Chicago Chinese New Year Celebration

February 19 - March 5, 2015

Chinese New Year 2015 will be celebrated citywide, with special events from February 19 through March 5. The celebration includes a kickoff event on February 19 at the Chicago Cultural Center presented by the Chinese Fine Arts Society, along with a Chinese New Year Parade on February 22, and a Lantern Festival on March 1 at Navy Pier.

Last February, the City of Chicago and Choose Chicago set out to develop a citywide celebration of the Chinese New Year to increase awareness of the tradition and drive tourism during a low travel period. This year, Choose Chicago is leading the effort to promote the Year of the Sheep. If you are planning any events or special promotions, or have questions regarding plans for 2015, please email the Cultural Tourism department at

Chicago has the second largest Chinatown in the United States, and will welcome visitors from around the country as well as from China, where Choose Chicago is giving the event heavy promotion. Cultural performances and demonstrations, along with special hotel, retail and restaurant promotions are all part of the festivities.

For a full round-up of the wide variety of Chinese New Year festivities, visit


Big 10 Men's Basketball Tournament

The Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament returns to Chicago's United Center, March 11-15. The Big Ten's first expanded five-day tournament, thanks to the recent additions of University of Maryland and Rutgers University, also features special events hosted by the Chicago Sports Commission and offers various volunteer opportunities for alumni and fans to get involved.

These events include the Big Ten Tip-Off Luncheon on Wednesday, March 11 at the Westin River North with keynote speaker Jerry Colangelo, the Chairman of USA Basketball and the Big Ten Alumni/VIP Party on Saturday, March 14 at Navy Pier.

For more information on the tournament, visit: and to purchase tournament and special event tickets, visit:

To sign up to volunteer both at the United Center and at the various special events visit:



IHLA Bright Lights Big City

The Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association (IHLA) is holding its 27th annual Bright Lights, Big City Hospitality Gala on Friday, March 6 at Palmer House - A Hilton Hotel. Come celebrate an outstanding evening with industry colleagues and friends while enjoying exceptional food and libations, live entertainment, dancing and spectacular raffle prizes.

In partnership with Choose Chicago, a portion of every partner ticket purchased will go toward a newly created Choose Chicago Academic Scholarship Fund used to assist deserving students from Chicago that are pursuing degrees in hospitality management and tourism.

Make a night of it! IHLA also provides a limited number of complimentary hotel rooms on Friday night, March 6, to those who purchase a minimum of two tickets.

Individual ticket(s) cost $350, while tables of 10 (including recognition in the visual program) are $3,300.

Click here for more information and to register.



PCMA Navy Pier closing

No little plans were made and a blueprint for Chicago's bright future was paved - and you made it happen!

Thank you for making PCMA Convening Leaders 2015 the most successful conference in its history, setting a new attendance record of 4,128 total attendees! Choose Chicago and our city's entire hospitality community were thrilled to welcome back the conference following a two-decade hiatus.

PCMA McCormick Place

We graciously thank our partners and sponsors for their generous support, as well as our clients for their engagement throughout Convening Leaders. Additionally, we thank our Host Committee members and all Choose Chicago partners who volunteered for PCMA. As ambassadors for Chicago and beyond, you and your welcoming efforts were truly impressive. Your work was critical in making PCMA an overwhelming success.

From the opening night event at the Museum of Science and Industry to customized Chicago site visits and tours, to the closing night party in Navy Pier's historic Grand Ballroom, we took every opportunity to showcase to attendees our magnificent city, the No. 1 Meeting Destination in the U.S. according to Cvent.

We greatly appreciate the support of our Presenting Sponsors, Chicago Department of Aviation and McCormick Place; Diamond Sponsors, Chicago Federation of Labor, Freeman, Museum of Science and Industry, and Sodexo; and our Platinum Sponsors, Illinois Office of Tourism and Garrett Popcorn Shops.



Choose Chicago Annual Meeting 2015

Our successes in 2014 and bright outlook for 2015 are exciting, and we were thrilled for the opportunity to celebrate them with you at our Annual Meeting of Partnership at the historic Chicago Theatre. Approximately 1,000 people were in attendance, a true testament to your outstanding commitment to Choose Chicago and our magnificent city. We thank all of our partners for your support and look forward to working with you in the year ahead. 

You can view the 2014 Annual Report, where you'll find information on our record-shattering year of visitation; upcoming cultural tourism initiatives; details on major incoming events such as the NFL Draft, James Beard Awards, and Microsoft Ignite; and a preview of our new Chicago Epic brand. Our Choose Chicago 2015 Priorities one-pager is also available allowing you to view the key strategies for 2015.


