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Since its incorporation in 1837 alongside the southwestern shores of Lake Michigan, Chicago has been an important crossroads in the United States. Located in northeastern Illinois, by 1900, it was one of the largest cities in the world. Today, it is not only one of the largest cities in the United States, but it is also one of the most-visited cities.
Home to internationally ranked universities, a thriving art and music scene, an innovative financial sector, and more, it’s no wonder why Chicago calls out to so many, both as a home and as a travel destination.
There are many reasons Chicago is ideal for conferences, but perhaps the most important is location and access. O’Hare International Airport is one of the main hubs in the United States for travel, so participants can easily book flights to the city. Its rich history as a vibrant cultural destination stands the test of time, even today when attention is limited. The large immigrant population lends Chicago a variety of ethnic restaurant districts, from Polish to Desi, to Puerto Rican to Little Italy, Little Seoul, and Little Vietnam.
Not only is there a wealth of food selections, there’s also a plethora of museums and attractions that provide conference-goers with extra value during their free time at the convention. The rich nightlife provides spots where attendees can network and build the relationships that impact professional development and collaboration. Everyone knows those are one of the most valuable components of conferences.
McCormick Place boasts over 2.6 million square feet of exhibit space, making it the largest convention center on the North American continent. The facility has over 170 meeting rooms and 600,000 square feet of meeting space. It opened in 1960 and has been serving the city, and the world, since then.
Sheraton Chicago will allow your participants to enjoy the River North district while building their professional networks and attending events in the Grand Ballroom and other meeting spaces. With more than 40 conference rooms and 125,000 square feet, this hotel is ideal for small to medium conferences that host between 4,000-4,500 participants.
The Hyatt Regency, Chicago puts your event in the heart of bustling downtown. It’s just minutes from the Riverwalk, and boasts the most hotel rooms in downtown Chicago. The space has more than 240,000 square feet of meeting space and you’ll get to enjoy the stunning skyline of the city.
Hilton Chicago is nestled near Grant Park and Lake Michigan, ensuring that your participants will be able to enjoy nature and professional development when they attend a conference here. It’s within walking distance of the Pilsen neighborhood’s nightlife scene and Soldier Field, with its games and concerts. If the night sky interests your participants, they should check out Adler Planetarium.
The Field Museum was built in 1893 to host the World’s Columbian Exposition, and it has been serving the people of Chicago since then. The museum is home to millions of artifacts that span 4.6 billion years of history. As an event-location, your conference participants are sure to experience a memorable convention.
Expo Chicago is an international exposition of modern and contemporary art that features leading international galleries. Usually the event occurs at the historic Navy Pier. The event is divided into several sections of art: Galleries, Exposure, and Profile. Galleries features international exhibits from established leaders in the field, Exposure is for solo and two-artist presentations from galleries that are less than 10 years old, and Profile highlights thematic exhibitions and installations.
Chicago Build is the Midwest’s largest free construction and design show. If you are an architect, engineer, realtor, developer, builder, manufacturer, you won’t want to miss this exciting convention. This is the place for free-to-attend networking events and multiple conference tracks. The expo is part of the renowned Global Build series, which also hosts events in New York, London, and Sydney.
The Trading Show Chicago is a financial and banking trade show that occurs every year for those who are involved in forward thinking trading and investing. It’s a premier way to uncover new technology “across quant, automated trading, exchange technology, big data and HPC.” The conference has many built-in networking opportunities.
If you enjoy candy and snacks, the Sweets & Snacks Expo is for you. Attended by over 15,000 industry professionals, across all parts of the supply chain, this annual expo has resources for everyone involved in producing our favorite treats. Thoughts leaders and industry professionals gather to learn and share best practices in surprising and delighting customers.
Book lovers gather from across the country to cozy into this annual conference that brings together booksellers from across the nation as well as leather bindings, ephemera, and old plate maps and posters. There has been an annual fair for nearly 60 years! Clearly, there’s not a shortage of readers or collectors. Browse books to your heart’s desire.