2015 NFL Draft

Fifty-one years after it was last held in Chicago, the National Football League (NFL) will present the 2015 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, April 30-May 2.

Round 1 will take place on Thursday, April 30 while Rounds 2-3 will be held on Friday, May 1. The Draft will conclude on Saturday, May 2 with Rounds 4-7. Round 1 festivities will include incoming prospects walking the red carpet on Michigan Avenue, while 32 former players who are members of the NFL Legends community, one representing each team, will be on hand for Round 2 to announce selections.

Draft Town

The 2015 NFL Draft has been completely re-imagined so that NFL Fans from across the country can experience longtime traditions, including the process as to how the future of their team will be decided over three days. Gather with fellow fans at Draft Town located in Chicago's iconic Grant Park, just steps away from the Auditorium Theatre and watch all the excitement unfold.

Draft Town is a sprawling, free fan festival in downtown Chicago's Grant Park open to the public all three days of the Draft for family-friendly fun. Though Draft Town is the hub for all Draft action, the footprint is about more than just football. Draft Town features live music, food, player appearances, interactive games, photo opps, places to view the 2015 NFL Draft on television and more action than ever before-no ticket required. Draft Town showcases how the NFL and Chi-town have collectively re-imagined the Draft experience.

Want to get involved with the 2015 NFL Draft? The Chicago Sports Commission will be managing a volunteer program for the 2015 NFL Draft and will be sending out information in the upcoming weeks. To be sure you don't miss any of these updates, sign up for CSC's volunteer communications.



James Beard Eats Week

As you may know, the James Beard Foundation will be celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the James Beard Awards in Chicago on Monday, May 4, 2015. As host city supporters of this prestigious event, Choose Chicago and the Illinois Restaurant Association are committed to solidifying the city's culinary industry by strengthening relationships between our partner organizations and the James Beard Foundation. In the spirit of building these connections, we are excited to present you with an opportunity to celebrate James Beard and Chicago's vibrant dining scene.

James Beard Eats Week is a week of dining devoted to the celebration and recognition of James Beard himself. Requirements for participation include serving either a James Beard-inspired dish or full James Beard-inspired menu to be offered to your guests from April 30 - May 8, 2015. As a resource for you, The James Beard Foundation maintains a list of American Classic James Beard inspired recipes on their website, which can be found here.

Eligibility for participation in James Beard Eats Week includes a $100 donation be made to the James Beard Foundation Scholarship Program, which will directly support aspiring Chicago culinary students on a path to success in the rewarding world of the hospitality industry. Additional information about the James Beard Foundation Scholarship Program can be obtained here. This program will be marketed to consumers via Choose Chicago and Illinois Restaurant Association's social media channels, as well as CS Modern Luxury and Front Desk Chicago Magazine.

Your participation in James Beard Eats Week also provides you eligibility to win two (2) tickets to the James Beard Foundation Awards Gala on May 4 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. A winner will be chosen at random by the Illinois Restaurant Association and notified via email no later than March 31, 2015.

Anointed the "Dean of American cookery" by the New York Times in 1954, James Beard laid the groundwork for the food revolution that has put America at the forefront of global gastronomy. Beard nurtured a generation of American chefs who have changed the way we eat and his legacy of culinary excellence and integrity to generations of home cooks and professional chefs lives on. James Beard remains synonymous with American food.

Please click here to access the James Beard Eats Week participation form for your review and completion. The deadline for submission of the completed form is Monday, March 23, 2015. For additional information, please contact Alexa Gallagher, agallagher@choosechicago.com / 312.945.4222. You may also visit www.jamesbeard.org to learn more about the James Beard Foundation and the 2015 James Beard Awards.


The James Beard Awards 2015


The 2015 James Beard Foundation will hold its 25th annual Awards Gala at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Monday, May 4. The "Oscars of the food industry" will welcome the best chefs, restaurateurs, restaurant designers and architects, and other food and beverage professionals from around the world. Master of Ceremonies this year is celebrity chef, author and television personality Alton Brown.

This is a thrilling event that shines a spotlight on our world-renowned cuisine and dining culture. We are so proud to be hosting the James Beard Awards - please join us in celebrating this premier event, we appreciate your support of our outstanding dining community.



The Choose Chicago Public Policy team is weeks away from flying to D.C. to learn about new travel laws and regulations as well as talk with Illinois legislators about the importance of the travel industry to Chicago, Illinois and the nation.

Want to stay in the know about these new laws and regulations that will further shape our industry? Sign up to become a Choose Chicago Champion today! As a Choose Chicago Champion you will be joining us in the effort to communicate the importance of tourism in the City of Chicago and be the first to know when an issue that will affect the travel industry and potentially your business comes up.

