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Chicago Event Planning

Key Highlights

Hotels 177
Total Sleeping Rooms 50,482
Committable Sleeping Rooms* 2,019
Committable Meeting Rooms* 295
Convention Center Space 3,200,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Exhibit Space 2,600,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Ballroom 103,760 Sq. Ft.
Average Hotel Room Rate USD $215
Average Daily Meal Cost USD $74
Average Weekly Car Rental USD $246
*Maximum for a single hotel

Meeting Planning in Chicago

The Odeum Expo Center

McCormick Place an SMG Managed Facility

With nearly three million visitors each year, McCormick Place is North America's premier convention facility one of the most alluring Chicago meeting facilities. Named after Colonel Robert R. McCormick, the center first opened in 1960 at 320,000 square feet. Over the years, the center has been expanded and upgraded multiple times. In 2007, McCormick Place added the West Building, which boasts 460,000 square feet of exhibit space, 250,000 square feet of meeting space and one of the world's largest ballrooms.

Today, McCormick Place is the largest convention center in the United States and encompasses four buildings in addition to the West Building: North Building, South Building, and Lakeside Center. Overall, the center covers an astounding 2.6 million square feet of exhibit halls. It boasts 173 meeting rooms offering 600,000 square feet of space; four ballrooms, two of which are the largest in the city; the 4,249-seat Arie Crown Theater; three additional 300-seat theaters; and assembly seating for 18,000 people.

Its amenities are equally impressive. The on-site business center offers copying, printing and document finishing services, computer rentals, shipping options and more. Internet and networking services are available, as is Wi-Fi in facility restaurants. Chicago Restaurant Partners offers award-winning catering programs for groups of all kinds.

Hungry attendees can also stop by one of several food outlets, which range from fast food to full service. Guests needing a break from a long day of meetings can take advantage of the Relaxation Stations, which offer upper-body massage services. Additional amenities include ATM machines, complimentary coat checks, shoe shine services and a 24-hour convenience center.

McCormick Place is connected to 1,259 luxurious rooms at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place. Only minutes from downtown, the center also manages two parking lots, offering space for a total of 5,000 vehicles; it can also be reached by public transportation. To travel within the center itself, sky bridges and public walkways serve as links among facilities. The Grand Concourse runs between the South Building and North and Lakeside buildings, and is home to a number of restaurants and retail shops.

In addition to expansive facilities and first-class amenities, McCormick Place offers planners a chance to make their events sustainable. Committed to doing its part to protect the environment, the center has undertaken many green initiatives including the use of compact florescent bulbs, biodegradable flatware and serving ware in the food courts, and 100 percent recycled paper products in facility restrooms. The center's West Building also attained LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, making it the largest new construction facility in the nation to do so.

Recognized as one of the top convention centers in the business, McCormick Place regularly takes home awards. In 2010, the center won MeetingsNet 2010 Association Meetings Inner Circle Award, and in 2009, the Trade Show Exhibitors Association award for Favorite Convention Center.

Gleacher Center

Located in the heart of Chicago's business community, the Gleacher Center is an ideal Chicago meeting facility situated blocks away from Magnificent Mile shopping, restaurants and hotels and easily accessible by public transportation. Amphitheaters, executive meeting rooms, reception and dining lounges, and flexible breakout rooms are among the spaces available. The fifth-floor Midway Club combines comfort and elegance with its well-appointed rooms, lounge and billiard room, and dining area.

Catering at the Gleacher Center is provided by Wolfgang Puck Catering, which can craft menus for breakfasts, snack breaks, lunch buffets, seated dinners and more. State-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, full videoconferencing and a wide range of business services are also available.

The Conference Center One North Wacker

From small corporate functions to large receptions, the Conference Center at UBS Tower's scalable space is suited to accommodate events of all kinds. The center has 6,251 square feet of meeting space spread among six separate meeting rooms. Two separate rooms can be combined into the 3,329-square-foot Michigan Ballroom, which can host receptions of up to 325 guests. Each room in the facility is equipped with high-speed Internet LAN connections, and the center offers trained professionals for audio-visual support. It also has four exclusive caterers and an on-site, fully-equipped copy center.

Summit Chicago (A Women's Business Enterprise - WBE)

Chicago's only IACC-approved conference center, the Summit Executive Center is located in the heart of downtown Chicago on the northeast corner of Michigan Avenue and Lake Street. The facility's 20 meeting rooms encompass 34,000 square feet of flexible space and are equipped with ergonomic chairs, custom-designed tables and state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment. The Summit Executive Centre also offers catering services and an on-site business center.

