This 2012 inaugural event attracted more than 400 members of Chicago's hospitality community for a day of service and development, completing 13 comprehensive city improvement projects. The profoundly successful program was even nominated for HSMAI's "Best Event of the Year 2012."

This year, we hope that your organization will join us for this May 23 event. There are many opportunities for you to participate, including sponsorships, in-kind donations or by volunteering.

At the conclusion of the event, we invite all who participate to relax and network with industry peers at the HUG Volunteer Appreciation Party.

Cash and in-kind sponsorships are available for HUG. Everything from snacks to the thank you concert at the end of the day offer your organization an invaluable opportunity to give back to Chicago. Click here for additional information on sponsorships available.

Keep an eye on your inbox, more details and information will be available soon. For more information about HUG, click here. For questions or to learn more about HUG, contact Lori Adlesick, Director of Special Events, at To download our sponsorship form, click here.


Choose Chicago's new Partnership Program launched in February 2013. As the anniversary date of your partnership approaches, Choose Chicago will reach out to your organization and guide you through the renewal process, which can be done in four easy steps.

Upon your anniversary date, you will have to choose one of our three levels of partnership. For more information about packages, benefits and pricing, click here.

To ensure that your renewal runs as smoothly as possible, please review eight tips to simplify the process.  

  1. Your organization must use the Partner Extranet to renew, not If you have questions about your login information or how to navigate the Partner Extranet, contact Dana Olivo at
  2. For organizations choosing the Premier or Ultimate packages, you will be asked to provide links to your social media, review sites and ticket purchasing site. 
  3. If you're a dining partner and would like to participate in Chicago Restaurant Week, don't forget to check off Chicago Restaurant Week Participation as an a la carte item. It's an opportunity that requires an additional cost.
  4. Packages cannot be upgraded during the year. Partner organizations are welcome to purchase a la carte items at any time to better tailor your Choose Chicago partnership to your organization's needs.
  5. You must renew online and payment requires a credit card.
  6. During renewal, review and update your listing descriptions for both web and print publications where applicable.
  7. To enhance your online profile, consider adding images and videos.
  8. Confirm that your primary and billing contacts are current.

If you have any further questions about renewal or need help determining how best to fit our new partnership model with your organization, reach out to us at or (312) 567-8461.


Time is running and out and space is limited for this terrific event. Hosted by the Glen Club, a Tom Fazio designed "Top-100," the Chicago Golf Classic will feature appearances by NBC Sports and Golf Channel analyst Mark Rolfing, Bears placekicker Robbie Gould and a surprise PGA Tour player to be named at a later date. To register, click here.

Morning Traditional Tournament

  • Meet and network with your hospitality industry colleagues during a morning round.
  • Includes: Continental breakfast, lunch and skills clinic by Mark Rolfing, Robbie Gould and PGA Tour Player.

Exclusive Afternoon Celebrity Tournament

  • Invite your clients to join you for this one-of-a-kind experience.
  • Meet and golf with Mark Rolfing, Robbie Gould and PGA Tour player TBD
  • Improve your game during a skills clinic
  • Enjoy lunch and an elegant cocktail reception

Limited opportunities are available for golf patronages, foursomes, hole sponsorships and individual tickets. For more information, please contact Lori Adlesick, Director of Special Events, at

Even if you don't play golf or can't attend the Chicago Golf Classic, you can still play a part in this event by donating to our silent auction/raffle. Consider contributing a special, higher-end item or experience to this event and make your product really stand out! Click here for the donation form.


The Choose Chicago Public Policy team will be heading to Washington, DC this month for Destination: Capitol Hill. This is the travel industry's premier grassroots advocacy event where we and other travel professionals from all around the nation will meet with legislators and key staff to educate them and gain support for our industry. We thought it would be beneficial to give you a brief rundown of the issues we will be discussing with them and how said issues could affect our business.

The JOLT Act - H.R. 1354 - Introduced by Chicago Representative Quigley, The Jobs Originated through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act, is a legislation that would give the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) authority to expand the Visa Waiver Program entry criteria, reduce wait times for visa interviews while enhancing the program's already strong security standards. This would reduce hassle and ensures a pleasant travel experience for international visitors to come to the US. Increasing our share of the international travel market is key to achieving our goals.

