Chicago Restaurant Week: January 30 - February 12, 2015

The deadline to register for Chicago Restaurant Week 2015 is October 31. 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.

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. Learn more information and submit your tasting station application today.

Want to be a part of 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
  • One $100 dining certificate/gift card to be used for promotional purposes (must be valid through December 31, 2015)

Registration Deadline: October 31, 2014
Menu and Gift Card Deadline: December 1, 2014

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

Register now!



PCMA skyline

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 thanks all of its sponsors and partners who have committed to supporting our efforts to date. We would like to recognize the Convening Leaders 2015 Presenting Partners, Chicago Department of Aviation and McCormick Place; and to our other valued sponsors Blue Plate, Discover Illinois, GES, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Inc. and United Airlines.

Volunteers will be an integral part of this event by providing "hands-on" support to both PCMA and the Chicago hospitality community. As a volunteer, you will have the unique opportunity to network with industry peers while enhancing your own education.

Volunteer assignments may include:

  • Serving as greeters at key arrival locations
  • Working at conference registration
  • Serving as room monitors at McCormick Place West and the Hyatt Regency Chicago
  • Providing directional assistance
  • Helping with special events

Volunteer response has been fantastic and nearly all current spots are have been filled, but more spots will be added over the coming months.

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



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!



Joel Friend Lyric Opera of Chicago

Joel Friend is Group Sales Manager at Lyric Opera of Chicago, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. The milestone will be highlighted by a 60th Anniversary Concert on Nov. 1, featuring emcee Jane Lynch and Sir Andrew Davis leading the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus, along with members of the Ryan Opera Center and world renowned improv comedy troupe The Second City.

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

What do you do at Lyric Opera? 

I am the Group Sales Manager at Lyric. I market group services to group buyers, manage their reservations, collect payments, and help them find the best seats to our performances.

What are some of the goals of your organization?

We have made great strides in reaching out to various community, ethnic, religious and academic groups and giving them great opportunities to see some wonderful productions. 

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

It is always a pleasure to exchange ideas and information with others in the entertainment and hospitality industry. Choose Chicago allows me to get an insight into groups coming to Chicago and the efforts the City is putting forward to increase cultural tourism. And we can distribute our information in the city's visitors centers! 

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

The new A La Carte partnership definitely helps to let businesses include a partnership in their budget. Often I find that your absence from an organization such as Choose Chicago can be noticed in the wrong way. For networking, advertising, and informational purposes, I think your business can only be helped. 

Why did you join? What were your expectations?

I wanted help in marketing to all groups coming to Chicago. I wanted to learn from industry leaders. I wanted to network with like-minded professionals. I wanted our information to be in front of as many people as possible. I wanted to establish professional and personal relationships with other attractions and cultural institutions. I believe Choose Chicago can assist me in those areas. 

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

The growth and support has been outstanding. I appreciate the fact that Choose Chicago is not just looking at physical space at the convention center, but is trying to market to all groups and individuals that come to Chicago for reasons other than, or in addition to, conventions. Chicago, and Lyric, has a lot to offer and Choose Chicago is letting the world know that. 

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

I believe all that you mentioned has benefited Lyric.  I have personally attended many networking events and we are happy to have the opportunity to have our brochures available for Chicago visitors.  And other Choose Chicago members have seen performances at Lyric too! 

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

We are able to reach a much larger audience with our Choose Chicago partnership than we could ever do on our own; guides, website, and emails are getting our information to a very large audience. We benefit from seeing and hearing about the programs and promotions work for other Chicago institutions. Reaching out to convention planners and meeting planners has allowed us to have some nice group sales or to make the opera house available for a private event. I'm not sure we could have done all of that on our own. 

I think it is important for institutions like Lyric to support organizations like Choose Chicago that advocate for your city. I think it is vital to show we are a part of the Chicago community with our partnership. 



The vibrant cultural scene of Chicago's Museum Campus looks forward to a fantastic addition in the form of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art (LMNA). The museum will be a gathering place to experience narrative art and the evolution of moving images - from illustration to cinema to the digital mediums of the future.

The museum's seed collection - a gift from founder George Lucas - spans a century and a half and will feature the images and the mediums that have profoundly shaped our cultural heritage.

The City of Chicago is honored to be selected as the home of this new museum that will contribute to the legacy that The Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium and Adler Planetarium have created for Museum Campus.

The LMNA will be dedicated to public outreach and educational programming, enriching both the surrounding communities and the many visitors the museum will bring to the city. It will support the stunning innovations of the digital age while emphasizing the same values that distinguish Chicago from other great cities: community involvement, diversity and a commitment to excellence in art, architecture and creativity. With Beijing based MAD Architects, and Chicago-based Studio Gang working to design the museum's building and landscape, the LMNA is sure to be an iconic addition to Chicago's world-class cultural institutions.  

The lakefront LMNA is planned to be constructed on Chicago's Museum Campus, between Soldier Field and McCormick Place. Lucas hopes to open the museum in 2018. 

Visit to learn more about the museum. 



It's a night of culinary stars benefiting the James Beard Foundation! Celebrate Chicago's finest food and its most successful chefs with Taste Chicago at Trump International Hotel and Tower, Friday, October 17.

6 p.m.: Cocktail & Tasting Reception
7:30 p.m.: Dinner

Taste Chicago is part of the James Beard Foundation's Taste America, a 10-city cross-country tour featuring exclusive dining events, cooking demonstrations, celebrity chefs, artisinal tastings and more! 

Taste America is supported by a 360-degree multi-tiered marketing platform, including national and regional promotion, as well as the James Beard Foundation's own extensive outreach program. Chicago's culinary excellence will only gain exposure as a result of its involvement in Taste America. Let's make sure to support our fabulous restaurants and chefs as they bring in diners from around the world.