Jerold Bean

Jerold Bean is Director of Meetings and Events at Windy City Limousine. Bean talks about joining Choose Chicago as a partner and how the industry network has benefited his business.  

How would you describe your position at Windy City Limousine?

About five years ago, I had the opportunity to sit with our Executive Team and present a plan for growing this side of our business. The plan involved merging our wedding, group and event business into one department to better respond to the needs of our clients. We have very forward-thinking people at the helm so with a few tweaks and adjustments, Meetings and Events was launched.

What are some of the goals of your organization?  

Today I'm very fortunate to work with a team of highly dedicated and talented individuals. The work they do on a daily basis makes me very proud to lead this group. We have developed an environment of mutual respect, clear understanding of responsibilities and the freedom to make decisions. Windy City and its customers have the same goal so it's really about knowing we are all on the same team. At the end of the day, excellent communication and cooperation within the team is crucial to the success of each program.

What projects are you most proud of?

Windy City has a long list of valued partners and clients.  It's hard for me to pick one or two events that make me most proud.  It's pretty easy for me to puff out my chest when I stop to think about the things we've accomplished.  I would have to say the work we've done for the NATO Summit, The Ryder Cup and all of our sports teams and universities is probably the most noteworthy.  For me, it's really our everyday clients and partners that make the job enjoyable. There's something very rewarding about developing relationships that go beyond the service.  Relationships are what drive business.  I think that has been the biggest take away from all my years in the industry and a great way to do business.

Why did you join Choose Chicago? What were your expectations?

We first joined Choose Chicago for a couple of reasons.  We wanted more opportunities to do business in Chicago and we wanted to highlight our great city as a world-class destination with first class services.  Choose Chicago seemed like a great resource to help secure those opportunities.  Through our partnership with Choose, we have gained much more.

Since joining, how has the organization lived up to your expectations?

Over the years, we have developed a great rapport with Choose Chicago. Our interaction with Choose takes place on all levels and includes Senior Leaders.  More often than not, they are the ones that present opportunities. Senior Executives at Choose Chicago have helped foster a relationship with the leaders at Windy City. They are fully invested in the partnership and have taken the time to learn our business and understand our capabilities.  Today, I count the Choose Chicago Team as one of those relationships I mentioned earlier.

What would you say to a business owner or organization that is considering joining Choose Chicago? Of all that Choose offers, be it networking, advertising or otherwise, what has been most the greatest benefit to your organization?

I encourage any business owner or organization that is considering joining Choose Chicago to join. The greatest benefit has been the opportunities Choose has generated with other businesses. We have used the networking opportunities and programs to help us create relationships with other business owners where we can share struggles, resources and best practices.

What is an example(s) of how partnering with Choose Chicago has helped you continue to grow your organization? 

Choose Chicago is a genuine partner relationship.  Through them, we continue to build long-term friendships, grow personally and professionally and find business opportunities.  The list of clients and programs we have gained through our work with Choose Chicago is building.  Most recently, our role in the 2015 PCMA Leaders Summit has opened quite a few doors for Windy City.  We look forward to adding the NFL Draft and Microsoft Ignite to our resume. 


Nick Ulivieri headshot

The Choose Chicago Artist of the Year Program was developed as a unique way to show appreciation for city-wide convention business. Over the past 14 years, artwork has been presented to clients on behalf of the entire local hospitality community. The artist is commissioned to create original or enhanced copies of artwork celebrating Chicago.

This year, we're honored to name photographer Nick Ulivieri the 2015 Artist of the Year. Ulivieri is a commercial and urban landscape photographer based in Chicago. Specializing in architecture and food photography, Ulivieri partners with his clients to create captivating imagery that enhances their brand.

When he's not working on projects for his clients, Ulivieri loves photographing his hometown of Chicago, often times documenting it from high-altitude, vertigo inducing perspectives. 

Ulivieri's photography has been featured by: Jim Cantore, Good Morning America, ABC World News, BuzzFeed, Ginger Zee, The Weather Channel, WGN, ESPN, and Tom Skilling.

He has worked with many well known Chicago institutions, most notably, The Adler Planetarium, Giordano's, Navy Pier - and now - Choose Chicago.

You may view some of Ulivieri's work below, and consider his work when presenting timeless Chicago gifts to clients.



Choose Chicago is expanding its social media presence and the partnership team is heading to Twitter as a means of communicating more effectively with our valued partners - and that means you!. Our new @CCPartner Twitter account created expressly for our partners will provide us the ability to share timely and relevant information with you including e-newsletters, partner events, special marketing opportunities, industry news and accolades, upcoming meetings and conventions, and so much more. Twitter is a quick and easy way for us to share important news and updates that we have never gotten to share before.

Head over to and follow us with your company Twitter handle and your personal Twitter handle!

