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Partner Insights Newsletter

January 2024

Update on leadership transition

Last week, Choose Chicago announced that President and CEO Lynn Osmond will be stepping down from her role at the end of January to focus her time and energies on a family health matter.

During Lynn’s time leading Choose Chicago, the city secured and hosted major national and international events such as the 2024 Democratic National Convention and the first-ever NASCAR race on city streets, generating global media exposure; travel recovered from pandemic levels to achieve a projected 54.5 million visitors in 2023, resulting in all-time record summer hotel revenue and tax collections; and readers of Condé Nast Traveler named Chicago the Best Big City in the U.S. for an unprecedented seventh consecutive year.

Following Lynn’s departure, Rich Gamble will serve as interim CEO while the Board of Directors conducts a thorough search for a permanent replacement. More details on the search process for a permanent CEO will be shared soon.

Many of you may know Rich who has served on the Choose Chicago Board of Directors for several years. Rich is a recognized strategic and tactical executive with over 30 years of experience in leadership roles in major local commercial and civic institutions. His previous experiences include 17 years as an executive at the Chicago Tribune Media Group and nearly five years at the Chicago Zoological Society. He is a past chair of The Magnificent Mile Association’s Executive Committee and current Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Chicago Loop Alliance.

With a strong and dedicated leadership team in place, Choose Chicago is committed to continuing to support you in bringing visitors to Chicago. There are several exciting initiatives underway, and we look forward to a successful and busy 2024.

Choose Chicago


Welcome new partners

Butterfly Sushi Bar & Thai Cuisine
Costera Cocina Tulum
Daisy’s Po’Boy & Tavern
Farm Bar Ravenswood, LLC
Fogo de Chao – Oak Brook
Fogo de Chao – Rosemont
Heritage Restaurant and Caviar Bar
McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood & Steaks – Rosemont
Ruth’s Chris Steak House
Sumu Tokyo Ramen & Sushi
The Franklin Room
The M Room
Terra e Mare

January Partner Education Event

Wednesday, January 24 | 8:30 – 10 AM

Don’t miss this exclusive presentation on insights into the future landscape of tourism and actionable strategies to elevate Chicago as a visitor destination.

Join us as Paul Ouimet, Partner and President of MMGY NextFactor, delves into key trends and best practices in the travel and tourism industry. Paul will discuss takeaways from MMGY’s 2023 Future Study and reveal the results of the DestinationNEXT assessment, an in-depth survey of key stakeholders and clients on Chicago’s strengths, opportunities, and community alignment.

The cost for this event is $35. Continental breakfast will be provided.

Gene Siskel Film Center (164 N. State Street)

8:30 – 9:00 AM – Registration and networking
9:00 – 10:00 AM – Presentation

Register now


Cultural and Culinary updates

Chicago Theatre Week 2024 logo

Last week, ticket sales launched for Chicago Theatre Week (February 8 – 18). A joint annual initiative between Choose Chicago and the League of Chicago Theatres, Chicago Theatre Week allows visitors and locals to sample the extraordinary range of theatrical offerings throughout the Chicago area. See all the shows offering tickets for $15 or $30 (or less).

Also, right around the corner is Chicago Restaurant Week (January 19 – February 4). A celebration of our city’s award-winning culinary scene, Chicago Restaurant Week has over 400 participating restaurants this year. View all restaurants and menus by cuisine and neighborhood and filter for meal types, dietary restrictions, and women or minority owned business status. Book your tables now!

First Bites Bash, the Kickoff Event for Chicago Restaurant Week, is tomorrow (Thursday, January 18) at the Field Museum! This year’s event is completely sold out, signaling the growing enthusiasm for Chicago’s incredible food and beverage scene. Thank you in advance to all our participating partners for what we’re sure will be a wonderful evening.


Update from the Sales and Services team

Last week, the Choose Chicago’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Services, Dustin Arnheim and MPEA CEO, Larita Clark held a press conference at the PCMA Convening Leaders conference in San Diego to announce strong year-end sales figures and major confirmed convention clients.

In 2023, Choose Chicago booked over 2,100 future meetings and events, representing 2.45 million hotel room nights. Total room nights booked were more than 20% higher than goal and over 40% more than 2022 levels. Furthermore, major meetings and events taking place in 2024 will fill more than 1.2 million hotel room nights, which will be an all-time record for Chicago.

It was also announced that the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) will continue to hold its annual meeting in Chicago through 2032. RSNA is a non-profit organization representing radiology professionals in over 150 countries. The 2023 meeting welcomed over 40,000 registrants, nearly 40% of whom were international visitors, and generated more than $115 million in economic impact.

In a final highlight from the Team Sales, please join us in congratulating Vice President of Sales, Eric Kincaid for being awarded the PCMA Chair Award last week! This award is a recognition of his significant contributions to the business events industry, including by creating the first PCMA student chapter at an HBCU (Virginia State University).

Members of the Choose Chicago Sales, Client Services, and Marketing teams at the PCMA Convening Leaders conference in San Diego last week

Highlights from Recent Shows

  • December 20 – 22 | The 77th Midwest Clinic: Music Conference offers guests interested in music education an array of clinics and exhibits, as well as access to music and teaching icons.
  • December 28 – 30 | MAS CON 2023: The Annual MAS-ICNA had its largest event yet with over 40,000 attendees and had to cut off registration on the third day. Comparatively, they had just over 30,000 attendees in 2022. The event has continued to grow year over year from just 1,500 in 2001.

Upcoming Shows and Events at McCormick Place

  • January 22 – 24 | 2024 AHR Expo: AHR Expo brings together manufacturers and suppliers of all sizes and specialties to share ideas and showcase the future of their industry. Approximately 50,000 attendees are expected at the event.


Neighborhood Strategy Updates

Choose Chicago’s Neighborhood Strategy team won multiple awards in 2023, including the BrandSmart 2023 Grand Champion Award from the American Marketing Association, the Cultural Investment Award from Chicago Cultural Alliance, and a Destiny Award for Community Engagement from the U.S. Travel Association. Choose Chicago’s Neighborhood Content Creator program is a first-in-the-nation system for producing authentic content by residents to promote their communities.

The team is working on multiple new major initiatives to drive additional visitation to neighborhoods outside Chicago’s central business district in 2024 that will be announced soon.

Rob Fotjik, VP of Neighborhood Strategy, accepting the BrandSmart Grand Champion Award from the American Marketing Association in April 2023  


#AccessibleChicago Docuseries Launch Event

Tuesday, February 13 | 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Strategy for Access and Fun4theDisabled are thrilled to invite you to a launch party for our groundbreaking docuseries, #AccessibleChicago at the Museum of Science and Industry!

#AccessibleChicago showcases 15 iconic Chicago attractions as experienced by people with disabilities. From museums and parks to cultural landmarks and natural wonders, #AccessibleChicago takes viewers on an inclusive journey through destinations that are accessible and enjoyable for all.

If you’re interested in attending this free event, sign up at!



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