This is also an especially meaningful stop because Chicago will be hosting the 2015 James Beard Awards at Lyric Opera of Chicago on Monday, May 4. Chicago is thrilled and honored to have been selected to host the award ceremony, celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2015.

The evening begins with a tasting reception featuring an exciting lineup of Chicago's finest chefs. Then, enjoy a unique four-course seated dinner designed by James Beard Award winners Grant Achatz (Alinea) and Sean Brock (McCrady's Restaurant - Charleston, SC), with Host Chef Thomas Lents (Sixteen). These culinary stars will be brought together for one night only to create an unforgettable dining experience.

Click here to reserve tickets, or for more information on events or local sponsorship in Chicago, please contact Sarah Sackett at or 312.878.1222. 



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.

For more information, visit or email


OCTOBER EVENT - Register Now

Choose Chicago Partner Educational Seminar

Please join David Czechowski, Choose Chicago's Director of Research & Analysis/Senior Economist, for an in-depth look at the latest research on Chicago's domestic and international visitation.

Included will be an update on the state of tourism in Chicago, an overview of recent marketing strategies, as well as research and resources available to our Choose Chicago partners.

This annual presentation is geared to all industry categories and will offer insights you can use throughout the next twelve months.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

8:00am-8:30am: Registration and Breakfast
8:30am-9:30am: Presentation/Q&A
9:30am-10:00am: Networking

Loyola University Chicago - Water Tower Campus
Corboy Law Center - Kasbeer Hall (located on the 15th floor) 
25 E. Pearson Street
Chicago, IL 60611

Partners Price: $25
Non-Partners Price: $30

Parking Information:
Click here to view all the garages within the area. Attendees can have their parking passes validated at the machines at the front desk of the Corboy Law Center.

Register Now


NOVEMBER EVENT - Social Media Meet-Up

Chicago Restaurant Week 2015 Social Media Meet-Up

Join Social Media Specialist, Nycole Hampton, and special guests from Lettuce Entertain You on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 for a Social Media Meet-Up at the Chicago Cultural Center from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. in the First Floor Garland Room.

Learn how to increase your Chicago Restaurant Week reservations and create returning customers by utilizing your social media channels. Come prepared with questions. Additional event information will be announced closer to the date.

If you can't make the meet up at the Chicago Cultural Center, social media tips and tricks will now be a regular feature in the partnership newsletter. Each month, we will be providing regular updates with information on how partners can utilize social media to their benefit. Be sure to check out this month's social media pointers.



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:
  • November 6, 2014
  • 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 will close at the end of business hours 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.



For the first time since 1980, the famed New Zealand All Blacks will play on American soil as they take on the USA Eagles at Soldier Field, Nov. 1. The match is anticipated to be a sell-out, having sold more than 56,000 tickets, nearing Soldier Field's 61,500-seat capacity.

The match will be broadcast on NBC Sports, streamed live on and will feature pre- and post-game coverage on Universal Sports. It's expected to draw big ratings, other major nationally-broadcasted rugby matches having already scored big with viewers.

The 2009 Rugby Sevens World Cup Final earned a 1.1 Rating on ABC - higher than any live NHL or Action Sports broadcast that year. The 2011 Rugby World Cup garnered 1.7 Million Viewers over two games on NBC, and the 2012 USA Sevens Rugby International Tournament had .70 ratings on NBC - the NHL All-Star Game on NBC received an .80 rating.

Chicago is honored to be hosting this world-class sporting event, welcoming the reigning IRB Rugby World Champions to one of the world's greatest sports towns. The expected television viewership and incoming visitors from Australia, New Zealand, and around the world will have a tremendous impact on our tourism industry.

To see what other sporting events and sports business opportunities are headed to Chicago, visit the Chicago Sports Commission websitePurchase tickets here for the All Black - Eagles match.




Art Institute of Chicago No 1 article

Chicago is thrilled and honored to be home to the number one museum in the world. In its 2014 Travelers' Choice Awards, TripAdvisor named The Art Institute of Chicago the world's top museum. This was the first time The Art Institute topped the travel site's global rankings. Congratulations to the Art Institute for this exceptional accolade!



Chicago Drinking City article

Walk down any street in Chicago and you'd be hard-pressed to not find a packed bar, ultra-chic cocktail lounge, or clubs boasting expert mixologists and irresistible beverage presentation. With an ever-expanding craft beer scene, legendary breweries, and an unbeatable drinking culture, Chicago has certainly "hit its boozy stride."

Rightfully so, GQ Magazine has named Chicago the Greatest Drinking City in America. This accolade is a major boon for our tourism industry, now that patrons around the world know to find the best drinking right here in 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.

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



  • Cross promote your social media channels. Convert Facebook fans into Twitter and Instagram followers also.
  • Respond to all messages. Good and bad. How you respond may determine how people view your brand.
  • Respond as quickly as possible. Research says almost 50% of people expect a response within an hour.
  • Don't ignore the weekends. Schedule content over the weekends. Save time by scheduling posts with tools like Hootsuite and Buffer.





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: 


IMEX America 2014

Las Vegas, NV

Partner Educational Seminar
Chicago, IL
Amex INTER[action] 2014
Atlanta, GA
ICCA Congress 2014
Antalya, Turkey


World Travel Market

London, UK


Ontario Motorcoach Association Marketplace

Ottawa, Canada


USTOA 2014

Boca Raton, FL


IAEE Expo!Expo! 2014

Los Angeles, CA

1/11-1/15, 2015

PCMA Convening Leaders 2015

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