Cog Hill Golf and Country Club
12294 Archer Ave.
Lemont, IL 60439

Registration Deadline:

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Schedule:

7:00am               Registration and driving range open
                           Continental breakfast

9:00am                Shotgun start

1:30pm                Reception in the pavilion on the Dubsdread 18th Green

Register Now

 


CHICAGO RESTAURANT WEEK 2016 - Save the Date

Chicago Restaurant Week

Get ready for Chicago's most anticipated culinary event of the year! Chicago Restaurant Week returns Friday, January 22, 2016 - Thursday, February 4, 2016 for its ninth year, fresh off this year's record-breaking 331 participating restaurant partners.

The annual culinary celebration features special prix fixe menus starting at $22 for lunch and $33 and/or $44 for dinner (excluding beverages, tax and gratuity).

Get a taste of the city's rich, culinary diversity: Italian, French, Spanish, Korean, Thai and more! Between the neighborhood favorites and downtown hotspots, you can feast on delicious multi-course menus all across the city and suburbs.

We look forward to working with our dining partners and sponsors to make Chicago Restaurant Week 2016 the best yet!

Be sure to also join us for the annual First Bites Bash, the official kick-off event for Chicago Restaurant Week taking place on Thursday, January 21, 2016. This display of sweet and savory samplings welcomed more than 1,300 guests to Union Station in 2015, so don't forget to save the date!

To further connect with us regarding Chicago Restaurant Week, we encourage our partners to join our Choose Chicago Partners Facebook Group. Additional Chicago Restaurant Week and First Bites Bash event and registration information will be coming soon. If you have any questions, contact us at restaurantweek@choosechicago.com

 


WHY CHOOSE CHICAGO: ALPANA SINGH

Alpana Singh

Alpana Singh is a Master Sommelier, restaurateur and former host of "Check, Please!" on Chicago's PBS station. She is the owner of The Boarding House and Seven Lions restaurants and played an integral role in bringing the James Beard Foundation Awards to Chicago earlier this year. Singh spoke about joining Choose Chicago as a partner and how the industry network has benefited her business.

What are the goals of your businesses?

We want to put Chicago on the international map. I think a great way to promote and highlight Chicago is through our dining scene. Chicago has quickly become the culinary capital of the United States, especially hosting the James Beard Awards. I find that being an ambassador of the dining scene with my two restaurants is extremely important. So any time in my outreach within the restaurant community, I highlight the fact that Chicago has so much to offer with culinary diversity and the talent within the restaurant community.

My day-to-day interaction with media and with people who come to our restaurants allows me not just to highlight my own restaurant but really trumpet the dining scene in general.

What are some of your businesses' current initiatives?

One of our initiatives is partnering with Bohemian House and Chef Jimmy Papadopoulos. He went to culinary school with Chef Tanya Baker (Boarding House).

We're doing a dinner in August with the two restaurants, calling it "The Tale of Two Houses," so it's really about how Chicago food talent is very much homegrown. You have people who come from all over the world to work here, but also because of the diversity within Chicago, it's just a perfect breeding ground for our own talent.

Seven Lions is also partnering with The Art Institute, which is opening a Degas exhibit in July. We're partnering with them to host a dinner featuring the work, life and time of Edgar Degas. The pieces on exhibit will surround the dinner inspired by the artist and through food, we'll tell his story. So that's another example of partnering with one of our great cultural institutions - the Art Institute very much being a crown jewel of the city.

What I'm trying to do as far as my own initiatives with my businesses is really to become an ambassador of the dining scene and connect it back to why people should come and visit Chicago.

What is your objective when taking on these initiatives?

I would say that any initiative that we've taken, any time we can be a partner or participant in these food festivals or anything that highlights the dining scene in Chicago, we put our name in the hat. We want to show our civic commitment with our two restaurants, especially in our involvement with charity. Any time we can give back, whether it's a gift certificate or an auction item, we try to do that as well.

How has your relationship with Choose Chicago benefited your business directly?

I would say Choose Chicago has been an indispensable partner. They are extremely important to us, as far as the partnership that they bring. Not a week goes by where there's not an email or some sort of contact with Choose Chicago about a company, convention or corporation looking to do an event, whether it's RSNA, Microsoft Ignite or the NFL Draft. They've been wonderful partners as far as connecting us to these companies that come in wanting to do conventions in Chicago looking to do business, whether it's a dining reservation for 4 people or 100. I'm just very excited with the work they're doing. It's a very dynamic organization and they're good at adapting to the times, but it's still very Chicago in essence. I don't ever feel like I'm dealing with a big conglomerate, I feel a personal attention and that they're my friends.

What would you say to a business owner or organization that is considering Choose Chicago?

I think it's just good to know what's happening in Chicago. As a partner you have access to the convention calendar, just so much information on the Choose Chicago website. The visibility on the website is tremendous. It's definitely worth the investment - I've seen more than double or triple the return on investment through our partnership with Choose Chicago.