Brand USA - Brand USA's goal is to increase international visitation in the United States and grow America's share of the global travel market.  Brand USA aims to bring in millions of international visitors who spend billions of dollars to the United States, creating tens of thousands of new American Jobs. The Travel Promotion Act which Brand USA is a product of is up for reauthorization in 2015. Brand USA is a great ally for Choose Chicago and has allowed us and Illinois to double our impact in Canada alone.

Improving Aviation Security and Infrastructure - The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) passenger screening process is inefficient and hurting our economy. Airport congestion alone cost the U.S. $24 billion in 2012. Also, the current air traffic control system is outdated and inefficient. A 2010 survey found that Americans would take an additional 2 to 3 flights per year if hassles in the security screening system were improved. These additional flights would add nearly $85 billion in consumer spending and create or sustain 900,000 U.S. jobs. Currently the U.S. aviation infrastructure has received a D grade. This is simply unacceptable and damages the industry.

Importance of Government Meetings, Conferences and Events - Government is considering reducing government travel budgets in an effort to combat "frivolous" spending. Federal travel budgets support a broad range of activities outside of meetings - including travel for safety inspections, disaster recovery, and professional trainings.  As a result, a deep cut to all federal travel budgets would likely eliminate "mission critical" meetings and other essential forms of travel, while also hurting local travel businesses that serve the federal government. This has a direct effect on the success of many of the convention and meetings held in Chicago.

We will be in DC from April 9 to 11, thanks to those who are joining us! Everyone else can follow us on Twitter at @CCAdvocacy for our updates while in DC. If you would like to sign up to be a first responder and receive all of the important government related travel news as it becomes available please e-mail or fill out our form on the Advocacy page in the Partner section.


Chicago will host one of the travel industry's most powerful events in 2014. If you're determined to maximize your organization's exposure to the international market, you must get involved in this April 2014 event.


U.S. Travel Association's IPW is the visitor industry's largest generator of inbound international travel to the U.S. For three days, this show hosts individual appointments between travel supplier organizations and buyers from around the world. It's also a must-attend media marketplace.

IPW provides access to current and future market trends, unique marketing opportunities, and evening entertainment conducive to building business relationships that will help your organization grow. For more information, visit

For organizations interested in working with the international market, IPW is a key show for building your organization's global reach.

The Numbers:

  • 1,200 pre-qualified international and domestic buyers from more than 70 countries
  • 400 travel journalists from 55 countries
  • 80,000 pre-scheduled business appointments
  • $3.5 billion in future travel to the U.S. generated annually as a result of IPW
  • An immediate impact of close to $10M from the event itself

Over the next 12 months, Partner News will be a resource for information and developments related to IPW '14. For more information, contact Choose Chicago's Assistant Director of Tourism Sales Joleen Haran at


The Choose Chicago Artwork program was developed in an effort to show appreciation for our loyal convention clients. Over the last 12 years, our Artists of the Year have created unique pieces of artwork that showcase Chicago's beauty.  Choose Chicago's Artist of the Year program has spotlighted some of the city's most talented artists.

The Choose Chicago Client Services team, with input from senior staff, chooses a new artist each year and commissions them to create original or enhanced copies of artwork celebrating Chicago.

We are proud to announce photographer Jamie Link as our 2013 Artist of the Year. Link joins past artists such as: Jack Simmerling, world-renowned photojournalist Cesar Russ and award-winning painters Nancie King Mertz and Michael Cheney. With a keen eye and astute attention to detail, Link's art-inspired photography is attracting local and international recognition. To reproduce the experience from the initial capture, Link prints on a metallic coated paper that adds depth and an ethereal quality to each scene.

Lakeshore Path
Chicago Subway Wrigley Building

For more information about Jamie Link or to browse his portfolio, click here.


Preliminary numbers are in for Chicago Restaurant Week 2013. One of Chicago's most celebrated dining experiences wrapped its sixth year with an increase in participating restaurants, diners served and spending at Chicago area restaurants.

  • 286 participating restaurants (8% increase over 2012)
  • 513,242 diners served (17% increase over 2012)
  • $26.9 million in dining spending at Chicago area restaurants (29% increase over 2012)

Information was gathered from the post-Restaurant Week survey (February 26 - March 8, 2013), which was distributed to all participating restaurants. We received 61 total responses, for a response rate of 21.3%.


Join us and Choose Chicago partner, Joe Melton of Slingshot SEO, on April 18 for this very important partner event.

