Partnership Newsletter - Jan. 2013

Chicago Restaurant Week

We are still accepting restaurants for participation in Chicago Restaurant Week 2013, which runs February 1-10. This sixth annual culinary celebration features more than 250 restaurants throughout the Chicago area, including more than 25 new participating restaurants. For more information about Chicago Restaurant Week, visit eatitupchicago.com. If you have questions or would like to participate in Chicago Restaurant Week, contact restaurantweek@choosechicago.com.

Own Your Listing

In 2012, Choose Chicago's SEO campaign for the search term "Chicago hotels" consistently ranked ChooseChicago.com in the top three for Google search results. Your listing is the most powerful tool your property has in capitalizing on that source of traffic. Here are six tips to strengthening your listing on ChooseChicago.com.

1. Keep your listing current. Nothing looks (or reads) less inviting to an online audience than outdated photography and information. Make sure your property's listing includes current material and contacts.

2. Create a strong marketing message. As an extension of your branding in the digital space, make sure your listing appropriately reflects your property.

3. Include your amenities. Visitors sometimes require a particular comfort or convenience. Don't lose a customer because they're unaware of your property's amenities.

4. Include compelling photography. In the digital space, your most persuasive selling point is a powerful image.

5. Add YouTube videos. If you have video of your hotel, its inclusion will make your listing more dynamic.

6. Provide special offers. Deals have become a prevailing, almost required aspect of online marketing. You can offer deals via ChoosChicago.com and our mobile site and app, which offers a great way to entice visitors to stay at your property. 

For questions or help on how to strengthen your listing, contact Choose Chicago Partnership Coordinator, Dana Olivo at dolivo@choosechicago.com.

Expand Your Reach

When it comes to promoting Chicago as a visitor destination, is your organization doing all that it can?  Here are four key takeaways for expanding your global reach.

1. Remain invested in Choose Chicago. We work aggressively to promote Chicago as a premier destination domestically and abroad. With international tourism offices in Brazil, Beijing, Shanghai, Germany, Japan, London, Mexico City, Canada, and the Benelux Region.

2. Be included in the tools we use to market Chicago as a destination. From our mobile application to visitor guides and ChooseChicago.com, we are developing a narrative for this city. Be a part of our story.

3. Consider joining us for select trade shows and sales missions. For a calendar of upcoming events, log on to your partner extranet and visit our partner exclusive Calendar of Opportunities.

4. Support Choose Chicago familiarization trips. Showcase your product to people who are in a position to promote your organization.

For more information on how to expand your organization's marketing reach, contact partnership@choosechicago.com.

Marketing Chicago

As a global marketing organization, Choose Chicago is connecting with the world to bring visitors to our city. Here's where we'll be visiting with our customers over the next 90 days:

 Event

 Date

 Location

Customers

 Professional Convention Management Association Annual Meeting

January 13-16

Orlando, Florida

Meeting Professionals

National Tour Association Annual Convention

January 20-24

Orlando, Florida

Travel Professionals

North American Journey (NAJ) Summit West

February 13-14

Marina Del Rey, California

Travel Professionals

Receptive Services Association of America (RSAA) Summit

February 20-21

Atlantic City, New Jersey

Travel Professionals

Meeting Professionals International - Northern California Chapter

 February 21

San Francisco, California

 Meeting Professionals

International Travel Bourse (ITB)

March 6-10

Berlin, Germany

Travel Professionals

Experient Envision

March 11-15

Houston, Texas

Meeting Professionals

Destinations Showcase DC

March 14

Washington, DC

Meeting Professionals

ConferenceDirect Annual Partner Meeting

March 17-21

Las Vegas, Nevada

Meeting Professionals

CBI-Pharma Meeting Planners Forum

March 19-22

Orlando, Florida

Meeting Professionals

North American Journey's (NAJ) Active America Summit - China

March 26-28

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Travel Professionals

 Meeting Industry Council (MIC)

 March 27

 Denver, Colorado

Meeting Professionals

For more information about opportunities to buy into select events like these, please email partnership@choosechicago.com.

Thank You to Our 2012 Choose Chicago Ambassadors

The Choose Chicago Ambassador Task Force strives to make conference and convention attendees, exhibitors and management feel welcomed and appreciated during their visit to Chicago.  This program supports the hospitality efforts coordinated by Choose Chicago and enhances Chicago's "We're Glad You're Here! ®" city-wide recognition program.  The Ambassador Task Force helps to add a personal touch to each customer's Chicago experience by providing face-to-face personal interaction.

