Chicago Restaurant Week: January 30 - February 12, 2015

Have you completed your Chicago Restaurant Week registration? Make sure you're a part of this 14-day culinary celebration, set to be the biggest yet - in 2014, 301 restaurants participated, contributing $20.8 million in direct spending at Chicago area establishments and serving 435,000+ diners.

Listings won't be featured on the website until your menu(s) have been uploaded and we have received your $100 gift certificate/gift card.

Chicago Restaurant Week (CRW) is a Choose Chicago partnership program designed to promote the restaurant industry and drive traffic to participating restaurants during a typically slow time of year. For 14 days, diners can enjoy prix fixe menus for lunch and dinner throughout the city and surrounding suburbs.  

This year's sponsors are 101.9fm THE MIX, Goose Island, NBC5 Chicago, OpenTable, MICHIGAN AVENUE magazine, Serious Eats, and Terlato Wines.

Chicago Restaurant Week is promoted via the First Bites Bash kick-off event taking place on Thursday, January 29, 2015 in the Great Hall at Union Station, and a fully integrated marketing campaign including print, television, radio, digital, out-of-home, social media and media relations.

Chicago Restaurant Week 2015

Friday, January 30 - Thursday, February 12

Program Requirements

  • Registration Fee   
    • $350 for Premier/Ultimate Package Partners
    • $500 for Choice Package Partners
  • Prix Fixe Menu with option to participate in lunch, dinner or both for the entire program duration of 14 days.
    • PDF of the prix fixe menu(s) to be posted online at
    • Menu Pricing 
      • Lunch $22
      • Dinner $33 and/or $44
        *Menu price does not include beverage, tax & gratuity
  • Partners must upload their menu(s) via the Partner Extranet.
  • One $100 dining certificate/gift card to be used for promotional purposes (must be valid through December 31, 2015)

Please mail dining certificate/gift card to:

Mayela Hobbs
Choose Chicago
72 E. Randolph St., 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60601

Menu and Gift Card Deadline: December 1, 2014

For more information on your restaurant's participation in Chicago Restaurant Week, please contact us at



PCMA microsite newsletter

PCMA's annual Convening Leaders meeting is the premier event for meeting and event planners to learn new strategies, discover innovative solutions, and share best practices. More than 3,700 meetings industry colleagues gather each January for 70+ cutting-edge education sessions, inspiring general session speakers, panel discussions, and numerous outstanding networking opportunities.

Chicago's goal in serving as the host city for PCMA Convening Leaders, January 11-14, 2015, is simple - to increase our share of meetings and conventions, thus producing new jobs, new tax revenue and significant spending throughout Chicago.

Hosting 2,000 meeting planners who each plan an average of 34 major meetings and events per year, along with an equal number of industry suppliers will only further support Choose Chicago's efforts. For example, the opportunity to secure one significant medical convention as a result of hosting Convening Leaders could mean an economic boost to Chicago of over $100 million. 

Securing strong investment from the corporate community is essential to PCMA Convening Leaders 2015's success. Corporate partners who support this important event will have the opportunity to position their brand in front of decision makers who represent the global meetings and conventions industries. Not only will you invest in Chicago's future, you will be aligning with the best of our city while also driving new economic growth from key corporate, association and third-party meetings markets.

For more information and to secure your partnership, please contact Nina Winston, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, at or 312.567.8561.

Please also read our PMCA Sponsorship Opportunities booklet for details on sponsorship packages.

Choose Chicago would like to thank all of our PCMA Convening Leaders Host City Sponsors and Partners who have committed to supporting our efforts to date, including Presenting Sponsors, Chicago Department of Aviation and McCormick Place. Click here to see the full list of Host City Sponsors.

All PCMA Convening Leaders volunteer shifts are filled at this time. If you are still interested in volunteering please contact and you will be added to a waitlist. If any shifts do open up, a member of the PCMA events team will contact you with additional information. Thank you for your support of PCMA!

