In General
The Keys to Planning Events in Chicago

With its iconic skyline, vibrant culture, and diverse neighborhoods, our home city of Chicago offers the ideal backdrop for special events. As the third-largest city in the United States, event planners can utilize the Windy City’s unique attributes to create a one-of-a-kind experience for their attendees.

Here are some things to consider when creating a memorable and seamless event in our beloved Chicago.

Location, Location, Location

The city boasts an array of venues, from historic ballrooms to modern event spaces. We recommend thinking outside the box and finding something that matches the purpose and theme of your event. Unique venues can sometimes offer more bang for your buck while still conveying your message. Some venues can act as a blank canvas, transforming along with your imagination. However, these venues can have challenges, requiring more outside assistance regarding specific production components that other venues may already have in-house. So, if you’re working on a tight budget, consider locations that act more like a one-stop shop.

Weather-Proof Planning

Here in Chicago, we’re known for unpredictable weather, so plan for all scenarios. Have contingency plans, whether you’re organizing a summer festival or a winter corporate retreat. Utilize indoor-outdoor spaces or have a backup venue ready to guarantee the weather doesn’t dampen the success of your event.

Transportation Logistics

Navigating Chicago can be challenging, especially during rush hours. Consider the transportation needs of your attendees, and choose a venue with easy access to public transportation or ample parking options. Work with local transportation services to provide shuttle options, ensuring seamless transitions between your various event locations. Chicago is also known as one of the best bike cities in the country, so communicate to your guests that the city has the infrastructure to make that form of travel safe and comfortable.

Engage with Local Vendors and Businesses

Support local businesses by partnering with Chicago-based vendors for event services. Whether it’s event planning agencies, florists, or AV suppliers, working with local experts contributes to the city’s economy and ensures familiarity with the local event landscape, which is especially vital for those coming from out of town. For those putting together swag bags, consider including items from local businesses highlighting unique Chicago-based offerings.

Incorporate Chicago’s Arts and Entertainment

Chicago is a cultural hub, home to theaters, art galleries, and live music venues. Integrate the city’s vibrant arts and entertainment scene into your event by arranging performances, art exhibitions, or collaborations with local artists. This provides entertainment and fosters a connection with the city’s creative spirit.

Consider Local Events Calendar

Check the local events calendar to avoid scheduling conflicts with major citywide events or festivals. You will want to avoid planning your event at the same time as Lollapalooza, the Chicago Marathon, or the NASCAR Chicago Street Race. There are various street closures and limited accommodations during these high-profile events. Chicago also can play host to one-time events, previously hosting the NFL Draft, and, in 2024, will play host to the Democratic National Convention. Planning around these yearly or visiting events ensures that your event doesn’t compete for attention and that attendees can fully participate without missing out on other significant happenings in the city.

Community Engagement

Engage with the local community to create a positive impact. Consider partnering with local charities or organizing community outreach programs for your event. Building connections with the Chicago community adds a philanthropic dimension to your occasion and strengthens its overall impact.

Interested in learning more? Contact us today!