Search engine optimization has become a prevailing, almost required aspect of online marketing. Improve your organization's digital presence by conquering the complex world of Google algorithms and key words.

Driving new visitors to your website from your target audience can be a business's most cost effective marketing initiative. Slingshot SEO's Director of Sales, Joe Melton, will speak about how every organization can do this most proficiently. 

Forrester recently reported that nearly 90% of web traffic comes from unpaid earned media on search engines, social media, the blogosphere, and online communities. These inbound marketing channels - ripe for the taking - are all insanely connected. They're also the places where your online prospects live, learn, socialize and ultimately buy. 

Historically, inbound channels have been separately targeted with little mind paid to their synergies and interconnectedness.  Earned media flips this inefficient paradigm on its head.  A well-crafted earned media campaign simultaneously moves the needle across all inbound channels, while driving a meaningful return in the same quarter and beyond.

Thursday, April 18, 2013
Gene Siskel Film Center

8:00am-8:30am: Registration
8:30am-10:00am: Educational Seminar: Educational Seminar: New ways to drive unprecedented amounts of traffic to your website.

To sign up, click here.


The USA Fencing Absolute Fencing Gear® Korfanty World Cup returns to Chicago May 3-May 5. Previously hosted at Navy Pier in mid-June, this year it will be held at  University of Illinois Chicago's Flames Athletic Center. Over 300 world-class men and women fencers, representing over 30 countries, will compete individually and as teams. To learn more and to purchase tickets ($5), please visit:

USA Fencing is looking for volunteers to help at the competition venue and at the headquarter hotel, the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Volunteer positions include set-up and break-down of the event, athlete registration, assisting with ticket sales and ticket collection, operating video cameras and assisting the armorers. All volunteers will receive a free pass to the event, free parking and a free t-shirt. To sign up please visit:


Add our Choose Chicago Proud Partner banner to your website and link it to or to your partner profile page. The button is located on the right rail of the Partner Extranet for easy downloading.


  • Click the" download" button on the right rail of the Partner Extranet
  • Right click the image
  • Save as a .jpg
  • Put the picture on your website with a link to or your Choose Chicago online profile

If you need the URL to your online partner profile, contact


As Chicago's official tourism organization, key 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 over the next 90 days:

HelmsBriscoe Annual Business Conference

April 17-19


Meeting Professionals

Zet Phi Beta Great Lakes Regional Conference

April 18-22


Meeting Professionals

National Forum for Black Public Administrators

April 19-23


Meeting Professionals

World Travel Market Latin America

April 23-25

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Travel Professionals

North American Journey's (NAJ) Summit East

May 1-2

New York

Travel Professionals

International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) Annual Global Convention

May 1-5


Travel Professionals

Christian Meetings & Conventions Association

May 7-9


Meeting Professionals

Tradeshow Executive's Fastest 50 Awards & Conference

May 7-10


Meeting Professionals

Destination Showcase Chicago

May 8


Meeting Professionals

PCMA Education Foundation Dinner

May 15

Washington D.C.

Meeting Professionals

Springtime Expo

May 16

Washington D.C.

Meeting Professionals

IMEX - Worldwide Exhibition for Incentive Meetings and Events

May 21-23

Frankfurt, Germany

Meeting Professionals

Society of Government Meeting Planners

May 22-24


Meeting Professionals

Travel Alliance Partners (TAP) Dance

June 2-6


Travel Professionals

PCMA Partnership Summit

June 6-9

Rivera Maya, Mexico

Meeting Professionals

U.S. Travel Association's International Pow Wow

June 8-12

Las Vegas

Travel Professionals

America's Incentive, Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition (AIBTM)

June 11-13


Meeting Professionals

Collaborate Marketplace

June 13-15


Meeting Professionals

Association Forum Annual Meeting

June 18


Meeting Professionals

Association Forum Honors Gala

June 20


Meeting Professionals

PCMA Education Conference

June 24-27


Meeting Professionals

Fraternity Executives Association (FEA) Annual Meeting

July 7-10

San Antonio

Meeting Professionals

Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) Annual Convention

July 15-18


Travel Professionals

Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives (CESSE)

July 16-19


Meeting Professionals

Meeting Professionals International (MPI)-World Education Congress (WEC)

July 20-23

Las Vegas

Meeting Professionals