For more information on volunteer opportunities and registration, visit the PCMA microsite.



Dino Northway

Dino Northway is Catering Sales Manager at Potbelly Sandwich Shop and has been in the service industry for more than 20 years.

Northway talks about joining Choose Chicago as a partner and how the industry network has benefited his business.

How would you describe your position with Potbelly?

I am a Catering Sales Manager, so my job is to drive awareness of our catering and delivery programs in the Chicago area, with a focus on tourism.

What are your current projects?

I'm working on increasing our group sales by creating key partnerships and tastings. Many customers don't realize we have individual lunch boxes which are often the perfect solution for lunch for groups on the go.

What are some of the goals of your organization?

Our passion is to be the best place for lunch which makes it a great option for Chicago tourism.

What projects are you most proud of?

I'm proud of our participation in this year's Chicago IPW event. Being in our backyard made it a natural event for us to attend. I'm also proud of our team which has been able to execute many large events this year.

We were also an approved vendor for this year's Chase Corporate Challenge, which gave us the opportunity to showcase our great food to a large group of participants at an outdoor event.

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

Choose Chicago has allowed me to network with businesses in the Chicago area and create connections with companies and customers visiting the area.

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

The Choose Chicago team makes your goals become their goals. They will help you create relationships and expose you to opportunities that come to the city and treat you like a true partner with a common purpose.

Why did you join? What were your expectations?

To introduce Potbelly catering to the tourism industry and to develop relationships with tour operators and tourism community partners.

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

Yes, the relationships I have developed have been incredible!

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

The Monthly Networking Events have been the most beneficial to our business.

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

Two things: Exposure of our brand to industry leaders and developing relationships with Choose Chicago Partners.



The Radiological Society of North America is set to hold its 100th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting in Chicago, November 30-December 5, 2014.

RSNA expects approximately 55,000 attendees to the meeting, and an estimated delegate expenditure of nearly $128 million. International attendance will be 38%, and nearly 700 exhibiting companies are expected.

This year is the start of a two-year celebration, as 2014 welcomes the 100th meeting, while 2015 is the 100th anniversary of the organization.

RSNA has a long history with Chicago. This year's meeting will mark the 72nd meeting RSNA has held in Chicago over 100 years, and its 30th consecutive year at McCormick Place.

In honor of RSNA's Centennial, we invite all Choose Chicago partners, including hotels, restaurants, retailers and taxis to utilize the RSNA 2014 meeting logo in signage or other welcome efforts at their business. Attached is the RSNA 2014 logo in a jpg and eps format.

Download RSNA logos

We encourage you to be creative in other ways you can recognize RSNA's anniversary as well, perhaps with a welcome letter or a signature RSNA Anniversary drink or dessert in your restaurant. 

It is a great privilege for Chicago to host RSNA's 100th meeting and recognize the business they have brought to our city, and the tremendous contributions RSNA has made to the medical field over the last century. 

If you have any questions, or would like to share with us how your hotel will be recognizing RSNA, please contact Cindy Payne at 312-567-8457 or

Thank you for your welcoming efforts!



1. Use the official Chicago holiday deals hashtag in all of your messaging on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+! OFFICIAL HASHTAG - #HolidaysinChicago

2. Here are some sample postings you can share on social media.

Twitter posts - (All tweets have room for a photo or link.)

Facebook/Google+ posts

  • Join us this holiday season and save. This year, HOTEL NAME has created a holiday special you cannot resist. EXPLAIN DEAL. (Share link for reservations or to the deal + photo.) #HolidaysinChicago 
  • We have one big reason you should visit #Chicago for the holidays. Saving Money! We are offering EXPLAIN DEAL. (Share link for reservations or to the deal + photo.) #HolidaysinChicago 

3. Use images whenever possible. Explain your entire deal on an image, this way your text can be short and sweet. Posts across all social media perform better with an image! If you need a quick and easy graphic, try, you can make simple and social media ready images.