We look forward to seeing you on Twitter!



Thank you for joining us at the Gene Siskel Film Center on January 22 for our Annual Cultural Preview and Partner Networking Event. You were treated to a unique musical medley performed by the Chicago Gay Men's Chorus previewing the city's major arts and cultural events of 2015. We greatly appreciate your support of our current and upcoming cultural tourism initiatives.

We also hosted an engaging panel discussion "Why China Matters?" which analyzed the importance of the China Visitor Market to Chicago. We thank Gary Stoppelman, Director of Marketing at The Art Institute of Chicago; Liza Zito, Group Director at Tiffany & Co.; and Marc Anderson, Chief Sales Officer / Senior Vice President of Choose Chicago for their participation and insight.

You may find a full video recording of the China Market presentation and panel discussion here.



Drop by and see us during our monthly office hours! Choose Chicago will offer one-on-one walk-in hours for our partner organizations at our downtown office located at 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 organization
  • How to enhance your online profile including a tutorial on the Partner Extranet
  • Choose Chicago's educational and marketing opportunities
  • Ways to build stronger relationships with the Choose Chicago team

Date: First Thursday of every month:

  • March 5, 2015
  • April 2, 2015
  • May 7, 2015
  • June 4, 2015

Time: 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Place: Choose Chicago Loop Office Conference Room
72 E. Randolph Street - 3rd Floor
Please sign in at the security desk

For more information about Choose Chicago office hours:
Please contact Mayela Hobbs, Manager of Partner Relations & Outreach, at or 312-567-8462.



As a valued partner of Choose Chicago, your organization can take advantage of discounts up to 10% for's full suite of translation services and technology.

This new language services program allows for translations of:

  • Document translation
  • In-person and remote interpretation
  • Multilingual typesetting and graphics
  • Website and software localization
  • Global multimedia services
  • Multicultural marketing
  • Global legal support services
  • Language management technology

Chicago's goal is to become one of the top 5 most visited U.S. cities by international travelers by 2020. To welcome these visitors, Choose Chicago strongly encourages partners to incorporate foreign language communications to support the organization's global initiatives and help your businesses capture a greater share of the international visitor market.

How to request services

To request an estimate for any of the above services, simply send an email to

Translation-related inquiries should include the following information:

  • Brief description of content
  • Language(s) for translation (e.g. from French to English)
  • Deadline

Should you have any questions, you can also reach your global account manager directly at:

Rebekah Garbutt,
+1 561.687.3331



Join us in welcoming the newest partners this year to Choose Chicago:



Chicago Theatre Week 2015: Tickets on sale now!

Chicago Theatre Week 2015 is a celebration of Chicago's world-class theatre scene. Presented by the League of Chicago Theatres in partnership with Choose Chicago, Chicago Theatre Week is returning for its third year and will take place February 12-22, 2015. This coming February, visitors and residents will again have the opportunity to choose from more than 100 productions and sample the extraordinary range of theatrical offerings throughout Chicago.

February 12-22, 2015
$15 and $30 tickets (or less!)

Visit Choose Chicago - Theatre Week to see participating theatres, productions, ticket information and more.



Chicago Auto Show

The Chicago Auto Show, February 14-22, is the largest of its kind in North America, featuring a range of domestic and imported passenger cars and trucks; sport utility vehicles; experimental or concept cars; and a number of auto-related exhibits.

Visit McCormick Place for the 107th edition of the Chicago Auto Show and see nearly 1,000 different vehicles on display, including numerous competition vehicles and project, antique and collector cars.

Purchase tickets at, and learn more about this year's event at



Lookingglass Alice

Inspired by Lewis Carroll's beloved stories, this signature production has returned to the Lookingglass Theatre stage. The gravity-defying spectacle transports audiences down the rabbit hole to an exhilarating wonderland. Now playing through February 15, Lookingglass Alice is an astounding, enchanting tale worth experiencing first-hand.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Lookingglass Theatre website




As Chicago's official destination marketing organization, various 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/partners over the weeks ahead:

3/08-3/10, 2015
ASAE Great Ideas Conference 2015
Orlando, FL
3/11-3/13, 2015
Experient Envision 2015
Anaheim, CA
3-22/3/25, 2015
CBI-Pharma Meeting Planners Forum 2015
Washington, D.C.
3/25, 2015
Destinations Showcase DC 2015
Washington, D.C.
4/09, 2015
Springtime Expo 2015  
Washington, D.C.
4/20-4/23, 2015
ConferenceDirect Annual Partner Meeting 2015
Dallas, TX

Choose Chicago has several upcoming opportunities for our partners to participate in shows and events around the world. Please email for more information - more details to be released soon.

For more information, please contact Lori Adlesick, Director of Special Events, at