Chicago Epic - Annual Meeting

The State of Illinois is now in its third month without a budget and Choose Chicago's statutorily mandated state funding remains frozen. This is our largest single source of revenue representing 40% of our annual operating budget.

As long as this budget impasse continues, the economic health of the city and state will be negatively impacted as a result of the reduced tourism efforts. As it stands today, this impact will be felt sooner rather than later. As a result of Choose Chicago's strategies and initiatives, Chicago's visitor industry has grown at an exponential pace and with record-breaking results.

  • More than $11 billion in new and recommitted business as a result of the McCormick Place reforms.
  • Total visitation to Chicago has increased 15% since 2011 to 50.17 million domestic and overseas visitors. Chicago joins New York City and Orlando as the only three U.S. cities to exceed 50 million annual visitors.  
  • Chicago's hotel room demand has reached historic levels with 17 months of record demand and continues to outpace national growth in all key performance indicators.
  • Tourism-related employment since 2011 has increased 6% to 136,000 good-paying and career-oriented jobs. More than 2,500 jobs were added in 2014, the fourth largest increase in the past ten years.
  • Tourism spending has increased by $2.1 billion to $14.1 billion since 2011. 

Now, we need YOUR help. Let's show Springfield the power and commitment of Chicago's visitor industry. Please sign & share the petition supporting the restoration of Choose Chicago's statutorily mandated state funding. For more information, please email



Chicago Restaurant Week

Get ready for Chicago's most anticipated culinary event of the year! Registration is now open for Chicago Restaurant Week, returning Friday, Jan. 22, 2016 - Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016 for its ninth year, fresh off this year's record-breaking 333 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).

Key Dates:

October 30, 2015: Deadline to purchase participation and complete registration. (Any restaurant not registered by Oct. 30, 2015 will be unable to participate in Chicago Restaurant Week 2016.)

December 1, 2015: Deadline to submit menu(s) & required dining certificate/gift card to participate in Chicago Restaurant Week 2016.


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! Click here for more information on how your restaurant can participate in First Bites Bash.

If you have questions regarding the Restaurant Week program, please email us at

Those interested in sponsorship opportunities for Chicago Restaurant Week 2016 and/or the First Bites Bash should contact Nina Winston, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, at or 312.567.8561. 

To further connect with us regarding Chicago Restaurant Week, we encourage our partners to join our Choose Chicago Partners Facebook Group.




2016 NCAA Midwest Regional


NCAA® March Madness® is coming to Chicago! For the first time ever, the Chicago Sports Commission, the United Center and the Big Ten Conference will be hosting the 2016 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championships Midwest Regional at the United Center March 25 & 27, 2016. As a valued partner, you have the opportunity to purchase your tickets during the presale, beginning today - October 14-15. Use the promo code CHOOSECHI and Click here to purchase. Be sure to purchase your tickets before they go on sale to the general public, Saturday, October 17!

If you'd like to get involved with #MarchMadness, on-site volunteer opportunities are available at the Regional Tournament. Sign up for CSC's volunteer alerts to receive information on how to sign up in the coming months.



McCormick Place West

In September, the City of Chicago and McCormick Place welcomed a host of 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.

True Value Company Fall Reunion (Sept. 18-20)

An estimated 11,000 people attended the premier event in the hand, machine & garden tools industry. True Value exhibitors donated 15.5 semi-trailers of merchandise. All products were donated to Habitat for Humanity Chicago.

WEFTEC 2015 (Sept. 26-30)

The Water Environment Federation's Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference had record-setting attendance of more than 25,000 people. This surpassed their previous record of 22,660 attendees, set in Chicago in 2013.

Congratulations also to Graph Expo 15 & CPP Expo (est. 21,000 attendees); Process Expo 2015 (est. 15,000); and the American College of Surgeons 101st Annual Clincial Congress (est. 13,000 attendees), which reported a 5% increase in exhibit space and 7% increase in advance registration compared to 2012 Clinical Congress in Chicago.





North American Spine Society 2015 Annual Meeting
Oct. 14-17
McCormick Place
NASS's Annual Meeting is the world's largest spine meeting and exhibition, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
Neuroscience 2015 - Society for Neuroscience
Oct. 17-21 30,000
McCormick Place Neuroscience 2015, SfN's 45th annual meeting, is the world's largest marketplace of ideas and tools for global science. 
APHA Annual Meeting & Exposition
Oct. 31-Nov. 4
 13,000 McCormick Place
The American Public Health Association gathers public health professionals for insightful learning sessions promoting best practices and advocating for public health issues and policies.
Nov. 9-12
McCormick Place
FABTECH, in anticipation of its annual show in November, held a unique press event at the Art Institute of Chicago last month to promote 3D scanning technology. The event saw the Art Institute's beloved lion sculptures brought to life through the use of Exact Metrology's Surphaser technology, which will be on display at next month's FABTECH show, North America's largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing event. Photos of the event can be found here



Learn how to maximize your exposure and increase sales during your participation in Chicago Restaurant Week 2016. For the second year a panel of distinguished industry professionals will share best practices relating to operations, marketing, public relations and food & beverage. Ben Smock, Owner & President of Toque & Bottle Advisory will moderate the discussion.

Meet our Chicago Restaurant Week sponsors American Airlines, American Express, Goose Island Beer Co., OpenTable and Terlato Wines International and learn about unique marketing programs specifically designed to help you increase exposure and drive sales during Chicago Restaurant Week.

Thursday, October 8, 2015
8:30am - 9:15am: Registration/Breakfast
9:15am - 10:30am: Program/Q&A
10:30am - 11:00am: Networking

City Winery
1200 W. Randolph Street
Chicago, IL 60607

Featured Panelists:
Brian Jupiter: Chef, Frontier Restaurant
Kevin Boehm: Partner/Owner, Boka Restaurant Group
Greg O'Neill: Co-Owner/Founder, Bar Pastoral and Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine
Dana Pontarelli: Public Relations and Marketing Specialist, Gibsons Restaurant Group
Ashok Selvam: Associate Editor, Eater Chicago
Moderator - Ben Smock: Owner & President, Toque & Bottle Advisory

An invitation and more information are forthcoming.



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 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 and the industry

Date: First Thursday of every month:

  • November 5, 2015
  • December 3, 2015

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


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



Chicago Gourmet 2015

Please join us in congratulating Bon Appétit presents Chicago Gourmet's sold out main event! This culinary event signals autumn in Chicago with 150 of Chicago's finest restaurants and many famed chefs, as well as hundreds of renowned vintners, spirit makers and premium breweries from around the world.

Though most of the weekend's main events have already sold out, including the Main Event and Grand Cru, a limited number of tickets is still available for Friday night's Late Night Gourmet; Punch Kings, Pigs n' Tiki; and the Rise & Shine Gourmet at Maggie Daley Park. For more information and to purchase tickets for these events, visit the Chicago Gourmet website



Chicago Architecture Biennial

This inaugural event is the largest international exhibition of contemporary architecture in North America. Learn about the "State of the Art of Architecture" through a constellation of full-scale installations and a program of events designed to engage the public with architecture and explore how it affects our everyday lives. The Chicago Cultural Center, City Gallery in the Historic Water Tower and the Stony Island Arts Bank are a few of the venues where the Biennial, free to the public, will take place.  






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