We encourage hotels to post these special offers to Choose Chicago's "Deals" section of the website at Deals can be posted via the Partner Extranet. Please contact if you need assistance accessing the Partner Extranet or entering the deals.



Calling all superstars!  We are currently looking for enthusiastic and dedicated hospitality professionals to be part of the 2015 Choose Chicago Ambassador Task Force. Ambassadors will have the opportunity to network with peers and Choose Chicago staff and serve Chicago's convention and tradeshow customers through volunteer opportunities.
The purpose of the Ambassador Task Force is to make conference and convention attendees, exhibitors and management feel welcomed and appreciated during their visit to Chicago.  This program supports the hospitality efforts coordinated by Choose Chicago and enhances Chicago's "We're Glad You're Here! ®" city-wide recognition program.  The Ambassador Task Force helps to add a personal touch to each customer's Chicago experience by providing face-to-face personal interaction.
Participation will provide Ambassadors with invaluable exposure within the city's hospitality community.  Informational meetings, team building or networking events will be held once per quarter exclusively for Ambassadors.  Participants will also be able to take advantage of various programs offered by Choose Chicago throughout the year.
Currently, the Ambassador Task Force is targeting 2015 shows to service.  Each service will last approximately 1 - 2 hours, and Ambassadors are expected to fulfill a minimum of 6 hours of services over the course of the year. During select conventions and trade shows, Ambassadors will provide hospitality services, such as greeting convention attendees with refreshments at McCormick Place.  
The road to stardom... If you are interested in the 2015 Ambassador Task Force, please click on the following link to fill out the application.
Please feel free to pass the application to other colleagues who would also make ideal Ambassadors. Ambassadors will be selected from the various membership categories of Choose Chicago (up to 4 individuals per location and an unlimited per company).  
All applications are due by Wednesday, December 10, 2014.  
Direct all questions to:                        

Lacey Cook  
Client Services Manager



Choose Chicago's online video series "Beyond the Loop" was nominated by the Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards for 5 Regional Emmy Awards, covering media markets in Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana. It was an honor to be nominated in such a competitive region with the No. 3 market in the U.S.

We greatly thank all of our partners and participants who made the series possible! The series was nominated in best Writing, Cinematography, Editing, Graphics and Best Show categories. 



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!



Is your property committed to green practices like recycling, water efficiency and alternative energy? Do you train your staff on implementing green practices, or educate your guests?

If so, you may qualify to become a TripAdvisor GreenLeader!

Travelers look for green hotels on TripAdvisor every week, not to mention the countless other venues and attractions that have green, sustainable initiatives. Joining the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders Program is free, and as a member you'll get special marketing promotions that let travelers know you're green, like a badge on your TripAdvisor page and a TripAdvisor GreenLeaders badge for your website.

There are four TripAdvisor GreenLeader badge levels: bronze, silver, gold and platinum. If you qualify as a TripAdvisor GreenLeader, TripAdvisor will place a celebratory badge on your property listing. This badge will also appear on search results for hotels in your area. When travelers click on your GreenLeader badge, they'll be able to see the full list of all green practices currently in place at your property.

Badge levels are determined by a property's overall level of participation in environmentally friendly activities. The TripAdvisor GreenLeaders program looks at the variety and impact of an accommodation's green practices, both simple and advanced, during the application process. 

The TripAdvisor GreenLeaders Program connects eco-conscious travelers with environmentally friendly hotels and B&Bs on The properties accepted into the GreenLeaders program are leading the hospitality industry with their green efforts. More than 7,400 properties in the United States, Canada and Europe participate in the program.

The TripAdvisor GreenLeaders Program has been developed by TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel site, along with the United Nations Environment Programme and other green industry experts.

Apply for the GreenLeaders Program at

For more information, visit or email


DECEMBER EVENT - Save the Date

Joint Networking Event with The Magnificent Mile Association

Join us as we usher in the holiday season with our friends from The Magnificent Mile Association. Don't miss this great opportunity to expand your connections with industry colleagues from both organizations.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Highline Bar & Lounge
169 W. Kinzie Street
Chicago, IL

5 p.m. - 7 p.m.

