Nearly 200 guests convened in the lobby of the stunning Builders BLDG at 222 N. LaSalle in Chicago on May 10 for the Illinois M+E Best of 2018 readers’ choice awards. DJ D. Jones spun upbeat tunes, while MDM Entertainment provided A/V and Tag Prints hosted a photo booth. The event was co-hosted by DineAmic Group and Builders BLDG and emceed by one of the magazine’s associate publishers, Susan Rose. It was a night to remember for all the Best of winners and finalists and Hall of Fame recipients.
Nearly 500 people from Illinois and the greater Midwest gathered at the stunning Palmer House Hilton Feb. 26-28 for the annual Illinois Governor’s Conference on Tourism. During the three-day event, attendees had the chance to hear from key industry officials, including an opening keynote from Carroll Rheem, vice president of research for Brand USA; a luncheon talk on crisis management and tourism security from Dr. Peter E. Tarlow, founder and president of Tourism & More; and an address by Cory Jobe, director of the Illinois Office of Tourism, at the closing breakfast.
Guests came together for two important reasons at Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center last October: to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the 007 James Bond franchise and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The first annual “En Noir: A Casino Royale Masquerade” event was designed to benefit Imerman Angels, a one-onone cancer support community that pairs a cancer fighter, survivor or caregiver with someone who has fought and survived the same type of cancer.
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.
In May, Illinois Meetings + Events announced the winners of the Best of Illinois readers’ choice awards and the Hall of Fame inductees at our annual event that welcomed industry personnel from all over the state. Festivities were held at Rock Bottom Brewery’s upstairs event space with appetizers and signature cocktails provided by the restaurant and desserts courtesy of the Blue Man Group.
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.
Goal! The Fifth Annual Soccer & Style Fashion Show was a complete success when it was held on May 3, raising $20,000 to benefit the Chicago Fire Foundation, the soccer club’s charitable organization that’s committed to enhancing the lives of disadvantaged youth throughout the Chicagoland area. The event was held at ROOF on theWit and emceed by ABC 7’s meteorologist Cheryl Scott; it featured several players from the Chicago Fire (including new all-star signee Bastian Schweinsteiger) modeling the latest fashions from Banana Republic as fans and bloggers looked on.
February marked the 20th anniversary of the Grand Chef’s Gala, an annual black tie event that benefits the Greater Illinois Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. This special “Platinum Affair” continued the tradition of the popular event, which, in addition to being a major fundraiser, is also regarded as one of the city’s best culinary gatherings. It draws upwards of 50 noted chefs and mixologists such as Blackbird’s Ryan Pfeiffer, RPM Steak’s Doug Psaltis and Monteverde’s Sarah Grueneberg, who provided signature plates and cocktails.
May has been FOOD BOWL month in Los Angeles, a 31-day festival of curated events produced by the Los Angeles Times to celebrate the city’s dynamic and diverse culinary scene and bring awareness to food waste and hunger through programs with chefs and food-justice activists. The charity partners include No Kid Hungry, PATH & Food Forward.
In September 2016, SpringHill Suites by Marriott kicked off its “Art of Local” series, a redesign of a similar program that began in 2010. The idea behind the North American platform is to bring together some of the best creators in each destination city into hotel lobbies as a way to provide busy patrons the opportunity to explore the local art scene. Each event is different and can include visual artists, culinary whizzes, skilled crafters and live performers.