Partnership Newsletter: July 2013


Choose Chicago is excited to empower our hotel partners with a new online lead generation and response system. The system, powered by our Simpleview platform, is set to launch in September. This new system will allow hotels to view and respond to all leads, edit responses, and be included on all communications related to leads simply by logging onto Choose Chicago's Partner Extranet.  This new system will create an efficient lead management process as it puts the control and communication in the hands of our partner hotels.

Choose Chicago will work closely with all hotel partners to ensure that the transition to this new system is clearly communicated and user-friendly. Learn more about the new lead response system and its September launch in upcoming newsletters and webinars (dates to be announced).

For questions, please contact Mayank Patel, Director of Information Technology, at


Join Choose Chicago at The Art Institute of Chicago on Thursday, July 18! Presented by the star of TO MASTER THE ART, Karen Janes Woditsch (in character as chef Julia Child), this event will guide you through 12 must-see fall happenings in Chicago's arts and culture community. Discover why these events are particularly important and how they can impact and grow your business.

Choose Chicago will also unveil key research findings from our first ever benchmark study on cultural travelers to Chicago, and how the city's rich and diverse cultural assets can be leveraged to increase visitation to our city.

Thursday, July 18, 2013
The Art Institute of Chicago - The Modern Wing
159 East Monroe Street, Chicago, IL

  • 3:30pm-4:00pm:  Registration - 2nd Floor
  • 4:00pm-5:00pm:  Seminar - 2nd Floor - Nichols Trustee Suite
  • 5:00pm-6:30pm:  Reception in Terzo Piano - 3rd Floor

Space is limited, register today.

Please be sure to enter The Art Institute through the 159 East Monroe Street entrance.  Do not wait in line for the museum.  Turn right at the Terzo Piano sign just before security.  Pass the coat check and take the elevator (just before the escalator) to the 2nd floor for registration.

Partner price: $25
Non-partner price: $30

Parking Information:
Self-pay parking is available at the East Monroe/Millennium Park underground garage and at Grant Park South and North garages.

For more information about this event or for additional questions, contact Mimi De Castro, Cultural Tourism Manager, at


Drop by and see us! Choose Chicago will offer one-on-one walk-in hours for our partner organizations in our downtown office (72 E. Randolph). Office hours provide an opportunity to meet with the Choose Chicago Partnership team as well as a representative from Miles Partnership to discuss:

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


  • First Thursday of every month beginning August 1, 2013
  • 9:00am - 11:30am
  • Loop Office conference room (72. E. Randolph Street - 3rd floor)

For more information about Choose Chicago office hours, contact Mayela Hobbs, Manager of Partner Relations & Outreach, at


Late last month, the Choose Chicago Public Policy team hosted the Choose Chicago Travel Effect Roundtable with Congressman Mike Quigley at Goose Island Brewpub in Lincoln Park.  We had multiple roundtable participants from different sectors of Chicago's tourism industry including restaurants, attractions, accommodations, transportation and conventions. These groups united to discuss current travel and tourism issues with Congressman Quigley.

Travel is a critical component to the Chicago economy.  We thank Congressman Quigley for his ongoing support and efforts to strengthen this industry and the 128,000 jobs it supports. This type of support from our public officials is important as we at Choose Chicago endeavor to increase annual visitation to the city to 50 million as well as elevate Chicago to among the top five US cities for inbound international travel.

Mike Quigley and Jack Johnson
Our Senior Vice President of Public Policy, Jack Johnson, with Congressman Mike Quigley

If you would like to receive more information on upcoming Advocacy events, industry issues and action alerts from the Public Policy team please join our First Responder Partner Advocacy Program, just e-mail us at or fill out our form on the Partner Advocacy section of our website.  You can follow us on Twitter at @CCAdvocacy where we promote Chicago while giving you the quickest and most recent public policy related travel news, statistics and facts.


Nike Tournament of Champions

From July 10-12, the Chicago Sports Commission (CSC) will be hosting the NIKE National Invitational, the largest high school girls' basketball tournament in the country at McCormick Place. This Nike Tournament of Champions basketball event features over 350 teams, and over 550 collegiate coaches and recruiters will be in attendance.

CSC will also host a second Nike Tournament of Champions event at McCormick Place from July 14-16. This event, the Elite Youth Jamboree, features 400 middle school girls' basketball teams. For more information on this event, please visit: 

105th Race to Mackinac

The 105th Race to Mackinac kicks off on July 13 at Navy Pier. The race spans 333 miles from Chicago to Mackinac Island, Michigan and is the oldest annual freshwater race in the world and has over 320 boats participate annually. To send off the boats, the Chicago Yacht Club invites yachting enthusiasts and their families to attend their viewing party, featuring a boat parade and live-entertainment. To RSVP, please visit:


Come witness the two top soccer teams from the North American, Central American and Caribbean regions battle it out to be crowned the CONCACAF Gold Cup champion at Soldier Field on Sunday July 28 at 3pm. 