More details to follow



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:
  • December 4, 2014

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:



Since July 2012, Choose Chicago has refreshed the existing Visitor Information Centers located at Chicago Water Works and the Chicago Cultural Center; implemented new services, including the seasonal Chicago Information Greeters; opened a Visitor Information Center at Macy's on State Street, and expanded the Chicago Greeter Service to a record number of Greeters. As we look to planning for 2015 and beyond, Choose Chicago is evaluating its current approach to Visitor Services to provide visitors with the best tools and access to visitor information.

As part of this transition, the Chicago Water Works location closed on October 15, 2014. We will maintain operations at the Chicago Cultural Center and Macy's locations. Additionally, we will continue to provide the following services in the two locations:

  • Brochure and Official Visitors Guide Distribution
  • Attraction Ticketing Sales
  • Open Table Reservations
  • General Information Services - Itinerary planning, etc.
  • Chicago Greeter Service

For updates on hours and where to send brochures for distribution, visit:



David Bowie Is

The Museum of Contemporary Art is bringing in the year's biggest exhibition, David Bowie Is, with the first retrospective of the career of David Bowie, one of the most pioneering and influential performers of all time. More than 400 objects from the David Bowie Archive will be on display, including handwritten lyrics, original costumes, photography, set designs, album artwork, and rare performance material.

Make sure to grab tickets now for this exhibit, the only U.S. stop on the David Bowie Is global tour. The exhibit runs through January 4, 2015. Tickets on sale now! Experience the work and influence of David Bowie, a cultural inspiration and musical vanguard.



McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade

Huge helium balloons, remarkable floats and award-winning marching bands make their way down State Street during the 81st annual McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade. Bring the whole family to downtown Chicago to see one of the city's most famous Turkey Day celebrations, with talented equestrian units, local and national celebrities, and unique performance groups.



Joeffrey Nutcracker

Robert Joffrey's timeless The Nutcracker returns for its seasonal run at the Auditorium Theatre. One of Chicago's favorite holiday traditions brings Tchaikovsky's classic score to life with battling toys, raucous rodents, swirling snowflakes, waltzing flowers and the splendor of the full Joffrey company on stage with more than 100 young dancers from the Chicagoland area.  

Purchase tickets here!


Chicago Ice Skating in Winter

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.

Celebrate the season by snapping a photo in front of Anish Kapoor's famous "Cloud Gate" or spend the evening ice skating at McCormick Tribune Ice Rink. Glide around the 16,000-square-foot outdoor rink with the twinkling skyline in the background. Admission is free and skate rentals are available at an additional cost.

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



Use Employees as Brand Ambassadors

  • Encourage your employees to use social media!
  • Teach them social media guidelines to help guide them on how to appropriately talk about your brand. Guidelines are to help and aren't meant to be too restricting.
  • Provide them with brand specific content they can share on their personal social media channels. (Ex. Promotions, upcoming events, photos, etc.)
  • If your employees really like being a part of the social media process give them further training. An employee with a strong personal brand on social media turns into an even stronger brand ambassador.
  • Check to see how your employee is doing with their messaging. Give them compliments and encourage them to keep up the good work.

Do you utilize any brand ambassador programs already? Head over to @CCPartner and let us know your thoughts!

Facebook update - Facebook is going to suppress "click bait" posts, so avoid posting them in the future! (Click-baiting is when you posts links with headlines, encouraging people to click the link without offering information as to what they'll see.)





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: 

12/05-12/07, 2014

USTOA 2014

Boca Raton, FL

12/09-12/11, 2014

IAEE Expo!Expo! 2014

Los Angeles, CA

1/11-1/15, 2015

PCMA Convening Leaders 2015

Chicago, IL

1/26-1/30, 2015  
RCMA 2015
Birmingham, AL
2/05, 2015
Annual Meeting of Partnership Chicago, IL

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