Illinois Meetings and Events Magazine

Oswego and Plainfield Provides Plenty of Reasons to Pack up and Leave the City

Last summer was a big year for Arranmore Farm and Polo Club. Since 1999, the 300-acre plot of land in Oswego was a private playing fi eld for the sport of polo. But in 2015, the Greene family opened up the land to the public for the fi rst time, o ering an on-the-lawn concert series (similar to Ravinia) and full buyouts for weddings and other special events held from May to October.  

David Ranalli’s Magic Act is a Crowd-Pleaser

David Ranalli, aka “The Corporate Illusionist,” has been practicing magic since he was 13 years old, first gaining exposure in nightclubs before moving to the business world where tricks like mind reading and Russian roulette wow crowds of around 1,000 people (or more if needed). Here, he shares his secrets to being a successful entertainer. 

Conrad Chicago Goes from Rush to Erie Street

Sometimes all you need is a change of scenery to feel your best. That is exactly what Conrad Chicago had in mind when planning its latest move. The former Rush Street hotel (which was rebranded into The Gwen almost two years ago) will reopen at a new location at 101 E. Erie Street in September.

Burrito Beach Party Platters Put a New Twist on Box Lunches

Although they’ve been around for the past 20 years, Chicago’s Tex Mex emporium Burrito Beach is charting new waters with a foray into affordable catering for meetings and events. While its taco and nacho bars bank on the popularity of “build-your-own” stations, “beach boxes” update the old lunch staple with a choice of burrito, salad or quesadilla. Even breakfast gets a wakeup call with genius breakfast burritos and a breakfast taco bar.

Meet Deb Bullwinkel, Villa Park Mayor & Meeting Planner

Running a town is a lot like running a convention, says Deb Bullwinkel, and she should know. As a full-time meeting planner in the nonprofit sector the past 20-plus years, Bullwinkel decided to extend her reach even farther in 2009 by becoming a trustee in her home village of Villa Park before eventually becoming mayor in 2013. She was a top vote getter in both races. “I enjoy serving the people and public service,” she says, speaking from her village office before heading to her home office for round two.

Event Snapshots: The Last Speakeasy

What better reason to toast a cocktail than the anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition? With that “spirit” in mind, the Chicago History Museum organized The Last Speakeasy event in December, a party to celebrate the 82nd anniversary of the passage of the 21st Amendment that reversed the ban on alcohol. Before it, 1930s speakeasies and coordinating mob activity were ubiquitous to Chicago, which was the retro feel the museum had in mind for the event.

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