Since joining, how has Choose Chicago lived up to your expectations?

It has more than lived up to my expectations. I would say the key element with Choose Chicago is the level of communication and outreach. They're very good at communicating and connecting. Aside from emails and access to the website, they're a great resource. They've been absolutely wonderful to work with and I think every business needs that extra advantage. It's so nice to know that you're able to email somebody, get that answer right away and speak with someone that's very respectful of your time.

Of all Choose Chicago has to offer, what has been the greatest benefit to your business?

I feel like I have the inside track. I feel like I have a cheerleader in my corner. I very much believe that through my partnership with Choose Chicago, I have this great resource and someone always selling on my behalf.

Do you have a concrete example of how partnering with Choose Chicago has helped grow your business? 

Choose Chicago is always introducing me to meeting planners. I would say there's been a significant difference in our private party business since partnering with them. What's great about those events is they tend to be habitual. I think when people come to a city where there's a comfort and familiarity, once you get in with a meeting planner and do a great job, you're on their roster. We have had connections made through Choose Chicago where we've gotten repeat business.



JOIN OUR NEW FACEBOOK GROUP!

Choose Chicago Facebook Group header

Come one, come all! Join us in our new private Facebook group: facebook.com/groups/ChooseChicagoPartners.

We have made the move to a private Facebook group and left our partnership Twitter behind to provide more value for YOU, our partners. Our goal is to always find a way to provide the most value to you and the same case is true with social media.

After getting much feedback we learned that you wanted a place to ask questions as yourself and not as the brand (like on Twitter), interact and network with other partners. We encourage you to join our private group and invite all of your co-workers (ex: marketing, business development, sales, meeting & event planners) that would benefit by staying in touch with Choose Chicago.

Representatives from the partnership department and our Social Media Specialist will monitor the group and share updates, answer questions and help stoke conversation among partners. And don't worry about privacy - if your account is private people will still not be able to see the content on your Facebook page. They will only see the comments you post in the group. We look forward to seeing you in our new Facebook group!

 


RECENT SHOW SUCCESS AND UPCOMING CONVENTIONS

McCormick Place West

In June, the City of Chicago and McCormick Place welcomed a host of annual conventions and other major shows, along with thousands of attendees. Please join us in congratulating them on their successful shows, and we look forward to welcoming them back to Chicago soon.

Internet Retailer 2015 Conference and Exhibition (IRCE) (June 2-5)

The Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition is the world's largest e-commerce event. Each June in Chicago, retailers, manufacturers, marketers, distributors and service professionals gather at the industry-leading conference. Attendance of 9,817.

Amway Corporation 2015 - Amway China Seminar (June 4-19)

The Amway China Seminar was an incentive travel program for top salespeople for Amway China, whose transportation and VIP experiences were coordinated by Vista Tours. In three day increments, attendees flew from China to Grand Rapids, Michigan for a tour of Amway headquarters and the city, then traveled to Chicago and had various tours of sites such as Navy Pier and Buckingham Fountain, sightseeing with Wendella Boats, and shopping on the Magnificent Mile. This program was repeated every three days over a period of three weeks. More than 4,000 visitors took part in the travel program.

KeHE Distributors, LLC - 2015 KeHE Holiday & Product Innovation Show (June 14-15)

KeHE is the largest specialty grocery distributor in the U.S., providing marketing, merchandising and distribution services. The Holiday & Product Innovation Show allows exhibitors to showcase new products, hot seasonal promotions and items that drive consumer demands.

KeHE donated 30,823 pounds of food to the Chicago Food Depository from their convention, which translates to approximately 36,987.6 meals for those in need in the Chicago area. Final attendance: 4,362.


Please also congratulate the Food Marketing Institute Connect 2015; Merchandise Mart Properties NeoCon 2015; Society for Vascular Surgery 2015 - Vascular Annual Meeting; and the National Fire Protection Association.

 

UPCOMING CONVENTIONS, JULY 2015
GROUP DATE

ESTIMATED
ATTENDANCE

VENUE

INFORMATION
Tournament of Champions, Inc. Nike National Invitational Tournament
July 10-12
13,500 McCormick Place North
The Tournament of Champions and its associated events are among the most competitive and presitigous interscholastic and club tournaments in the world. The NIKE National Invitational houses 60 courts under one roof, hosting as many as 608 of the most competitive club basketball teams in the world.
Institute of Food Technologists 15 Annual Meeting and Food Expo
July 12-14
 23,000 McCormick Place South
The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) is a nonprofit professional academic society with approximately 18,000 members working in food science, technology and related professions in academia, industry and government. As the authoritative  voice of food science and technology, IFT contributes to public policy, opinion and research on a global scale. IFT exists to advance the science of food and the long-range vision is to ensure a safe and abundant food supply contributing to healthier people everywhere. IFT is a Chicago-based organization.  
Origami Owl O2 Experience 2015
July 23-27
7,000
McCormick Place West
Origami Owl National Convention, the O2 Experience  provides training for their home-party jewelry distributors. This special event is about making connections, telling their story, and growing their businesses. The O2 Experience includes training, product previews and announcements, and inspiration.  

