Your guide to classically Chicago gifts for attendees and clients

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Hello readers,

‘Tis the season to start thinking about the holidays, and we are here as Santa’s little helpers with tips on a must-attend event and a couple of classically Chicago gifts for attendees and clients.

First, Association Forum’s Holiday Showcase heads to Hyatt Regency Chicago on Wednesday, December 13. The one-day tradeshow and training seminar brings together the meeting and events community to talk shop, meet new vendors and learn from leaders. 

The all-day event runs 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and includes a CEOnly® Seminar (including a 20 for 2018 presentation on association trends and developments delivered by SmithBucklin President and CEO Matt Sanderson), a Welcoming Environment summit to learn to increase diversity and inclusiveness and a keynote brunch delivered by Robyn Benincasa on the topic of “Leading Through Change.” 

The day also promises networking opportunities, education sessions and access to the exhibitor hall. Full-day rates for CEOs run $280, non-CEOs $160, suppliers $525 and tradeshow only for $25 in advance (rates go up at the door). Register now to reserve your spot.

If you’re looking to get a head start on shopping for clients and event attendees, we have two great ideas that are true Chicago treasures. The Chicago Dogs, the brand new minor league baseball team coming to Rosemont in the spring, opens their first-ever “dugout” pop-up shop on Level One of the Fashion Outlets of Chicago. As of November 23, the shop will be open Wednesdays and Fridays from 3-9 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. through December 31 and will sell branded youth t-shirts and hoodies; adult t-shirts, long sleeve shirts and hoodies; and a variety of hats for all ages. 

Another favorite gift are iconic Frango Mints. These meltaway sweets have been a part of the city’s DNA since the opening of the Marshall Field department store in 1929. Today the tradition is carried on at a new exclusive boutique in Water Tower Place where you can get boxes of the original chocolate-mint flavor and limited edition seasonal varieties like candy cane, milk toffee and Himalayan salted caramel. The shop is open Mondays-Thursdays 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays 9 a.m.-9p.m. and Sundays 9 a.m.-7 p.m., though you can order online anytime. 

Happy planning!

Selena Fragassi

Located in Kohler, WI, The American Club and Kohler Waters Spa at the Destination Kohler received Forbes Five-Star ratings.

Forbes Travel Guide also designated Four Stars to the resort’s culinary program, The Immigrant Restaurant, for its hospitality.


The Greater St. Charles Convention and Visitors Bureau (GSCCVB) was named a Stella Awards finalist in the Midwest/Regional Best CVB/DMO category. The Stella Awards honor excellence in the meetings industry.

“The GSCCVB brand is focused on promoting sight-doing rather than simply sight-seeing,” said Lula Cassidy, executive director. “I believe one of the reasons we were selected as a finalist is because the Greater St. Charles area has so much to offer visitors. They can truly ‘See It. Do It. Live It.’ in our community.”


Metro Public Works recently announced the start of a new glass recycling initiative to being in Lower Broadway in Nashville, TN.

Mayor Megan Barry said it was the city’s first glass bottle recycling initiative. “Lower Broadway has become an international tourist destination, and long-neck bottles are now synonymous with the honky-tonk experience,” Barry said. “For too long, we’ve had to throw away glass that could have been recycled and repurposed. This program is like no other, and we are excited to lead the charge toward a more sustainable city.”