Watch the Beyond the Loop video series

2014 Summer Regional Advertising Campaign

Choose Chicago recently launched a 12-week leisure integrated advertising campaign to create awareness and drive visitation to Chicago during the summer travel season. The campaign will run in five domestic markets (Detroit, Grand Rapids, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Louisville) and Toronto, Canada through August 3, 2014.The campaign is supported by a mix of broadcast and digital media as well as public relations efforts.

A number of special events including Wrigley Field's 100th Birthday, Chicago Jazz Festival, Chicago Blues Festival, Millennium Park's 10th Birthday, and Taste of Chicago will be highlighted.

Additionally, we are promoting Chicago's diverse neighborhoods by driving traffic to (a microsite within the website). Beyond The Loop is a new online video series highlighting 13 of Chicago's vibrant neighborhoods. Choose Chicago is the first destination marketing organization to produce an original online video series and this was made possible with the support and partnership of Goose Island Beer Company and The Second City. 



James Beard Award

Further proof that it is a culinary epicenter to be reckoned with, it was announced last month Chicago will host the 25th Annual James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony and Gala at the Civic Opera House on May 4, 2015. This will be the first year that the prestigious "Oscars of the Food Industry" will be held outside of New York City. 

Chicago has had great success during the awards' existence, having delivered restaurant and chef winners 23 out of 24 years. In 2009, the James Beard Foundation took its JBF Award Nominee Breakfast on the road for the first time ever to Chicago's famed Rick Bayless-owned Frontera Grill. In 2014, the JBF Award Nominee Breakfast was held at The Publican in Chicago - one of JBF Award Winner Paul Kahan's restaurants.

A city that boasts more than 40 James Beard Award winners and many close supporters of the Foundation, Chicago is the perfect destination to hold this most prestigious event.

For more information about Chicago's hosting of the 2015 James Beard Awards, please contact Nina Winston, Choose Chicago VP of Strategic Partnerships, at



Komal Patel is co-owner of Embeya, a collaboration between her husband - international hospitality veteran Attila Gyulai - and Executive Chef Thai Dang. The chic and elegant Embeya boasts a bold, inventive menu of refined Asian cuisine, with every dish employing quality sourcing of the best ingredients.

Embeya's stylish, comfortable décor is designed by Chicago based designer Karen Herold of 555. In addition to Chef Thai Dang being nominated as Food and Wine's People's Best New Chef, and being honored at Zagat's Top 30 under 30, Embeya was the recipient of Esquire Magazine's Best New Restaurant Award in 2013.

Patel talks about joining Choose Chicago as a partner and how the industry network has benefitted her business.


How would you describe your position with Embeya? 

My husband Attila and I handle many aspects of the day-to-day operations including human resources, sales and marketing, PR, finance and our 250 label wine program.

What are your current projects?

Embeya is still in its infancy stage at 18 months old. Considering that I am new to the industry and to Chicago, I have spent quite a bit of time gaining a deeper understanding of how we can relay our message and connect with a niche audience that is seeking an elevated dining experience - a guest who is well travelled, enjoys a chef-driven menu with unique ingredients and prefers service that is refined yet friendly and passionate.

What are some of the goals of your organization? What projects are you most proud of?

The scope of my role at Embeya includes private event sales for two of our spaces as well as catering, social media engagement, off-site marketing and developing strategic partnerships with local hotels and cultural institutions such as Hubbard Street Dance, Choose Chicago and Goodman Theater. Considering how little of our annual budget is allocated to marketing or
advertising, these partnerships have been the main/only pillars of our broad-scale marketing, and have contributed a great deal to our success.

Embeya interior

How has your relationship with Choose Chicago benefited your business directly?

Our relationship with Choose Chicago began when I requested to meet with a representative from the Partnership team. I was looking for some insight on how to increase Embeya's visibility in the convention business and to reach the tourist market that comes to Chicago for our vibrant art, theater and world-class dining. That first meeting exceeded my expectations as I was given a thorough understanding of the partner benefits and how we could work with Choose Chicago to help us get the word out locally as well as nationally.

I was further impressed by the follow up I received and help identifying relevant advertising opportunities within industry publications as well as personal introductions to select local hotels and the McCormick Place concierge team. It was very clear that Choose Chicago was genuinely
interested in helping to get our business off the ground and develop a mutually beneficial and long-term partnership. 

Of all that Choose offers, be it networking, advertising or otherwise, what has been the greatest benefit to your organization?

Shortly after we signed up, we had the biggest month since our opening (September 2012) when we participated in Choose Chicago's Restaurant Week in January 2013. Choose Chicago puts a tremendous amount of effort in marketing this week long event, and as a new restaurant, we were overjoyed when we received hundreds of guests for the 7-day period, in what would have been otherwise been a very slow month for almost every restaurant.