Chicago Match Race Cup

From August 6-11, sailing will take over Navy Pier as twelve of the world's best sailing teams compete in the Chicago Match Cup, the only U.S. stop on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. Alongside this event, Navy Pier will additionally be host to Chicago's Tall Ships Festival from August 7-11, and the combination of these two events will transform the pier into a maritime festival area, complete with tours, family-friendly activities and fireworks.

"The Big Fight 2"

Boxing is returning to U.S. Cellular Field for the first time in over 50 years on Friday, August 16. The ESPN Friday Night Fights event "The Big Fight 2" will feature Chicago's Polish Prince, IBO Light Heavyweight World Champion Andrzej Fonara battling former world champion Gabriel "EL Chico Guapo" Campillo of Madrid, Spain. The second match is a rematch between Artur ‘The Pin' Szpilka of Wieliczka, Poland and Chicago's "Merciless" Mike Mollo. To purchase tickets, please visit


Thank you to all who helped make last month's Chicago Golf Classic at The Glen Club such a successful and fun event, including our sponsors and special guests NBC Sports and Golf Channel golf analyst Mark Rolfing, PGA Tour player Luke Donald, Chicago Bears placekicker Robbie Gould and Chicago Bears long snapper Patrick Mannelly. Congratulations to our First Place Foursomes: Tom Sitkowski, Kent Myers and Tom Haselberger in the morning tournament; Dave Dolan, Phil Brandl, Bill Daddono and Brian Glasgow in the afternoon.

Chicago Golf Classic

Chicago Golf Classic

Chicago Golf Classic


Chicago Golf Classic

Chicago Golf Classic


Chicago Golf Classic


Save the date for Chicago Restaurant Week 2014, taking place Friday, January 24 - Thursday, February 6. In August, registration instructions and Chicago Restaurant Week 2014 program details will be distributed to Choose Chicago dining partners. For information on how your restaurant can participate, please contact the Partnership Department at 312-567-8461 or  


With IPW '14 coming to Chicago in less than a year, Choose Chicago made a strong presence at this year's event in Las Vegas. Now that staff members from Choose Chicago's Tourism, Sales, PR, Marketing and Cultural Tourism teams have returned home, we have a summary of our very important visit to IPW '13. 

  • Choose Chicago displayed the largest booth ever for our organization (10' x 50') and we were joined in a branded aisle by 13 of our partners
IPW Booth
  • We came with in-country representatives from our offices in Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, the Benelux Region, Mexico and the United Kingdom
  • Choose Chicago made 170 appointments with travel trade buyers
  • More than 30 meetings with members of the media
  • Choose Chicago hosted 259 buyers, media and partners at our event at Tryst nightclub, which featured a performance by Chicago blues musician Wayne Baker Brooks. Guests also had the opportunity to take a picture "in" Chicago at Cloud Gate, outside Wrigley Field, or on the Crown Fountain via a green screen.
  • The following featured Chicago images and branding throughout the convention and on the Marketplace floor:
    • 22 Internet kiosks (in key locations around the tradeshow)
    • Four shuttle area banners
    • One banner at the exit of the Marketplace floor
    • One, 30' banner at the exit of the convention center promoting Chicago as host city in 2014
Choose Chicago Kiosks

For more information about what Choose Chicago is doing to prepare for IPW '14 in Chicago, contact Joleen Haran, Assistant Director of Tourism, at


Save the date for our Partner Networking event on August 28 from 5-7 p.m. at Park Grill. Details will be available soon, so keep an eye on your inbox.


On August 14, Taste of the Nation Chicago returns to the Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier after a sold-out event in 2012. Join R.J. Melman (Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises) and nearly 100 of Chicago's most celebrated chefs and mixologists as we gather to end childhood hunger in America. Guests will enjoy live DJ entertainment, and a silent auction featuring unique Chicago experiences. For more information about Taste of the Nation or to purchase tickets, click here.


As Chicago's official destination marketing organization, key Choose Chicago team members travel the world to share our story and encourage visitation to our city. Here's where we'll be connecting with our customers over the next 90 days:

Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) Annual Convention

July 15-18


Travel Professionals

Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives (CESSE)

July 16-19


Meeting Professionals

Meeting Professionals International (MPI)-World Education Congress (WEC)

July 20-23

Las Vegas

Meeting Professionals

Meetings Focus Live  July 28-30
Branson, MO
 Meeting Professionals
 Special Equipment Market Association
 July 28-31
 Las Vegas Meeting Professionals

MPI-GNY Golf Outing

July 31

Port Washington, New York

Meeting Professionals

American Society of Association Executives

August 3-6


Meeting Professionals

Society of Independent Show Organizers Executive Conference

August 6-8

Washington D.C.

Meeting Professionals

Experient E4

August 11-14


Meeting Professionals


August 15


Meeting Professionals

 IncentiveWorks  August 20-21 Toronto  Meeting Professionals
Connect Marketplace
August 22-25
Meeting Professionals

Student Youth Travel Association (SYTA) Annual Conference

August 23-27

Los Angeles

Travel Professionals

Maritz Annual Meeting  August 26-28
 Chicago Meeting Professionals

Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA) Tourism Forum & Travel Showcase

September 12-15


Travel Professionals

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