Chicago Golf Classic

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 fostering and developing 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.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Cog Hill Golf and Country Club
12294 Archer Ave.
Lemont, IL 60439

Registration Deadline:

Monday, July 6, 2015


7:00am               Registration and driving range open
                           Continental breakfast

9:00am                Shotgun start

1:30pm                Reception in the pavilion on the Dubsdread 18th Green

Register Now



Travel Trade Show Calendar

Our Tourism Team recently participated in IPW 2015, US Travel's largest international trade show held domestically. Chicago was host city of this tradeshow in 2014, and it was hosted by Visit Orlando this past June 1-4.  The Tourism Team met with travel buyers from around the globe, conducted a post-host city press conference highlighting all of Chicago's tourism assets, and also announced that IPW will be returning to Chicago in 2021!

IPW 2014 drove a significant lift in international visitation to Chicago - it exposed Chicago to a diverse set of travel buyers from around the globe who, over the following three years, are expected to bring nearly 12 million visitors per year to the U.S. IPW 2014 is estimated to lead to a lift of 950,207 visitors into Chicago over the same time period. The "IPW Effect" is expected to contribute $1.7 billion in spending, $951 million in direct economic impact and support approximately 4,900 annual jobs over those three years.

Special thank you to our 13 Aisle Partners who joined us at IPW:

  • 360 CHICAGO
  • Aries Charter Transportation
  • Chicago Architecture Foundation
  • Chicago Department of Aviation
  • Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Co.
  • Fashion Outlets of Chicago
  • Museum of Science and Industry Chicago
  • Premier Rail Collection
  • Shedd Aquarium
  • Shoreline Sightseeing
  • Skydeck Chicago
  • The Field Museum
  • The Peninsula Chicago



China trip

On May 19, Choose Chicago signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for cultural cooperation with the China International Culture Association, under the guidance of the Ministry of Culture of the People's Republic of China. The MOU signifies a commitment to further develop cultural ties in an effort to strengthen each as a prominent global cultural tourism destination.

Mr. Zhao Haisheng, Deputy Director General of Bureau for External Cultural Relations, Ministry of Culture joined Melissa Cherry, Vice President of Cultural Tourism & Neighborhoods, Choose Chicago for the signing. The cultural exchange, which celebrates Chicago's and China's rich artistic experiences, included a reception for travel trade and media. Joining Choose Chicago in Beijing were cultural leaders from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Architecture Biennial, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chinese Fine Arts Society, EXPO CHICAGO and the Joyce Foundation.

The MOU signifies the beginning of a bilateral partnership to strengthen cross-cultural tourism initiatives in Chicago and China. Choose Chicago and the Ministry of Culture will collaborate on strategic partnerships to drive visitation and promote cultural attractions and events from regional, national and international markets; educate cultural partners and travel trade through cultural exchange missions and trainings; and enhance programming for, but not limited to, Chicago's Chinese New Year celebration, EXPO CHICAGO and the Chicago Architecture Biennial for 2015 and beyond.


United Airlines is the official airline partner for the 2015 Choose Chicago China cultural leisure packages to Chicago. In partnership with China CYTS Leisure & Sightseeing Travel Branch and Caissa Touristic, Chicago is featured for two nights in a variety of multi-city leisure packages to the U.S. Packages highlight some of Chicago's most famous attractions, including Cloud Gate at Millennium Park, the Magnificent Mile, The Art Institute of Chicago and Navy Pier.

In celebration of this MOU for cultural exchange, the Chicago leisure packages include options to travel for one of Chicago's most prestigious cultural events, including EXPO CHICAGO (September 14-20, 2015), an annual international art fair at Chicago's Navy Pier presenting 140 global art dealers and galleries; the Chicago Architecture Biennial (October 3 2015-January 3, 2016), a citywide event featuring installations of design and architecture in the Chicago Cultural Center; and Chicago's 2016 Chinese New Year celebration, a citywide event with multiple attractions and cultural organizations celebrating the Lunar New Year.



Your input is extremely important as we strive to deliver increased value to our partner organizations. The feedback you provide will help us focus our efforts on developing new opportunities and programs while improving those we already offer. 

Please click on the survey link below to participate. The survey should take no more than 10 minutes.

Partners who complete the survey by Monday, June 15 will be entered to win a two night Chicago weekend getaway package.

We truly thank you for your ongoing support.



Windy City Smokeout

Windy City Smokeout: BBQ & Country Music Fest presented by Bub City returns for its third year! This summer festival brings together the best of live country music, beer and BBQ to our city's popular River North neighborhood.