What are some examples of how partnering with Choose Chicago has helped you continue to grow your organization?

Beyond Restaurant Week or large group inquiries, Choose Chicago is a truly valuable partnership opportunity for a small business like ours which depends on word of mouth marketing and being able to touch as many guests with our very unique brand. The numerous opportunities from Choose Chicago have offered us great exposure to a large audience that we would otherwise never have access to.

The opportunity to partner with Choose Chicago on IPW 2014 and the First Bites Bash as well as the leads and referrals for private dining space are just a few ways we are continuing to enjoy the benefits of partnering with the very passionate and committed team at Choose Chicago.



One of the best ways for visitors to explore Chicago is through the Chicago Greeter program. With a friendly, knowledgeable local as your guide, you can see the most popular landmarks and attractions on a 2-4 hour FREE guided tour.  

Chicago Greeter

Greeter visits are customized based on your choice of neighborhoods, language and interests. Over 200 enthusiastic volunteers await you to share their expertise and passion about the city! Make sure to register at least 10 business days in advance for a free 2-4 hour guided visit of Chicago.

Chicago InstaGreeter

Looking for more flexibility, or making plans to visit Chicago at the last minute? Let InstaGreeter take you on a free hour-long guided walk of downtown.

Millennium Park InstaGreeter will run through October 13, 2014. The one hour walks of the park will be conducted every day at 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., departing from the Chicago Cultural Center Visitor Information Center. Registration is not required.

Chicago Information Guides (CIGs)

The Chicago Information Guide service is a free visitor service of Choose Chicago and was created to assist visitors navigate the city in a friendly and welcoming manner. 

These guides can be spotted wearing blue shirts with the universal "I" for information logo and a white baseball cap. They'll be positioned in strategic locations throughout the city, including Pioneer Court, Wrigley Building, CTA/O'Hare Blue Line, Millennium Park and during other festivals. This service will be available to visitors until September 1, 2014.

Last summer, our Chicago Information Guides assisted over 150,000 visitors in a 15 week period. Visitors couldn't get enough of the friendly and informative service, something you definitely won't find in your average guidebook. The Chicago Information Guides is an extension of the services that we currently offer at our three official visitor information centers.

Visit our website for more information about our visitor centers and services.


As you are aware, traffic in and out of the Chicago Central Business District in the last three weekends in June will be seriously affected by construction at the Ohio/Ontario feeder ramps to and from the Kennedy Expressway.

Choose Chicago, along with the Illinois Restaurant Association, Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and The Magnificent Mile Association have been working with the City of Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communication (OEMC) to ensure that all possible traffic management methods and alternative transportation options have been fully vetted.

While there will be additional information coming out during the next few weeks, we would like to brief you about what has been accomplished to date:

1) The Chicago Transit Authority has confirmed additional capacity has been scheduled on all bus and train routes. In addition scheduled maintenance on the Blue Line has been suspended for the three weekends in question.

2) METRA has confirmed they will be adding additional capacity to their train runs as well as crew on hand for immediate additional capacity needs. METRA does offer a special weekend fare option, which will be promoted during the next week.

3) OEMC has scheduled additional personnel that will be dispatched to traffic hotspots to keep things flowing as best as possible.

4) IDOT has forwarded to various media outlets and posted on their website maps and descriptions of alternative ways to access the Central Business District. All media outlets have this posted on their website. Click here to view additional information

5) Alderman Reilly highlighted the upcoming construction schedule and maps in his recent weekly newsletter and will be adding information as it is made available. Click here to view additional information.  

6) OEMC has invited representatives from the business organizations to participate in the major media press conference on Wednesday. The business organizations are working together to communicate a message, "Downtown Chicago is open for business...come and have fun, but plan accordingly."

7) Generally speaking, it is important to advise employees and guests to allow additional time for travel regardless of the mode of transportation selected.



5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
John Barleycorn
149 W. Kinzie St.
Chicago, IL 60654

Join us as we kick off summer in Chicago with our June Partner Networking Event at John Barleycorn. Don't miss this opportunity to connect with your fellow Choose Chicago partners in a fun and lively venue.

Register Now



Join Choose Chicago and Chicago Shakespeare Theater as they provide a unique Shakespearean preview of the city's major arts and cultural events this fall. Choose Chicago will also share a high level summary of how it is developing a brand for Chicago. Learn how Chicago's vibrant cultural scene plays an integral part in how we market our destination.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

610 S. Michigan Ave.

3:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.: Registration
4 p.m. - 5 p.m.: Seminar/Cultural Tourism Update
5 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.: Reception



Cog Hill Golf & Country Club
12294 Archer Avenue
Lemont, IL 60439


7 a.m. - Registration and driving range open, continental breakfast
9 a.m. - Shotgun start & on-course snacks
1:30 p.m. - BBQ lunch and reception at the clubhouse

Join Choose Chicago and industry colleagues for a great day of golf at this year's Chicago Golf Classic. The Chicago Golf Classic is a terrific opportunity to network with colleagues, entertain clients and enjoy a great day of golf while developing ongoing and new partnerships within the industry.

