In September, Choose Chicago in partnership with American Express, launched its third Fall Escape hotel promotion. The program offers an opportunity to drive additional visitor traffic and spending to Chicago during the 2014 fall and holiday travel season. A new element of this year’s promotion includes highlighting Chicago’s major fall cultural events and pairing them with five celebrated Chicago luminaries who provide the potential visitor an insiders’ guide to Chicago this fall. By booking a minimum 3-night stay at one of the more than 30 participating hotels with an American Express card, the participant will receive a $150 statement credit. The promotion runs through December 17, 2014.
To complement this promotion, Choose has launched 8-week digital campaigns with five cultural organizations to promote the five cultural events highlighted in the Fall Escape promotion. The campaign is currently running in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Indianapolis, Louisville, and Milwaukee. The featured events and organizations include: EXPO Chicago, Great Chicago Fire Festival, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago’s David Bowie Is exhibition, Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Open House Chicago, and Joffrey Ballet’s The Nutcracker.Visit our website for more information on the Fall Escape.
Arts Midwest Booking Conference & Showcase
In September, Choose Chicago supported Audience Architects’, a dance service organization, presence at the Arts Midwest Conference held in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Audience Architects was at the conference to promote Chicago’s established and emerging dance companies to presenting venues from throughout the Midwest. The conference took place from September 17 – 20 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Chicago’s presence included a marketplace booth where Chicago dance companies and presenters were able to connect and get more information on touring Chicago companies. The conference highlight was a 2-night dance showcase held at the Cowles Center for Dance & Performing Arts where 10 Chicago dance companies performed in front of presenters from various venues in the Midwest. Companies included Chicago Dance Crash, Chicago Tap Theatre, DanceWorks Chicago, Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater, Giordano Dance Chicago, Khecari, Peter Carpenter Performance Project, Red Clay Dance, Same Planet Different World Dance Theatre, and The Space/Movement Project.Choose Chicago is pleased to support Audience Architects in this effort as it provides an opportunity to leverage the dance community, a great cultural asset in the city, as a platform to position Chicago as a global cultural destination. For more information on Audience Architects and their efforts visit SeeChicagoDance.com.
PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIESDomestic & International Visitation Research
Please join Choose Chicago's Director of Research & Analysis/Senior Economist, David Czechowski, on Wednesday, October 15 from 8:00am – 10:00am at Loyola University Chicago – Water Tower Campus for an in-depth look at the latest research on Chicago's domestic and international visitation. The presentation will provide an update on the state of tourism in Chicago, an overview of recent marketing strategies, as well as research and resources available to Choose Chicago partners. This annual presentation is geared to all industry categories and will offer insights you can use throughout the next twelve months.
Access to these events are just a few of the benefits of a Choose Chicago partnership. If you’re not already a partner, consider joining. Choose Chicago’s partner organizations are the backbone of our visitor industry, which generates $12 billion in direct spending annually. Dues start at $99 annually from the date you join, and include a customizable listing on ChooseChicago.com, invitations to partner events, access to research, directories, event/convention calendars and more.The cost to attend is $25 for partners and $30 for non-partners. To attend this presentation, register here. For more information on becoming a partner please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (312) 567-8461.
From September 21 – 23, Choose Chicago hosted the 10th Annual Global Greeter Network Meeting. The meeting was attended by greeter service managers from across the country and other cities looking to start a greeter service in their own city. During the three-day long meeting, program managers shared their best practices, heard from panelists in the tourism industry, and toured the city. This is the second year Chicago has been the host city for this meeting with previous meetings held in Brussels, Buenos Aires, and Paris.
The Greeter Program is the same across the globe: it’s a free service that provides a friendly face to individuals (or up to a group of six) who visit their city. The Global Greeter Network (GGN) is a network of all Greeter Services from around the world including 65 cities from 22 countries representing 5 continents. The Chicago Greeter Service is a charter member of GGN and Chicago’s Greeter Service Manager is currently on the Board of Directors. The Chicago Greeter Service is leading the way for greeter services and is emulated by many cities around the globe.For more information about this free service to visitors, visit ChicagoGreeter.com.