The 2012 Ambassador Task Force was comprised of 66 individuals from Choose Chicago's partner organizations in the hospitality industry.  Ambassadors earn points for every hour of service they volunteer and compete for prizes at the end of the year for the top three point earning winners.  We're pleased to announce the top winners of the 2012 program:

1st Place: Theresa Altgilbers from Park West, with 70 points

2nd place: Christine Stamps from LUXE Expo Staffing, with 49 points

3rd place: Tony Pittman from the American Library Association, with 47 points

Choose Chicago Ambassadors volunteered 960 hours total in 2012, assisting with over 27 conventions and events.

Congratulations to all 2012 Choose Chicago Ambassadors!

Theresa Altgilbers, Park West/Standing Room Only, Inc.

Kristin Jeffe Atlas, House of Blues Chicago

Megan  Beasley, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

Elizabeth Bennett, Masterplan, Inc.

Rebecca Carity, Where Magazine

Courtney Cawley, Levy Restaurants at U.S. Cellular Field

Onya Chesser, Hard Rock Hotel Chicago

Marie Coffou, Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza

Morgan Cook, Hotel Lincoln

Cameron Crummie, dana hotel and spa

Maggie DiVincenzo, Caesars Entertainment - Horseshoe Casino

Mimi Driscoll, Buca di Beppo Downtown Chicago

Erica Drogoszewski, Steve Dahl Podcast Network

Haley Eder, The Drake Hotel

Kristy Fender, Hilton Garden Inn Chicago Magnificent Mile

Tobey Geise, Chicago Travel Consultants, Inc.

Michael Gomberg, Promotional Products Partners

Tarah Harvey, Jason's Deli

Thomas Haselberger, Hotel Sax Chicago

Melanie Hickey, Residence Inn-Springhill Suites by Marriott River North, Courtyard Mag Mile

Gretchen Hill, Mid America Club

Jane Hogan, Chicago Marriott and Renaissance Hotels

Julie Ingoglia, Francesca's Restaurants (Francesca's Bryn Mawr)

Charles James, LUXE EXPO Staffing

Vanessa Kosloski, Residence Inn & Springhill Suites by Marriott

Dan Maguire, Chicago's First Lady Cruises

Patti Maher, Shoreline Charters

Tracy Malia, Entertainment Cruises

Heather McDonald, Swissotel Chicago

Michael McDonough, Masterplan, Inc.

Kim Miller, Hampton Inn & Suites Chicago Downtown

Lisa Missner, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co./Capi's Italian Kitchen

Becky Mormann, Cubby Bear Wrigleyville

Brittany Murray, Chicago Travel Consultants

Sara Nadzieja, Crowne Plaza Chicago Metro

Michelle Ohlhaber, Entertainment Cruises

Erin O'Neill, Fogo de Chao

Iceseander Pittman, Red Roof Inn Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile

Tony Pittman, American Library Association

Sharon  Plucinski, Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier

Nicole Price, Edwards Lifesciences

Niki Radovich, Blue Plate

Kimberly Redd, American Library Association

Kelly Rehmer, Metropolitan Club

Jeanine Riedl, The Richard Driehaus Museum

Irma Robinson, International Convention Staffing, Inc.

Tracy Robinson, Amtrak

Alicia Rocha, Texas De Brazil

Randi Rogers, Miles Weaver

Katie Ryan, SAVOR

Alec Schraegle, Hilton Worldwise

Ashley Schulter , Courtyard by Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile

Angela  Sciortino, Red Roof Inn Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile

Erin Shovlin, Weber Grill Restaurant

Christine Stamps, LUXE EXPO Staffing

Christine Starks , Texas de Brazil

Betsy Stone, The Second City

Katy Stopka, House of Blues Chicago

Gina Tepavchevich, Radiological Society of North America

Jenn Toteff, Kuoni Destination Management

Sharon Vojtek  

Sheila Ward, Chicago South Loop Hotel

Lynett Wilson, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

April Wolcott, Howl at the Moon

Katherine Woods, Francesca's Restaurants (Francesca's Bryn Mawr)

Michele Worth, Residence Inn- Springhill Suites River North