Regularly voted as one of the best big cities to live in the United States, Chicago is a destination that needs no introduction. It’s renowned for its bold architectural icons, world-class museums, and legendary sporting teams, as well as an enviable setting overlooking the shores of Lake Michigan.
With its diverse choice of venues, professional vendors, and talented event planning companies, Chicago is an ideal place to hold your next corporate event. You can host it in one of the city’s soaring penthouses, atmospheric bars, or purpose-built studios, with all of the support you need to deliver an exceptional occasion.
Corporate Event Options in Chicago
Once you’ve found your corporate event venue in Chicago, it’s time to book the vendors to help bring your visions to life. The city has an abundance of talented professionals that range from florists to photographers and bar staff, as well as catering and furniture rental teams.
Want to feed the guests at your corporate event? Chicago has no shortage of catering companies and restaurants that will deliver tasty cuisine. You can opt for hors d'oeuvres, a buffet, or a formal sit-down meal, no matter the style of cuisine you’re after.
You can liven up your corporate event venue with fresh flowers or add a splash of green with potted plants. Chicago’s talented florists can create all types of bouquets and botanical features delivered directly to your venue.
Investing in the services of a Chicago photographer is a simple way of capturing high-quality images that can be used for corporate marketing purposes. Add them to your social media channels or website to share all the moments from your corporate event while promoting your brand to a wider audience.
- Bar Staff
Some Chicago event venues will come with their own bar staff while others won’t. If it’s the latter, you can hire bar and wait staff through one of the city’s hospitality recruitment companies who will do all the vetting for you.
- Equipment Rentals
Need to supply your own tables, chairs, or decor? You can style your corporate event venue just as you wish with the help of Chicago equipment rental companies. Whether you need sound and audio gear, linen, or tableware, you’ll be able to find exactly what you’re after.
Event Planning Companies In Chicago
Need help organizing your corporate event? Chicago event planning companies can help secure a venue, brainstorm a theme, and go over the tiniest details so you can focus on running your business.
- LOLA Event Productions
With over 60 years of combined experience and based out of Bucktown, the team at LOLA Event Productions can assist in planning various event themes and sizes. They’ve appeared in several “best of” lists in wedding industry publications, meaning they’re a reliable name you can trust to deliver a flawless and stress-free corporate event.
- Absolute Production Services
Whether you’re planning a small gathering or a large corporate event, Absolute Production Services can help you deliver an occasion to remember. They can assist with everything from finding your ideal corporate event venue in Chicago to planning the finer details and executing an incredible day.
- On The Scene
On The Scene is an award-winning Chicago event management company that’s been trusted by clients from Illinois and beyond since 1969. They take the time to learn about the culture and brand you are wanting to promote, as well as your specific event goals to deliver a personalized experience.
Pros and Cons of Corporate Events in Chicago
- Diverse choice of corporate event venues
From eclectic penthouses to cozy bars and architecturally-designed showrooms, Chicago boasts a diverse choice of corporate event venues that will appeal to all tastes and needs.
- Affordable rental prices
Compared to some major cities in the United States, Chicago still has relatively affordable property prices. This means that you’ll be able to find corporate event venues to suit all budgets.
- Professional vendors
Chicago has plenty of experienced vendors who can deliver the corporate event you envision, from florists to photographers and professional bar staff.
- Easy transport options
Chicago’s international airports make it easy for your corporate event guests to get to and from the city, while the Chicago Union Station has train services from destinations across the United States.
- Plenty to see and do
Chicago is a world-class city, with plenty of attractions to keep your corporate event guests entertained. From the international works on display at the Art Institute of Chicago to the waterfront restaurants of Navy Pier, there’s something that will appeal to everyone.
- Unfavorable weather
Affectionately known as the “Windy City,” Chicago isn’t renowned for its favorable weather. It can be incredibly windy throughout the year, with hot and humid summers that are followed by bitterly cold winters.
- Bad traffic
Even on a good day, Chicago’s traffic can come to a standstill during rush hour, particularly in the downtown area. This means that you should plan ahead if you’re trying to get to a corporate event venue in downtown Chicago.
- Parking is difficult
Associated with the city’s bad traffic is its parking, which can be next-to-impossible to find in the city center. Opting to use taxis or ride-share services is the best way to avoid the issue and give you and your guests the best chance of arriving on time.
Chicago has a relatively high crime rate. Some neighborhoods are more notorious for crime than others, so this is something to consider before renting your corporate event venue in Chicago.
- High taxes
When booking vendors and planning catering, it’s important to be aware that Chicago taxes grocery and restaurant purchases.
Famous Locations in Chicago
- Millennium Park
Famed for its immense Cloud Gate sculpture, Millennium Park lies in the heart of Chicago, framed by some of the city’s most iconic architectural landmarks. It’s here that you’ll find the Jay Pritzker Pavilion and the striking BP Pedestrian Bridge, as well as the beautifully landscaped grounds of the Lurie Garden.
- Art Institute of Chicago
This world-class museum is home to almost 300,000 works, with a particular highlight being its Impressionist and Post-Impressionist collections. It occupies a beautiful Beaux-Arts-style building that was constructed in the lead up to the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. Don’t miss Georges Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, Grant Wood’s American Gothic, or Pablo Picasso’s The Old Guitarist.
- Willis Tower
For incredible views across Chicago, ride the elevator that leads to the 103rd-floor SkyDeck of the Willis Tower. Once the tallest office block in the world, this 1,450-foot-tall building dominates the city skyline and features a glass-floored box known as “The Ledge” that allows you the thrill of teetering high above.