When Pinterest became popular a number of years ago, everyone suddenly became quasi event planners with myriad options directly at their fingertips. Now, PartySlate is the professional industry’s answer to the photo-sharing site. With it, real-life professionals post their ideas and plans for all to see, giving clients and colleagues even more creative ideas.

InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile uses the app, saying it’s great for finding ideas you might not even have imagined.

“[PartySlate] is a great tool for planners,” confirms Schmidt. “There are so many websites with photos and imagery, but few that have a lot of actual events to get inspiration ideas for décor and see firsthand how different spaces have been reimagined.”

And though Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago doesn’t use PartySlate currently, Lewellin says he is hearing more and more buzz about the platform, likening it to a growing number of people wanting out-of-the-box events.

“That’s the nature of the meeting process,” he says. “People don’t want the standard ballroom because it gets old and boring. You have to change it up, and this is where planners now go for inspiration.” 

Whether dabbling with an augmented reality app, getting up to speed on the complexities of 5G service or employing cocktail-mixing robots, planners are no strangers to emerging technology. As meetings and events become increasingly tech-driven affairs, we’ve checked in with top event production pros for their takes on the latest event tech trends and what’s to come in the year ahead. 

 

The atmosphere at relaxed Avondale neighborhood eatery Pisolino may remind you of a charming, laid-back European bistro—and for good reason.

Chef and co-owner James De Marte spent over a decade cooking his way through Italy to craft and hone the skills on full display at the cozy restaurant today. “The restaurant is truly his dream-turned-reality and a showcase of his love for Italian cuisine,” says co-owner Rachel De Marte.

 

There’s no better way to build team spirit than with a can of spray paint and a blank canvas. Native 312 Events gives groups a chance to foster community and creativity while learning about one of Chicago’s most widely seen forms of art: graffiti.

Javier Dominguez and Adam Dittman founded Native 312 Events nearly two years ago after working together on events for more than eight years. They now provide Urban Art Workshops to a variety of clientele, including collegiate groups and corporate teams.