The Food

Throughout the weekend, guests can enjoy southern-inspired fare from Chicago's BBQ restaurants. Festival-goers will also have the opportunity to interact with chefs and their culinary teams, and enjoy ice cold beers to wash it all down! This year's BBQ includes:

Windy City Smokeout will also cater to tastes across the board with offerings from:

Myron Mixon

In addition to the delicious BBQ offered, Windy City Smokeout will also host Myron Mixon, three-time barbecue World Champion, author, and judge on TLC's BBQ Pitmasters. Guests can sign up for the opportunity to learn BBQ tips and tricks straight form one of the foremost pitmasters in the country in a hands-on class with Myron.


The festival will also host a special BBQ brunch on Sunday, hosted by Adam Richman of Travel Channel's Man v. Food. Festival goers can experience a brunch menu comprised of special dishes from each of the participating restaurants, plus signature BBQ sides paired with Bub City's Bloody Mary Bar and mimosas.

Amateur BBQ Rib Competition

New to Windy City Smokeout this year, at-home chefs will have the opportunity to see how their homemade ribs stack up against their peers at the festival's first ever Amateur BBQ Rib Competition. Contestants will cook their ribs on Pitmaster Q3 Smokers, used by rib master Myron Mixon, and will be able to consult with Bub City Pitmaster, Doug Psaltis

The Music

At Windy City Smokeout, country fans can also take in performances by country music's biggest stars as well as emerging talent. Here are the 2015 headliners:



Chris Meegan

Chris Meegan is Director of Business Development at Chicago Helicopter Experience (CHE), which offers daytime, sunset and nighttime helicopter tours of Chicago aboard ECO-Star Helicopters (EC130), designed to be the quietest and safest in their class. Meegan talks about joining Choose Chicago as a partner and how the industry network has benefited his business.

How would you describe your position with Chicago Helicopter Experience? What do you do?

As Director of Business Development my primary role is to generate awareness of CHE through partnerships and other business relationships. We are the first to ever bring helicopter tours into Chicago and word of mouth, whether it be from our customers or partners, is key to growing our business and creating the most memorable experience for our customers.  My priority is attracting new business through promotional partnerships as well as making sure we're creating awesome experiences for our tour and charter customers.

What are your current projects?

We've been building a software platform for scheduling our tours and charters that looks and feels identical to booking a flight on an airline. This may not seem like a huge endeavor, but for helicopters, it has never been done before.  There are so many factors that must be taken to ensure safety and FAA compliance, as well as making it efficient and simple to make reservations from a mobile device.  Creating a seamless process for our customers and partners is just another aspect to creating a memorable experience.

What are some of the goals of your organization?

I may be bias but I truly believe our helicopters provide the most unique perspective of Chicago. Our goal is to make helicopter tours and transportation affordable and accessible to all of Chicago and its visitors.

We want to give people a tour experience that is unlike no other in the city.  My goal is to make sure that everyone, being a Chicago local or tourist, tries our experience. When people think of visiting Chicago, I want them to think of Chicago Helicopter Experience as a must-do part of their trip!

What projects are you most proud of?

Our Founder & CEO, Trevor Heffernan, built Chicago's first ever private heliport! I'm proud to say that I was a part of such a courageous endeavor which finally brought helicopter tours to downtown Chicago for everyone to enjoy.

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

Choose Chicago played an integral role in garnering support during our approval process by introducing us to the tourism community in Chicago and facilitating relationships with partners and vendors.  They've provided invaluable resources and helped expand our marketing reach to various channels of the tourism industry. 

What would you say to a business owner or organization that is considering joining Choose Chicago?

I would highly recommend joining Choose Chicago because they understand the benefit that your business brings to the community.  Having an organization like Choose advocate on your behalf and provide support on so many levels gives many businesses an edge they could never afford.  They offer so much more than just a platform to network with other businesses. 

Why did you join? What were your expectations?

We joined off of a recommendation from a trusted partner and I thought it was another way to network within Chicago. My expectations were another monthly gathering of new people that I should meet, but I learned pretty quickly they offered a lot more than just networking opportunities.

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

Choose Chicago has definitely exceeded my expectations! 

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

The experience we provide is completely new to Chicago, and telling our story to the tourism industry has been a big part of our brand awareness.  Choose has helped us position ourselves in front of the right audience to tell that story.  For a small, growing company, this type of immediate reach is invaluable.

