Skip to consent to cookiesSkip navigation

Partner Insights Newsletter

February 2024

A note from the Interim President and CEO

Dear Partners,

During my first few weeks at Choose Chicago, I have had the opportunity to meet quite a few of you on various occasions, and I look forward to getting to know many more of you in the coming months. Your partnership and participation in key initiatives is critical to our mission to enrich our community by attracting visitors and events.

A few updates from me: In the last two weeks, I have participated in meetings with our hotel partners where the Choose Chicago leadership team shared updates on ongoing projects and the outlook for local leisure and meetings visitation. I have met with Mayor Johnson and his staff to discuss ways we can build more effective partnerships across the cultural sector. I also joined World Business Chicago CEO Michael Fassnacht and Deputy Mayor Kenya Merritt for a panel discussion on the ways tourism, the business environment, and recent economic development initiatives impact the local real estate landscape. In the coming months, I look forward to further engaging stakeholders in the local hospitality and entertainment communities to better understand their perspectives, needs, and priorities for 2024 and beyond.

As you read through the rest of this newsletter, keep an eye out for ways to engage with Choose Chicago, one another, and our civic partners. In this and future newsletters, we will be including updates about both the DNC and IPW, the travel industry’s premier international marketplace, and opportunities for you and your businesses to benefit from the increased visitation and exposure these events will bring to Chicago. (Read on for additional details.)

Together we have what it takes to achieve outstanding results in 2024. I look forward to our journey together!


Rich Gamble
Interim President & CEO
Choose Chicago


Welcome new partners


DNC Corner

*Potential bidders must notify the Host Committee by email ( of their intent to submit a proposal by 5pm CT on Thursday, February 22, 2024.


IPW Corner

What is IPW?

When is it happening?

IPW 2024 (Los Angeles): May 3 – 7, 2024
IPW 2025 (Chicago): June 14 – 18, 2025

Why does IPW matter for my business?

IPW presents a unique and valuable opportunity for destinations and local tourism, hospitality, and entertainment-oriented businesses to generate new business with travel buyers from around the world. In addition to opportunities to generate business directly, the presence of this travel mega-show consistently leads to increased future visitation to the host market.

How can I learn more and get involved?

  • IMPORTANT LAST CALL: Partners still have the opportunity to register for IPW 2024 in LA. Register by February 20 at Contact Naomi Hattori ( with any questions.
  • SAVE THE DATE: For IPW 2025, mark your calendars. Registration for IPW 2025 in Chicago will open after the conclusion of IPW 2024 in LA, so expect to see registration information released in late May to early June.
  • MARK YOUR CALENDAR: Choose Chicago will host an IPW 2025 Overview and Partner Opportunities Webinar on May 9. Registration links will be sent in the coming months.


Chicago Restaurant Week and Chicago Brew Pass Preliminary Outcomes

Preliminary data is in for both Chicago Restaurant Week and the Chicago Brew Pass program, and both are pointing to strong results for our participating partners in the local food and beverage industry.

The first-ever Chicago Brew Pass program launched late this summer and showed strong early results with over 4,200 check-ins at local breweries. Plans are already underway to enhance the program, increase the number of participating breweries, and ramp up support in early spring.


Update from the Sales and Services team

Choose Chicago Sales staff and partners attended the Religious Conference Management Association’s (RCMA) annual EMERGE meeting January 9 – 11 in San Antonio, Texas. RCMA is the pre-eminent faith-based association for meeting planners and suppliers. Michele Pondexter, Director of Diversity Sales, shared key updates with this important group of hospitality professionals. In addition to our tradeshow booth, Michele and our partners hosted a dinner for approximately 30 meeting planners.

Highlights from recent shows and events

January 22 – 24 | 2024 AHR Expo: Check out this recap video!

A packed McCormick Place during AHR Expo in January

January 25 | Ambassador Orientation Event:

Participants in the Choose Chicago Ambassadors Program at last month’s orientation event

January 31 | IMTS Workshop: The Association of Manufacturing Technology (AMT) hosted their Exhibitor Workshop for 450 exhibitors to McCormick Place in preparation for their upcoming International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) 2024.

Upcoming shows and events at McCormick Place

February 22 – 24 | Chicago Dental Society-Annual Midwinter Meeting 2024: CDS offers exceptional continuing education featuring top dental speakers, an expansive Exhibit Hall with top vendors, and networking opportunities for dental professionals from Chicagoland and the surrounding region.

February 23 – 25 | MagicCon: Wizards of the Coast and Reedpop convene fans of Magic: The Gathering. The weekend event features Pro Tour Murders at Karlov Manor, a variety of on-demand and ticketed play events such as Gavin Verhey’s Un-Known Event, Pro Tour Qualifiers, the Secret Lair Showdown and the $75k Open!

March 17 – 19 | The Inspired Home Show: This annual event organized by the Rosemont, IL-based International Housewares Association (IHA) is North America’s largest housewares trade show! Every year, home and housewares professionals from more than 120 countries converge upon Chicago to discover new products, meet with top retail and manufacturer executives, and gain the insights, leads and exposure to jump-start a successful year.


Multiple Chicago Businesses Nominated for USA Today 10Best Recognition

Ten Chicago businesses are nominated for recognition in USA TODAY’s 10Best lists. Below are the businesses nominated in various categories. You can see all nominees and vote for your favorites here. Voting ends February 26.

Best Beer Bar

Best Beer Festival

Best Beer Garden

Best Beer Label

Best Brewery Tour

Best Brewpub

Best New Brewery


CPS CTE Summer Internship Program

CPS students learn about internship and career opportunities in the tourism and hospitality industry at a recent career fair organized in partnership with Choose Chicago, CPS, and GMC – PCMA


The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) career and technical education (CTE) Summer Internship Program is an initiative designed to provide experiential workforce opportunities for CPS juniors participating in culinary and hospitality pathways.

Students spend the six-week program observing workflows, contributing to projects, shadowing professionals, and applying their skills and classroom knowledge.

You can learn more about the program here and register to host students for the Summer Internship Program here.

Internship period: Monday, June 17 – Friday July 26, 2024

Contact Roz Stuttley ( if you’re interested in participating by February 29, 2024.


Promoting Black History Month

From museum exhibits to cultural events to concerts and restaurant guides, Choose Chicago has compiled an extensive guide to help locals and visitors alike celebrate Black History Month in ways that resonate with them personally.

Special thanks to your media partners for promoting these events, attractions, and local Black-owned businesses throughout February!

AARP | 8 Destinations to Celebrate Black History Month

CBS2 | Black History Month: Choose Chicago provides list of events to help celebrate

TravelPulse | Explore These Cities And Art Exhibits During Black History Month


Partner with Choose Chicago

Pick your partnership

Join now