We'll provide you with all of the necessary information and the actions you can take to resolve the issue and who needs to hear from you. We will also deliver to you relevant tourism news, including trends, statistics and facts so that you're always up to date.

By joining you will receive:

  • A bi-weekly newsletter featuring relevant tourism news and advocacy from around the world.
  • Invitations to our meet and greet Travel Exchange luncheons with state and local elected officials.
  • Access to the latest information and documents from our Advocacy Toolkit which provides you with the necessary information, tips, sample letters, talking points and other tools to help you.
  • Breaking News and Alerts as it pertains to the industry.

Travel, one of Chicago's leading industries, has a major impact as an economic driver with an undeniable positive affect on every single community across the country. As proud members of this vital industry we have a responsibility to advocate on its behalf and ensure its position as a viable economic driver. Advocating for the industry and helping our elected officials and other government leaders to understand the importance is a critical step in that direction.

To sign up to become a Choose Chicago Champion, simply fill out the brief form at www.choosechicago.com/advocacy/. You will be added as a champion of the industry! If you have any questions about the program, feel free to contact us at advocacy@choosechicago.com and be sure to follow us on Twitter at @CCAdvocacy.



Table Is Set Concierge Preferred trade show

Concierge Preferred is excited to announce that their 14th annual Convention and Trade Show will take place on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at Navy Pier's Crystal Gardens.

The theme of this year's convention is "Chicago Tourism: The Table is Set," capitalizing on several major events coming to Chicago including the NFL Draft and James Beard Awards, as well as a record year for tourism on the horizon. 

This year, the event kicks off at 11 a.m. with a panel discussion moderated by Choose Chicago's President and CEO Don Welsh. The discussion will touch upon new developments in Chicago's culinary scene, events with a focus on live music, and the NFL Draft's impact among other high-profile events. The panel will include: 

Mark Campana, Co-President North America Concerts for Live Nation
Peter O'Reilly, Senior Vice President of Events for the National Football League
John Colletti, Managing Partner of Gibson's Restaurant Group

The Trade Show is designed to forge relationships between the concierge community, the meeting and event planning industry, and businesses that cater to Chicago's visitors. The event offers a look at the best Chicago has to offer both business and leisure travelers with over 120 booths and over 1,700 hospitality industry professionals expected to attend throughout the day.  The Trade Show runs from 11:30 a.m. until 7 p.m.

RSVP to attend, here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/concierge-preferred-trade-show-2015-tickets-15914508724



Susan Euritt

Susan Euritt is Vice President of Direct Sales and Business Development for Garrett Brands. Euritt recently talked with us about joining Choose Chicago as a partner and how the industry network has benefited her business.  

I am the new Vice President of Direct Sales and Business Development for Garrett Brands.  In this role it will be my responsibility to build a business to business strategic sales development plan for each of our domestic regions which include Chicago, but also Las Vegas, Detroit, Atlanta and New York.

What are some of the goals of your organization?

To have a bigger footprint both domestically and internationally and to create a sales team which focuses on building relationships with businesses in all of our regions.

What projects are you most proud of?

Most recently, we are proud of our partnership with Choose Chicago to welcome both PCMA and IPW - two very prestigious events that showcased our city and all that it has to offer. Collaborating with Choose Chicago was a valuable way to network, develop relationships and create new business partners.

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

Choose Chicago is a valuable resource that will link your organization to key decision makers responsible for business travel and cultural tourism, as well as connect you with fellow partners that all have a vested interest in the benefits of driving economic impact for Chicago.

Why did you join? What were your expectations?

This is a funny question for me to answer as I previously worked for Choose Chicago for 12 years in both Sales and Strategic Marketing Partnerships.  I know all that Choose Chicago has to offer and firmly believe in the value.  Networking within Choose Chicago has become a constant for my personal success and for that of my company.

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

Creating relevant and meaningful partnership opportunities that are customized to create a win/win all around.

What are one or two concrete examples of how partnering with Choose Chicago has helped you continue to grow your organization?

We decided to partner with Choose Chicago to host PCMA, whose 4,000+ attendees (both Meeting Professionals and Suppliers) all represent a variety of markets or potential customers to us. We have already seen the benefits of our partnership with Choose Chicago through increased direct sales and experiential events as a result of our activation during PCMA.



Auto Show

Recently, the City of Chicago and McCormick Place welcomed the 2015 Chicago Auto Show and the International Home + Housewares Show. These major annual conventions brought thousands of attendees from around the world, and both held outstanding charitable events for worthy causes. Please join us in congratulating the Chicago Auto Show and International Home + Housewares Show on their successful conventions in Chicago!

