A note from the President and CEO
By now I hope you’ve heard the great news – Chicago is once again the Best Big City in the U.S.! Last week, Condé Nast Traveler released their 2022 Readers’ Choice Awards and Chicago finished on top. That’s six straight years as the Best Big City in the U.S.- no other city has won the prestigious award more than three straight years in its 35-year history!
I want to share with you all what Condé Nast Traveler said about Chicago this year, because I think they did a great job summarizing what makes us such an amazing city:
“It’s no wonder Chicago is topping this list yet again. A world-class destination known for its impressive architecture, first-rate museums, brilliant chefs, and massive brewing scene, it’ll take several repeat visits to get through your list of must-dos. Most people start downtown—from the Magnificent Mile to the ritzy Gold Coast to funky Old Town—but there are 77 neighborhoods to explore, where you’ll find cutting-edge restaurants, chilled-out corner bars, and, no matter where you go, some of the most pleasant people you’ll find anywhere.”
I especially love that they end this section by talking about the people of Chicago, because I do believe that is what sets us apart. Our city is full of the friendliest and most hospitable people, and nowhere is that more true than in our hospitality and tourism industry. I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for making Chicago such a welcoming and inviting city. This is your award – congratulations!
While we continue celebrating the amazing recognition, I also want to share some highlights of our summer performance numbers. I am pleased to announce that hotel demand during the summer months of June, July and August was at nearly 90% of 2019 levels, with 3.11 million room nights booked. Keep in mind that 2019 was a record year for tourism, so the fact that we are at nearly 90% recovery is amazing news!
The tourism recovery this year was supported by an incredibly successful summer convention season. In fact, summer 2022 recorded a record number of events on the McCormick Place campus. Over the summer, hotel revenue surpassed 2019 levels due to strong demand and increased room rates. Summer hospitality and tourism employment reached 94% of 2019 levels in the Chicago Metropolitan Division, and international travelers passing through Chicago airports was up to 76% of 2019 levels.
This is time to celebrate a successful summer and another Best Big City win. At the same time, however, I know that there is still more work to be done and challenges we continue to face to reach full recovery. I look forward to continuing to work with all of you to make Chicago the best destination in the world.
President and CEO
Welcome New Partners
Please join us in welcoming our new partners
Bella Ballroom Chicago
Edie’s All Day Cafe & Bar
Five Iron Golf
Floriole Cafe & Bakery
HVAC Pub Chicago
Join Us At Our Partner Showcase
Wednesday, November 9, 2022
11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. CT
You’re invited to come meet over 45 Choose Chicago partners, including new and long-time local businesses at our upcoming Partner Showcase. This event offers an exclusive opportunity to network, stay on top of the latest trends, and discover the newest products and services to help you provide an unparalleled experience for your customers.
Whether you’re a meeting/event planner, concierge, hospitality or visitor industry professional you’ll network directly with key contacts and learn about our partner hotels, restaurants, event venues, tours and attractions, event suppliers and more at this mini trade show style event.
McCormick Place West Building – Gate 40
2301 S. Indiana Ave.
Chicago, IL 60616
This event is complimentary but RSVP is required
Please Note: Only register if you plan on attending. Capacity is limited. This invitation is to attend the event, not to exhibit. This invite is for your use only and is non-transferrable.
Get ready for Chicago Restaurant Week 2023 (CRW)
Once again Choose Chicago is excited to announce the 16th annual Chicago Restaurant Week promotion taking place Friday, January 20 – Sunday, February 5. All dining partners are eligible to participate in the most anticipated culinary celebration each year. Diners throughout the city and suburbs can take advantage of pre-fixed meals for brunch, lunch, and dinner at discounted prices at some of their favorite restaurants. Or, they might try something new throughout one of Chicago’s many diverse neighborhoods.
Back this year to kick off CRW will be the First Bites Bash taking place on Thursday, January 19. This ticketed event is open to the public and will showcase more than 50 chefs and restaurants sampling sweet and savory food items from their CRW menus.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to participate! The deadline to register for CRW is Friday, October 28.
Questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update from the Sales & Services team
Each month, we will use this space in the Partner Insights Newsletter to provide updates from the Sales and Services team on the latest news related to meetings and conventions.
Citywide Sales Strategy Project
The Sales and Services team is embarking on a Citywide Sales Strategy Project to evaluate our sales approach and ultimately improve our sales outcomes. This project is being led by Christine “Shimo” Shimasaki and 2Synergize consulting firm and will help us define new success measures, establish a relevant event scoring model, improve management of next open year data, and create target year progress reports.
Recent Convention Sales Wins
Our sales team is hard at work continuing to pitch Chicago as the premier destination for conventions and meetings. The following are some recent highlights of major wins:
- T-Mobile 2023 Unstoppable: March 8-9, 2023; 10,000 attendees
- USA Volleyball Girls 14-17: Jun-Jul, 2023; 35,000 attendees
- True Value 2029; Aug 24-26, 2029: 11,000 attendees
Current and Upcoming Events
Choose Chicago has a large contingent of the sales and services team currently at IMEX America in Las Vegas. This is the largest trade show in the US for the global meetings, events, and incentive travel industry, and it is an excellent opportunity to attract clients that want to hold their event in the Best Big City in the U.S. We are also partnering with the Chicago Department of Aviation for a booth at the World Routes Conference this weekend, and next month we are conducting a sales mission in Washington D.C.
The following major events will take place at McCormick Place through the end of November:
- ISSA Show North America 2022
10/11 – 10/13, Estimated Attendees: 10,000
- North American Spine Society (NASS) 2022 Annual Meeting
10/12 – 10/15, Estimated Attendees: 8,241
- Sitecore Symposium 2022
10/17 – 10/20, Estimated Attendees: 3,300
- PACK EXPO International 2022
10/23 – 10/26, Estimated Attendees: 65,000
- American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions 2022
11/6 – 11/8, Estimated Attendees: 7,000
- IASB-IASA-IASBOJoint Annual Conference 2022
11/15 – 11/21, Estimated Attendees: 12,379
- Rockwell Automation2022 Automation Fair®
11/16 – 11/17, Estimated Attendees: 15,000
- Radiological Societyof North America (RSNA) 2022 Annual Meeting
11/27 – 12/1, Estimated Attendees: 55,000
2023 NASCAR Chicago Street Race
In 2023, NASCAR is coming to Chicago for the first-ever street race in their 75-year history. This is an exciting event that will bring tens of thousands of visitors and millions in positive economic impact to Chicago and its businesses.
NASCAR is investing in the Chicago community beyond the race itself and is working hard to ensure that their new presence in Chicago will deliver benefits to our residents, youth, and local business community. NASCAR is looking for local suppliers – if you are interested, please register with NASCAR and provide your business information. Before registering please review NASCAR’s Supplier Code of Conduct, and contact NASCARStrategicSourcing@NASCAR.com with any questions.
Additionally, we have created a NASCAR Street Race FAQ to help answer questions about this unique and exciting event. This page will be updated with additional information as the Chicago Sports Commission continues to work with NASCAR, the City of Chicago and the Chicago Park District continues to work to develop the plan for this unprecedented, world-class event.
DestinationNEXT survey reminder
Choose Chicago is conducting an important evaluation of how Chicago scores as a tourist destination. The DestinationNEXT survey is your opportunity to provide important feedback to Choose Chicago on the performance of Chicago as a destination and how we can better attract and inspire visitors to our city.
If you have not done so already, please fill out the survey by Friday, October 14th. Your input is greatly appreciated and necessary for us to create a destination-wide tourism strategy that will help guide Choose Chicago into the future.