Not a golfer? There are still many opportunities to be involved in this annual hospitality industry event. Other sponsorship opportunities include but are not limited to: food and beverage, gift, course, reception, prizes, etc. Call or email Lori Adlesick today to discuss how you can get involved: or 312.567.8496.




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



Kendall College and Choose Chicago have joined together to form an education partnership, offering unique tuition benefits to partners, their employees and family members.

As a Choose Chicago partner, you and your immediate family members are eligible for reduced tuition rates from Kendall College.

Partner benefits include:

  • Tuition reduction for the lifetime of your bachelor's degree program (Kendall enrollment advisors can provide additional details)
    • 20% for the business, culinary arts and hospitality management programs
    • 15% for the early childhood education program
  • A new 10% reduction for Kendall College's Culinary Certificate is also available for Choose members and their employees
  • Kendall College's programs provide the flexibility needed to complete a degree.  Most courses are available onsite at its downtown Chicago location or on-line so that your employees can complete their degrees in a way that is most convenient for them.  Kendall's programs start four times a year, letting your employees match their learning schedule to their life. 
  • Kendall offers an experiential approach to learning and student support services including dedicated enrollment advisors, financial aid consultants and admissions representatives.

Should you need immediate assistance regarding benefit, please contact Grant Murphy, director of field marketing, at 312.752.2262 or


Chicago Restaurant Week Logo

Thanks to the record 301 restaurants that participated in Chicago Restaurant Week 2014 and cheers to all the diners that came out and feasted on delicious multi-course menus over 14 belt-busting days!

The citywide culinary celebration took place January 24 to February 6, 2014, featuring special prix fixe menus starting at $22 for lunch and $33 and/or $44 for dinner (excluding beverages, tax and gratuity). More than 435,000 diners were served, contributing $20.8 million in direct dining spending at Chicago area restaurants.

Save the date for Chicago Restaurant Week 2015, taking place Friday, Jan. 30 - Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015. The First Bites Bash kickoff event will be Thursday, Jan. 29 at Union Station.



The Rock n' Roll Half Marathon/5K, one of Chicago's most interesting running events featuring live rock bands every mile along the course, takes place on Sunday, July 20.  Choose Chicago has partnered with The Jackson Chance Foundation, an Illinois not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing resources to families with infants in the neonatal intensive care units (NICU) at Chicago's Lurie's Children's Hospital. You can learn more about this amazing Foundation here:

If you are interested in participating, you may register for Team Chance today at  If you are not able to participate in the half/5k, there is an option to participate in fundraising only. 

By joining Team Chance you will receive:

  • Discounted registration
  • Chance to earn fundraising prizes
  • Custom & personalized Half & 5K training programs
  • Access to private pre & post Jackson Chance Foundation Race Tent
  • Post-race runners breakfast


Choose Chicago partners now have the opportunity to promote their organization to over half a million visitors by participating in the Choose Chicago Collateral Distribution Program. This program will allow our partners to display their collateral at our official Visitor Information Centers for an annual rate of $500 or seasonal rate of $350 (April-September).

The Official Visitor Information Centers are located at the Chicago Cultural Center at 77 E. Randolph Street, the Chicago Water Works at the Historic Pumping Station at 163 E. Pearson Street, and most recently in the Macy's on State Street, 111 N. State St.

Our City Concierges found at the Visitor Information Centers maximize the visitor experience in Chicago by showcasing the best of what Chicago has to offer through activities, attractions, tours and events. Our knowledgeable team assists visitors with navigating the city, planning customized itineraries, making restaurant reservations and booking tours and attractions. Maps and complimentary concierge services are also available.

For more information, please contact Alicia Silva, Manager of Visitor Services at



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



Jay Pritker Pavilion

Though it's one of the relatively newer additions to Chicago's ever-evolving collection of architectural gems and historical landmarks, Millennium Park has become one of the city's most treasured attractions.

In 2014, Millennium Park celebrates its 10th anniversary, with even more free cultural programs, concerts, tours, exhibitions, festivals and family activities than the usual offerings.

Take a photo in front of Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate sculpture, lovingly dubbed "The Bean"; spread out a blanket and have a picnic while enjoying a free concert at the award-winning Jay Pritzker Pavilion; or cool off at Jaume Plensa's Crown Fountain, shallow reflecting pool bookended by 50-foot towers.

