Event Snapshots: Illinois Planners Meet Up for Hospitality Fest

Hello readers,

In August, Here’s Chicago hosted Hospitality Fest 2017 at River North’s Montgomery Club. The event drew 600-plus meeting and event planners across the city and state for networking opportunities and the chance to meet with more than 70 local venues and vendors set up in a tradeshow format for consideration for future events, particularly as the holiday planning season amped up.

In addition to Here’s Chicago, Hospitality Fest had several association partners, including the Greater Chicago Chapter of the International Live Events Association (ILEA), the Greater Midwest Chapter of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), the Chicago Chapter of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and the National Association for Catering and Events (NACE), among others.

Gibson’s Restaurant Group provided all food and drinks, and there was also a series of raffles, including gifts from Ravinia Festival and a guitar signed by legendary Chicago bluesman Buddy Guy. All attendees walked away with a gift bag. Included inside were the Here’s Chicago and Premier Travel Media 2017 Chicago Holiday Party guides.

Here are some sights from the night.

  1. Hospitality Fest organizers including Alicja Burek of Alicja Events (left) and Melissa Hahn of Meetings & Incentives (right).
  2. The Museum of Science & Industry demonstrates the fun activities in store for event attendees at the Chicago museum.
  3. Media personalities Marianne Murciano and Bob Sirott (pictured middle) joined the party.
  4. Representatives with the Chicago Loop Alliance, one of the sponsors.
  5. Garrett’s Popcorn demonstrating why their treat makes such a great gift bag item.
  6. The winner of the Buddy Guy raffle holding his new guitar.

Happy Planning!

Selena Fragassi
Illinois Meetings + Events 

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Members of The Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association (IHLA) placed their bets for a good cause this summer at the 11th annual Pony Up for the Kids fundraiser event, held at Arlington International Racecourse. Proceeds went directly into a fund for the IHLA Educational Foundation Scholarship program, which provides financial assistance to local students pursuing degrees in hospitality. (See the latest winners on page 45.) To date, the program has awarded $400,000 to deserving students. Guests were able to enjoy the racecourse’s private Beverly D.


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