Please provide one or two concrete examples of how partnering with Choose Chicago has helped you continue to grow your organization.

Choose has partnered with us to capture aerial footage of the city for key events, such as the NFL draft, as well as utilize our tours to promote incoming business to conventions and key visitors. This has drastically increased the exposure of our experience to the local and international travel community.  


Association Forum of Chicagoland Honors Gala 2014

The Association Forum of Chicagoland's Honors Gala is a tradition for Chicagoland associations and serves as Association Forum Foundation's cornerstone fundraising event of the year. The evening brings together association professionals and suppliers to celebrate and honor the achievement of industry colleagues and partners.

For supplier partners the Honors Gala is a once-a-year opportunity to host your top clients and prospects in an environment that celebrates and encourages the achievements of the association community.

For association professionals, the event is a great way to reward and celebrate your staff for the work that they do for your organization.

We encourage partners to support this important fundraising event by registering to attend. The link below also has options to sponsor the Gala, should you choose.  

Thursday, June 18
Navy Pier, Grand Ballroom
6 - 10 p.m.

Learn more and register for the AFF Honors Gala 2015

Honors Gala Sponsor Opportunities

  • Goal Partner: $13,500
  • Strategic Partner: $9,000
  • Honors Partner: $5,000

Honors Gala Registration

  • Table $4,500
  • Individual Ticket(s) $450


Chicago architecture

Dear Partner,

Chicago is fortunate to host the 2015 Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda National Leadership Conference taking place June 25 - July 1, 2015. This convention will produce over $33 million dollars in economic impact for our city.

This meeting will bring over 13,000 young people to Chicago that have earned the distinction of competing at the National Leadership Conference. A big part of the conference involves interviews and performances that student attendees will undergo...this is where we need your help!

The Leadership Conference is looking for knowledgeable Chicago business professionals to help judge the best of the best in competitions ranging from forensic accounting to public speaking to website design, and more.

Please consider volunteering as a judge as detailed in the attached links. Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda and Choose Chicago appreciate your assistance!

For additional information please contact:

Stephen Lock, Education Associate
Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda
1912 Association Drive
Reston, VA 20191-1591
703.860.3334 x129

Thank you for your consideration.


McCormick Place West

In May and early June, the City of Chicago and McCormick Place welcomed a host of annual conventions and other major shows, along with thousands of attendees. Please join us in congratulating them on their successful shows, and we look forward to welcoming them back to Chicago soon.

National Restaurant Association - National Restaurant Hotel-Motel Show (May 16-19)

Final attendance numbers were not announced, but the NRA Show enjoyed record exhibit space sold (up 8%) and had a 3% increase in key buyers.

National Confectioners Association - Sweets & Snacks Expo 2015 (May 19-21)

The Sweets & Snacks Expo enjoyed record-breaking attendance and sold out exhibit space for its three-day show.

American Society of Clinical Oncology - ASCO 2015 Annual Meeting (May 29-June 2)

The ASCO Annual Meeting also enjoyed record-breaking attendance of 37,300 and sold out its exhibit space. The charitable arm of ASCO, the Conquer Cancer Foundation, kicked off a new global marketing campaign at the Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley Field on May 27. This video was made specifically to be shown at the Cubs game: 

Choose Chicago partners participated in the Dine Out to Conquer Cancer campaign during ASCO 2015. 




Merchandise Mart Properties - NeoCon 2015
6/15-17  50,000 Merchandise Mart
Nearly 50,000 design professionals and over 700 exhibiting companies will come to NeoCon, the largest commercial interiors show in North America, taking place at the Merchandise Mart since 1969.



Choose Chicago Facebook Group header

Come one, come all! Join us in our new private Facebook group:

We have made the move to a private Facebook group and left our partnership Twitter behind to provide more value for YOU, our partners. Our goal is to always find a way to provide the most value to you and the same case is true with social media.

After getting much feedback we learned that you wanted a place to ask questions as yourself and not as the brand (like on Twitter), interact and network with other partners. We encourage you to join our private group and invite all of your co-workers (ex: marketing, business development, sales, meeting & event planners) that would benefit by staying in touch with Choose Chicago.

Representatives from the partnership department and our Social Media Specialist will monitor the group and share updates, answer questions and help stoke conversation among partners. And don't worry about privacy - if your account is private people will still not be able to see the content on your Facebook page. They will only see the comments you post in the group. We look forward to seeing you in our new Facebook group!