Chicago Meeting Venue Spotlight

Navy Pier Chicago an SMG Managed Facility


Boasting "Latino flavors with the spice of life," Carnivale celebrates Latin culture and community. Its authentic cuisine blends the dishes of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Columbia, Peru, Argentina, El Salvador and Mexico. Bright colors, salsa music and vibrant decor impart the feeling of being at a Latin house party.

Catalyst Ranch

Located in a historic downtown Chicago loft space, Catalyst Ranch's creative environment is guaranteed to impress and inspire. Its five large meeting rooms are filled with vintage furniture, ethnic artwork, toys, delicious food, as well as business amenities such as audio-visual equipment, wireless Internet and meeting supplies.

Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile

The 1,198-room Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile offers a stunningly stylish, energetic and contemporary vibe. Here, business and entertainment intersect in a multidimensional setting that inspires guests to engage, relax, retreat, work and play.

A premier destination for Chicago-based meetings, the hotel’s recently updated 54 meeting rooms encompass 66,400 total square feet of meeting space. The largest room is the 19,193-square-foot grand ballroom, capable of accommodating 2,200 guests.

United Center

The United Center in Chicago, the largest arena in the country, has hosted over 20 million guests since its opening in 1994. In addition to serving as the home of the Chicago Blackhawks and Chicago Bulls, it hosts over 200 events per year, including well-known headliners such as Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney. A privately-owned multi-use facility, the United Center's commitment to quality and service makes it one of the top venues in the world. A range of banquet rooms, meeting rooms and even the arena floor can be booked for events of all types and sizes.

Chicago Union Station

Designed by famed architect Daniel Burnham and completed in 1925, the Great Hall at Chicago Union Station is considered one of the greatest indoor meeting facilities in Chicago and in the entire United States. The Beaux Arts-style room, which features 18 Corinthian columns, terra cotta walls, a pink Tennessee marble floor, and a barrel-vaulted ceiling, has been the location for films including The Untouchables and My Best Friend's Wedding.

Hard Rock Cafe - Chicago

Located in the heart of the River North neighborhood, the Hard Rock Cafe Chicago has continued to live up to its motto of "Love All, Serve All" for over 20 years. Whether enjoying a meal of hickory-smoked pulled pork or sipping drinks such as the Rockarita, the Hard Rock Cafe has something to suit every taste.

Hilton Chicago

The Hilton Chicago hotel has achieved an unprecedented fusion of historic luxury and contemporary amenities. Stepping into its magnificent lobby, guests are immediately transported back to the early 20th century, when great hotels were built with marble and granite, not glass and steel. The hotel's location on Michigan Avenue makes virtually everything to see and do in Chicago is only a short walk or cab ride away.

Hyatt Regency Chicago

Located just off the Magnificent Mile, the Four Diamond Hyatt Regency Chicago luxury hotel lets guests take advantage of all the city has to offer, while indulging in the kind of pampered service expected from Hyatt. Perfect for hosting anything from a simple one-day meeting or an elaborate weeklong conference, the hotel's 228,000 square feet of creative, flexible function space and professional staff can meet any need.

Palmer House a Hilton Hotel

Ideally located in the heart of the Chicago Loop, the Palmer House Hilton is a unique Chicago hotel offering modern conveniences combined with over one hundred years of elegance. The hotel's Executive Level is virtually a "hotel within a hotel" with a long list of special amenities suited for business groups. This self-contained conference floor includes 38 function rooms that can satisfy any business need.

Paramount Room

Paramount Room serves modern food and drink from its location in a 100-year-old former speakeasy in River West. With its contemporary design, noted by exposed brick, lofted ceilings and cozy booths, Paramount Room sets the tone for a relaxing night to kick back with drinks from the full bar and selections from the award-winning menu.

Sheraton Grand Chicago

Located on the banks of the Chicago River, the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers is the premier convention and business hotel in the Midwest. Designed to create a successful meeting environment, the property boasts a 40,000-square-foot ballroom, the largest hotel ballroom in the Midwest, as well as meeting rooms equipped with the latest in audio-visual technology, making it one of the most sought after Chicago meeting facilities. All guest rooms offer views of the river, Lake Michigan or the city skyline, and special Club rooms have exclusive benefits and amenities.

The Mid-America Club

The Mid-America Club is the only club in Chicago that provides a 360-degree panoramic view of the city's distinctive skyline. Whether for a business seminar or an elaborate special event, The Mid-America Club can assist planners with every detail.

The Palm - Chicago

Located in the posh Swissotel, The Palm Chicago opened its doors in 1980 to much success. Known for its great steaks and seafood and authentic Italian dishes, The Palm has long been a favorite to Chicagoans, including members of the Chicago Bulls and Bears and several local politicos.

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