 


FALL CULTURAL PREVIEW AND PARTNER NETWORKING EVENT, JULY 23 - Register

Civic Opera House

Join Choose Chicago and world-renowned soprano and multiple Grammy award winner Renée Fleming as she presents an exclusive preview of the top 10 arts and cultural events this fall.  Renée Fleming serves as the Creative Consultant of Lyric Opera of Chicago and Curator of Lyric's world premiere production of the opera Bel Canto, one of the must-see highlighted events.

Choose Chicago will also share key findings from a recent research study conducted in Canada, Chicago's largest inbound international market.  The presentation will highlight Canadians' perceptions and awareness of Chicago.

Thursday, July 23, 2015
3:00pm - 3:30pm: Registration
3:30pm - 4:30pm: Program
4:30pm - 6:00pm: Reception/Networking

Civic Opera House
20 N. Wacker Dr.
Entrance at Wacker and Madison

$25 partners / $30 non-partners

Register Now

Hotel and Ultimate partners contact Dana Olivo at dolivo@choosechicago.com or 312-567-8574 to register for the event.

 


JULY 28 - SOCIAL MEDIA MEETUP

Join Social Media Specialist, Nycole Hampton, on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 for a Social Media Meet-Up at the Chicago Cultural Center in the 5th Floor Millennium Park Room.

Learn how to take your public relations and social media efforts to the next level. These sessions are designed to expand your knowledge and help answer your social media questions.
 
Topics include:

  • Managing with a one person team
  • Working with limited content
  • Strategic planning
  • Growing your following
  • Selecting the right platform
  • Providing exceptional customer service
  • Creating a header image

Special Guests:

Caitlin McCarthy: Founder/Owner of CLouise Public Relations
Jimmy Mundo: Advocacy Manager, Choose Chicago

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Session 1: 8:30-10:30 a.m.

Session 2: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

If you can't make the meet up at the Chicago Cultural Center, social media tips and tricks will now be a regular feature in the partnership newsletter. Each month, we will be providing regular updates with information on how partners can utilize social media to their benefit. 



CHOOSE CHICAGO PARTNERSHIP OFFICE HOURS

Drop by and see us during our monthly office hours! Choose Chicago will offer one-on-one walk-in hours for our partner organizations at our downtown office located at 72 E. Randolph. Office hours provide an opportunity to meet with the Choose Chicago Partnership team to discuss:

  • Questions or concerns regarding your partnership
  • Benefits and resources available to help grow your organization
  • How to enhance your online profile including a tutorial on the Partner Extranet
  • Choose Chicago's educational and marketing opportunities
  • Ways to build stronger relationships with the Choose Chicago team

Date: First Thursday of every month:

  • August 6, 2015
  • September 3, 2015
  • October 1, 2015
  • November 5, 2015
  • December 3, 2015
  • January 7, 2016

Time: 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Place: Choose Chicago Loop Office Conference Room
72 E. Randolph Street - 3rd Floor
Please sign in at the security desk

For more information about Choose Chicago office hours:
Please contact partnership@choosechicago.com.




WELCOME OUR NEW PARTNERS

Join us in welcoming the newest partners this year to Choose Chicago:

 


WINDY CITY SMOKEOUT

Windy City Smokeout

Choose Chicago is a proud sponsor of the third annual Windy City Smokeout, returning this summer to River North! Join us for three days of live country music, beer and BBQ in downtown Chicago, July 10-12. In addition to delicious southern-inspired fare from around the country, three-time barbeque champion Myron Mixon will be on hand to give festival-goers tips and tricks on the perfect BBQ. Musical headliners include Kacey Musgraves, Chris Young and Lee Brice.

For tickets and more information, visit windycitysmokeout.com.

 


PITCHFORK MUSIC FESTIVAL 

Pitchfork Music Festival - MIA

The 2015 Pitchfork Music Festival celebrates 10 years this summer at Chicago's Union Park, July 17-19. The independently run, three-day event remains committed to offering an inclusive, reasonably priced and enriching weekend of music. The lineup continues to be one of the most exciting, diverse and unique of any festival around.  

For tickets and more information, visit pitchforkmusicfestival.com.

 


LOLLAPALOOZA

Lollapalooza

Look up the word "lollapalooza" and you'll find this definition: an extraordinary thing; an outstanding example. You won't find any other music festival with a more fitting moniker than Lollapalooza, Chicago's grandest stage for music legends from across the globe. Each year, some of the top names in alternative, hip hop, punk and pop join more than 100 bands and musicians in Grant Park to bring you one loud, heart-stopping 3-day event.  

This year's festival takes place July 31-August 2. Platinum and travel packages still available! Visit lollapalooza.com for more info.

 


CHICAGO IN THE NEWS


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