Kick off summer in Chicago with your Choose Chicago partners at our June Partner Networking Event at Frontier. This rustic tavern with an all-weather beer garden patio is known for its wild game and signature whole animal service. Don't miss the chance to connect with industry colleagues and friends while savoring delicious fare.

Partner Networking Event - June 2015

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

1072 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60642

Register Now



Chicago Cares logo

We're in this together. Chicago Cares' Serv-a-thon is about making our city stronger and connecting with each other along the way. Be one of 5,000 volunteers who spend the day volunteering, meeting critical needs in every corner of the city.

This one day of service impacts Chicagoans for years thanks to the work of volunteers. From revitalizing schools for deserving students and teachers to fostering hope and community among seniors, volunteers leave a profound mark.

Date: Saturday, June 27, 2015

Location: Daley Plaza for the morning kick-off and afternoon celebration at 50 W. Washington. Service projects at sites throughout the city in between.


  • Registration: 7:30-8:30 a.m. (includes coffee and continental breakfast)
  • 8:30 a.m.: Assignment in hand, board bus to project site
  • 2:30-3:30 p.m.: Finish completing project and head back to Daley Plaza on bus
  • 3:30-5:30 p.m.: Celebrate with food, drink and live music at Daley Plaza

Special Note: We have limited spots available through Choose Chicago's event sponsorship. This year we are offering spots to our valuable partners to particpate alongside the Choose Chicago team.

Instructions and link to register: Instructions below to sign up

  • Click here to access registration site
  • Select "Sponsor Volunteer," "Join a Team," and search for Choose Chicago or select from the list.
  • Be sure to input the following code at checkout to waive the fee: 22SPSAT
  • Deadline for registration is June 15, 2015

The Chicago Cares Serv-a-thon is a rain or shine event, so be prepared to make a difference in the community on June 27. We will make a sizeable impact in every corner of the city, from enhancing schools and planting gardens, to sprucing up playgrounds and fostering a thriving community. Further, we'll see what's possible when we roll up our sleeves and work together to transform our community.

Since 1991, Chicago has activated 500,000 people in service to address critical issues - from education to health and wellness to job readiness - in every corner of the city. In the process, the organization creates programming for more than 200 schools, parks and nonprofits.  

If you have any questions, please contact Erin Arciero, Partnership Development Manager, at or by phone at 312.567.8528.



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 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:

  • July 2, 2015 - No office hours on this date, contact Mayela to make an appointment.
  • August 6, 2015
  • September 3, 2015
  • October 1, 2015
  • November 5, 2015
  • December 3, 2015
  • January 7, 2016

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.


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



Read The Washington Post

For the third entry of its monthly food series "The Search for America's Best Food Cities," The Washington Post visited Chicago, unquestionably one of the world's culinary capitals. We congratulate our partners who hosted The Washington Post for its dining tour - we are riding tremendous momemtum from hosting the James Beard Awards and we are thrilled for what's to come in our incomparable restaurant industry.



Chicago Blues Festival: June 12-14, 2015

The Chicago Blues Festival is the world's largest free festival of its kind, featuring famed performers playing to more than half a million fans each year. From June 12-14, don't miss headlining performances by Zora Young, Clarence Carter, Syl Johnson and none other than Chicago legend Buddy Guy. Head to Grant Park for this three-day festival that proves Chicago is the Blues Capital of the World.



Pride Parade

Celebrate Chicago's diverse LGBT community at the annual Pride Fest® and Parade, now in its 46th year! The parade, running from Broadway to Halsted between Montrose and Diversey, features floats, decorated vehicles and marching groups representing organizations, businesses, elected government officials and other notable individuals. 

The two-day official Pride Fest® lets visitors enjoy an eclectic lineup of crafts, food and entertainment from some of Chicago's finest LGBT performers. 

Pride Fest®: June 20-21, 2015
Pride Parade: June 28, 2015





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:

6/11-13, 2015
Collaborate Marketplace 2015
Orlando, FL
6/16, 2015
St. Louis Road Show 2015
St. Louis, MO
6/17, 2015
Detroit Road Show 2015
Detroit, MI
6/22, 2015
Atlanta Road Show 2015
Atlanta, GA
6/23, 2015
Washington, D.C. Road Show 2015
Washington, D.C.
6/24, 2015
Philadelphia Road Show 2015
Philadelphia, PA
6/25, 2015
New York Road Show 2015
New York, NY
6/29, 2015
Chicago Road Show 2015
Chicago, IL

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, Vice President of Industry Relations & Special Events, at