Meanwhile, Millennium Park hosts a number of popular events like the 10-week Grant Park Music Festival or the Summer Film Series, showing free movies Tuesday evenings from late-June through August at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion.

For the latests news and updates on Millennium Park happenings, visit



The Last Ship is a new musical arriving in Chicago with an original score composed by 16-time Grammy Award winner Sting. Inspired by the legendary musician's own childhood experiences, The Last Ship is a rich, moving story of community, family and a symbol of hope.

Click below for a video featuring the musical's Pre-Broadway World Premiere, as well as exclusive interviews with Sting, members of the cast, and more.

The Last Ship video screenshot

The Last Ship runs June 10 - July 13 at Bank of America Theatre in Chicago.

Purchase tickets here



The nation's only free, outdoor classical music series of its kind, The Grant Park Music Festival is in its 80th season this year. Each summer, the Festival presents 10 weeks of free classical concerts to all of Chicago at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park.

The music series kicks off with the Festival's 80th Anniversary Season opener: Tchaikovsky Extravaganza! Join Carlos Kalmar and the Grant Park Orchestra, featuring piano sensation Natasha Paremski, performing Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 2 and Francesca da Rimini, June 11 at 6:30 p.m.

Full schedule for the 2014 season of the Grant Park Music Festival.


The world's largest free blues festival this year features headliners Betty LaVette, Aaron Neville and Dr. John. More than half a million fans will pack Grant Park for some soulful tunes with the industry's most famed performers.

The Chicago Blues Festival is June 13-15 and runs from 11 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. daily.

See the Chicago Blues Festival's complete linup of performers



Chicago Pride Parade

Get ready for a fun, flamboyant party June 21-22 with Chicago Pride Fest in Boystown. Show your pride while enjoying an eclectic lineup of crafts, food and entertainment from some of Chicago's finest LGBT performers.

Then, celebrate Chicago's LGBT community at the annual Pride Parade, now in its 45th year! The parade, June 29, will feature floats, decorated vehicles and marching groups representing organizations, groups, businesses, elected government officials and individuals. Be sure to arrive early to get a good spot!

For more information, visit the Chicago Pride website.



Taste of Chicago

Our recipe for a fantastic food festival? Top Chefs and Grammy winners, combined with several thousand tasting servings of Chicago favorite bites.

The quintessential summer event in the city, Taste of Chicago appeals to all the senses. Eat from the best of Chicago's local restaurant scene, watch culinary experts at cooking demos and listen to award-winning artists as they take to the stage. Iconic Buckingham Fountain, dazzling Lake Michigan and the magnificent skyline form the backdrop to the free, five-day event in Grant Park, taking place July 10-14.



Pitchfork Music Festival, July 18-20, is considered one of the most popular and reasonably priced weekends of music in Chicago, featuring both emerging and internationally renowned acts. It's all about positivity and fun so both the musicians and crowd can have a great time! Vendors are also on-site, selling a variety of local goods.

Headliners this year include Beck, Neutral Milk Hotel and Kendrick Lamar.

Three-day passes have sold out, but single day tickets are still available



Look up the word "lollapalooza" and you'll find this definition: an extraordinary thing; an outstanding example. You won't find any other music festival with a more fitting moniker than Lollapalooza, Chicago's grandest stage for music legends from across the globe. Each year in August, some of the top names in alternative, hip hop, punk and pop join more than 100 bands and musicians in Grant Park to bring you one loud, heart-stopping 3-day event.

Don't miss headliners Eminem, OutKast, Kings of Leon, Lorde and Skrillex at Lolla, August 1-3. Three-day and one-day passes are sold out, but tickets can still be purchased through travel packages and platinum passes on Lollapalooza's website.



Any Chicago outing in August must include the 56th Annual Chicago Air & Water Show, August 16-17, at North Avenue Beach! Two million people makes this can't-miss spectacle the largest show of its kind in the country. Best of all, admission to the event is free!





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 next 90 days: 


June Partner Networking Event

Chicago, IL


PCMA Education Conference 2014

Chicago, IL


The Meetings Show

London, England


MPIGNY Golf Outing

Long Island, NY


ASAE Annual Meeting 2014

Nashville, TN


Experient E4 Meeting 2014

New Orleans, LA



Chicago, IL


Maritz Annual Meeting 2014

Orlando, FL


CEIR Predict 2014

Chicago, IL



Chicago, IL


Global Greeter Network Annual Meeting 2014

Chicago, IL


JATA 2014

Tokyo, Japan

Choose Chicago has several upcoming opportunities for our partners to participate in shows and events around the world. Please see the current opportunities list through 2014 and email if your organization is interested.

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