• 5 Things to Know about Illinois Meetings + Events’ New Editor

    POSTED December 11, 2017

Hello, readers!

I’m thrilled to be embarking on my new adventure as editor for Illinois Meetings + Events for 2018. Selena Fragassi has left big shoes to fill, and I’m looking forward to continuing the legacy of this incredible publication she’s led for the last eight years.

As I’m writing this, I’m currently recovering from jet lag after spending 10 days in Australia with the incredible Dreamtime program, hosted by Tourism Australia, for incentive planners around the world. (The photo above was taken at Brisbane’s only winery, Sirromet.) As we begin this next journey together, here are a few things to know about me.

1. I absolutely love Chicago.
Growing up on a wheat farm in Montana, I never dreamed I’d one day move to the big city. But that’s just what I did in 2009, when I moved to Chicago to get my master’s degree in magazine journalism from Northwestern University. Jobs took my husband and I to Atlanta for a few years in between, but we officially moved back to Chicago in early 2016 and haven’t looked back.

2. I live and breathe hotels.
Airbnb is the source of so many conversations around travel these days. While I have stayed in Airbnbs before and am not opposed to doing so in the future, hotels are my true love. Despite all the research that says millennials want modern, socialized spaces from hotels, I’m a sucker for a beautiful traditional property. The Langham, Sydney is probably my favorite hotel I’ve ever stayed at (of course, I love the Chicago Langham, too!).

3. I believe constant adventuring is essential to being a good editor.
There are times when we must spend hours behind our desks, but the magic happens when we’re out exploring. That’s when I’m happiest: out and about—whether in Chicago or Australia or Montana—discovering the latest and greatest trends, happenings, news and more. I’m looking forward to bringing that sense of adventure into each of the stories we produce at Illinois Meetings + Events.

4. I love networking.
There’s something both terrifying and thrilling about walking into a room filled with strangers. I’ll admit I have to psyche myself up beforehand, but making new connections and beginning relationships is such a fulfilling thing for me. The meetings and travel industry is truly all about people—and from my experience, 99 percent of them are incredible.

5. F&B is my thing.
Food can make or break an event, as we all know from both planning and attending events. If it’s good, everyone will talk about it; if it’s bad, they’ll never let it go. That’s why I love scouting out the latest menu trends, healthy snacks, inventive cocktails and more. I’m looking forward to upping the F&B coverage in Illinois Meetings + Events in 2018. (It’s a tough job, I know!)

Lastly, I’d love to hear from you! Drop me a line anytime at kelsey.ogletree@tigeroak.com to let me know what you’re loving, what you’re struggling with or what you like to see us cover in the magazine. You can also follow me on Twitter, @kelseyogletree, or connect with me on LinkedIn here. I look forward to meeting all of you. I hope to see some of you at Holiday Showcase on Dec. 14, too!


When the Chicago Architecture Center opens at its new home at 111 East Wacker Drive this August, the city will gain a new cultural destination—and event planners will gain a sparkling new venue to consider for events.

“The view of the river and prominent buildings at that corner is breathtaking,” says Deb Rodak, manager of group sales and business development for the 20,000-square-foot facility, situated above the dock for Chicago’s First Lady Cruises.


A Derby themed gala to commemorate Hotel Baker’s 90th anniversary was held on June 2, 2018. The invitation-only event was both a celebration an important milestone as well a tribute to the original owner Colonel Edward Baker, who opened the downtown St. Charles hotel on June 2, 1928. 


Food trucks may be mobile, but they aren’t going anywhere, since their popularity only seems to grow with each season. A New Jersey hotel is getting in on the fun! Along with over 18,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space, Embassy Suites by Hilton in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, offers the Grain & Cane “Gastro Truck” as a fun option for a mid-meeting break or post-event dining option.