Since July 2012, Choose Chicago has refreshed the existing Visitor Information Centers located at Chicago Water Works and the Chicago Cultural Center; implemented new services, including the seasonal Chicago Information Greeters; opened a Visitor Information Center at Macy’s on State Street, and expanded the Chicago Greeter Service to a record number of Greeters. As we look to planning for 2015 and beyond, Choose Chicago is evaluating its current approach to Visitor Services to provide visitors with the best tools and access to visitor information.
As part of this transition, the Chicago Water Works location will close at the end of business hours on October 15, 2014. We will maintain operations at the Chicago Cultural Center and Macy’s locations. Additionally, we will continue to provide the following services in the two locations:
- Brochure and Official Visitors Guide Distribution
- Attraction Ticketing Sales
- Open Table Reservations
- General Information Services – Itinerary planning, etc.
- Chicago Greeter Service
HOW WE ARE PROMOTING CHICAGO
Cultural Media Familiarization Tour
From July 21 – 24, Choose Chicago hosted select travel writers from New York, London, and Tokyo for a first-ever media tour focused on the city’s cultural offerings. Over the course of four days, Choose developed an itinerary for these writers that included behind-the-scenes tours at cultural attractions as such Steppenwolf Theatre, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Redmoon Theater, EXPO Chicago, Thalia Hall, Millennium Park, Chicago Cultural Center and Art Institute of Chicago. In addition to these site visits and interviews, meals were specially curated to include cultural leaders to provide the press with direct interaction and information that shape Chicago’s cultural landscape. Guests included executive and artistic directors of dance, theatre, visual art, and civic organizations.
Many stories are expected this fall as a result of this tour. To date, this media tour has yielded coverage from national publications including EDGE magazine, Gothamist, Playbill and Forbes. Special thanks to the organizations and its leaders who helped make this press tour successful.
From September 20 – 23, the world’s top airlines and airport officials came to Chicago to attend the 20th Annual World Route Development Forum. Choose Chicago was pleased to support the City of Chicago’s Department of Aviation as the host organization of this international conference. The conference, aptly called Routes, is where officials discuss adding airline routes to different airports, welcomed representatives from 300 airlines, 800 airports, and 200 tourism agencies from across the globe.
This is only the second time the conference has been held in the United States, and Chicago is poised to reap the benefits as the host city. The direct economic impact of the conference is expected at $5.2 million. During the four days, the conference provided an opportunity for Chicago to target airlines providing service from different parts of the world that align with growth markets for Chicago such as China. These opportunities directly support Choose Chicago’s goal, set by Mayor Emanuel, of attracting 55 million visitors to the city by 2020. Having these air travel capabilities provide Chicago with a major advantage in attracting business and leisure travelers.For more information on Routes 2014, visit their website.
Choose Chicago is the official sales and marketing organization responsible for promoting Chicago as a global visitor destination leveraging the city's unmatched assets to ensure the economic vitality of the city and its member business community. Read more.
Choose Chicago’s Cultural Tourism department’s six strategic objectives are:
- Develop and implement market-specific positioning strategies and promotional tactics to attract more cultural travelers to Chicago from regional, national, and international markets.
- Promote and support existing cultural asset infrastructure and future cultural tourism product development.
- Enhance tourism sales efforts to further develop existing and new cultural tourism product to help position Chicago as one of the top five destinations for international inbound travel by 2020.
- Elevate visitor services by promoting unique, authentic, and enjoyable experiences.
- Develop and implement a multi-year neighborhood tourism development plan to drive repeat visitation to Chicago and extend length of stay.
- Establish metrics to track growth and economic impact of cultural tourism and neighborhood tourism development efforts.
There are two Visitor Information Centers in the downtown area. They are located at the Chicago Cultural Center at 77 E. Randolph Street and Macy’s on State Street Lower Level at 111 N. State Street. For more information, visit www.choosechicago.com/visitor-information-centers.