The 2015 Chicago Auto Show (Feb. 13-21) saw its attendance increase seven percent over 2014, and its #CAS15 hashtag reached 30 million people totaling 22,500 tweets. The Auto Show's First Look for Charity event raised over $2.5 million, to be shared by 18 area charities. Approximately 9,500 people attended the event, and two FLFC attendees won brand new automobiles. The Safe Haven Food Drive, the largest canned food drive in the nation, also took place. Attendees who brought three or more cans of food to the show received a discount coupon for half price off admission.

The International Home + Housewares Show welcomed more than 60,000 attendees to Chicago, March 7-10. Its total exhibit space sold, number of exhibiting companies and first-time exhibiting companies surpassed its 2014 totals. The Housewares Charity Foundation Gala, March 9, took place in the Grand Ballroom of Navy Pier. The Gala benefitted the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and has raised $28 million for BCRF since 1998. A portion of this year's proceeds also benefitted Save The Children.





America's Beauty Show & Face & Body 2015
80,000 McCormick Place
For 90 years, America's Beauty Show® (ABS) has been the event tens of thousands of salon professionals look forward to for the latest education and exhibits of the newest fashions, products and business techniques that make salons successful.
ProMat 2015
3/23-26 30,000+ McCormick Place - South ProMat is the largest expo for manufacturing and supply chain professionals in North America. The show is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, and all events have been held in Chicago.
Automate 2015 3/23-26 10,000+
McCormick Place Automate is the largest solutions-based showcase of automation technologies in North America. Automate demonstrates the full spectrum of automation technologies and solutions for a broad array of industries.



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:

  • 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 hobbs@choosechicago.com or 312-567-8462.



Come learn about Destination Management Companies (DMCs) and the important role they play in helping promote Chicago as a meetings destination. More importantly increase your sales by building stronger relationships with DMC partners and working closely with them as they develop, manage and execute meetings, events, accommodations, transportation, customized programs and tours and more for their clients. A distinguished panel of DMC professionals will share their insights and best practices.

Jay Weidner, Managing Partner for On The Scene, will open the session with an overview of the DMC industry. Rose Horcher, VP of Client Services for Choose Chicago, will moderate this lively discussion with the following DMC panelists:

  • Jillene Szostak, DMCP, President
    Chicago Travel Consultants, Inc. (CTC)
  • Lesley Barnett, CMP, Director of Sales
    Hosts Chicago
  • Michelle Castady, DMCP, Director of Sales, Chicago
    360 Destination Group

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

8:00am - 8:30am: Registration
8:30am - 9:30am: Program
9:30am - 10:00am: Networking

Union League Club of Chicago
Main Dining Room
65 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60601



Discover the best ways for your organization to connect with our Choose Chicago team. Meet one-on-one with representatives from across Choose Chicago to share information about your products and services during our informal and energetic networking event.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

8:30am - 9:00am: Registration & Continental Breakfast
9:00am - 10:00am: Network with Choose Chicago team

More detaills coming soon.


Chicago Golf Classic

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Cog Hill Golf & Country Club

Pricing and availability will be sent shortly.  Please contact Lori Adlesick at ladlesick@choosechicago.com with further questions.



As a valued partner of Choose Chicago, your organization can take advantage of discounts up to 10% for Translations.com'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 ChooseChicago@translations.com.

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 Translations.com global account manager directly at:

Rebekah Garbutt, Translations.com
+1 561.687.3331



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



Chicago Gospel Festival

Gospel got its start in Chicago in the early 1900s in the Bronzeville neighborhood. This year, the annual Chicago Gospel Music Festival will continue to keep that tradition alive for its milestone 30th year at Millennium Park, May 29-31. Get your fill of inspirational tunes over this three-day event featuring the best in local, national and international gospel music performers.

The event is free and family-friendly, so settle in for some powerful performances. Help support this outstanding music festival by promoting it to your clients and visitors any way you can. The Gospel Music Festival kicks off Chicago's big lineup of summer festivals, and what better way to do so than with extraordinary vocalists, lively choral groups, and the best in traditional and contemporary gospel.



Broadway in Chicago

The irreverent, smash-hit musical The Book of Mormon returns to Chicago for a limited run through May 17. From the creators of South Park, The Book of Mormon has won nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and hits the Bank of America Theatre once again. 

Purchase tickets for this one-of-a-kind musical today! 





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:

3-22/3/25, 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 eventrsvp@choosechicago.com for more information - more details to be released soon.

For more information, please contact Lori Adlesick, Vice President of Industry Relations & Special Events, at ladlesick@choosechicago.com.