planning

Chicagoland has a Timeline of Restaurants That Allow Patrons to Go Back in Time

From 1920s speakeasies to 1950s supper clubs and 1980s game emporiums, Chicagoland has a whole timeline of spots that pair good food with a side dish of nostalgia.

Sweets & Snack Expo Gives a Look at What’s Next in Meeting Munchies

Talk about a sugar rush. After attending the annual Sweets & Snack Expo, held at McCormick Place May 24-26, Illinois Meetings + Events shares all the goodies from the expo floor. Here’s a look at what’s trending in healthy snacks for meetings (or the office) as well as decadent gifts and branded treats that make great client takeaways. 

Healthy Snacks

Signature Drink: "Bo Knows This"

After a two-year hiatus from the restaurant world, chef Jason Vincent is back with Giant. The 40-seat spot in Logan Square offers classic Midwestern dishes from the culinary genius named Food & Wine’s “Best New Chef” and a winner of the Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand award. General Manager and Partner Josh Perlman will oversee Giant’s beverage program, which includes a boutique wine and beer list and classic cocktails like this one—named after A Tribe Called Quest song.

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.

FêteFone Turns Up the Audio With Unique Telephone Stations

Forget about greeting guests with the same old guestbook. FêteFone lets guests speak for themselves with unique telephone stations. Event planners can go to fetefone.com and select from more than 25 styles that fit their event décor. Once selected, the FêteFone hub arrives at the planned event location at least two days before the kickoff. The best part about the design? No telephone line is required. Guests can pick up the phone, hear greetings from hosts and also leave messages.

Get in a Good Workout at One of These 3 Hotels

Chicago hotels are inviting meeting attendees to bust a move with new fitness programs that really stretch the limits of breakout sessions.

JW Marriott Chicago recently launched the “Fit Meetings” program, exclusively tailored to meeting participants. It offers a choice of three breakout enhancements that focus on meditation, posture and boosting energy or three longer-format fitness classes led by the spa’s Nike-certified personal trainers. Groups of up to 200 are welcome. 

Turn Imagination Into Reality with EverBlock

Add a creative touch to your next event space with EverBlock, a building system comprised of oversized plastic blocks that can be constructed into nearly anything imaginable. Blocks come in a wide variety of colors, ensuring the ability to match any logo or theme, and they’re environmentally friendly in addition to being easy to set up and take down.

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