Looking to plan your important corporate meeting in a city that commands respect? Look no further than Chicago, Illinois for your next event. The City of Big Shoulders is an ideal spot to hold your company’s next annual, board, sales kick-off, or team meeting, thanks to its central location and hospitable people. Chicago has played host countless times to some of the country’s biggest conferences and conventions. This town knows how to entertain and inform – not to mention wine and dine. Chicago is full of history and beauty at every turn, all up and down its Lake Michigan waterfront.
In a city metro area of eight million, it’s a little difficult to narrow down all the venue choices for your next corporate meeting in Chicago. Allow The Vendry to help. Check out the list below to research and select the perfect stunning event space in Chicago for your next corporate get-together.
Capacity: 500 standing, 475 seated
Movers and shakers unite. The Chicago Athletic Club is an iconic spot in the city to hold your corporate meeting, with over 17,000 square feet of versatile event space marked with old-world craftsmanship. This historic venue is situated on Michigan Avenue and is managed by Hyatt, so you know your experience will be topnotch. Want to really blow them out of the water? Check out the White City Ballroom. A perfect expression of Old Chicago grandeur, this meeting space has floor-to-ceiling windows that open directly onto Millennium Park and the waters of Lake Michigan, as well as three (three!) fireplaces, original from the 19th century. There’s also The Tank, the Chicago Athletic Club’s former pool area, which is perfect for a conference, fitting 260 people standing. And don’t let the historic charm of The Chicago Athletic Club fool you – there’s high tech audio/visual capabilities, sound systems, and projectors throughout.
Neighborhood: Lower West Side
Capacity: 1600 standing, 1000 seated
Right in the heart of the popular Pilsen neighborhood is The Geraghty, a large-scale event venue that will easily accommodate your big meeting, conference, or trade show. Local production powerhouse Kehoe Designs opened The Geraghty in 2015, a space full of solutions when it comes to hosting a large-scale event in the city. This space is completely customizable and features 25,000 square feet, wall-to-wall LED ceiling lights, and a VIP green room. They’ve also thought of everything to make your event seamless like Wi-Fi for 1,000 devices, an in-house liquor license, high-end furniture, and even olive trees if you need to fill up space. This venue leaves room for creative vision and you will have some of the best in the business giving you advice every step of the way.
3. Virgin Hotels Chicago
Capacity: 120 seated
Virgin Hotels Chicago invite you to “high-rise to the occasion” at their unique and funky hotel and meeting space in the Loop. A true setting where work and play collide, Virgin Hotels Chicago offers up an entire team of event professionals committed to making sure your meeting goes smoothly (and you have the best time doing it). From seating 12 to 120, The Founders Room, The Lounge, The Study, The Sandbox, and The Manor can all be configured to meet your needs, each boasting quality audio/visual and catering. But the real fun seems to be happening on the second floor, where you’ll find the 1770-square foot Commons Club. Here you will find the Funny Library, which is a fantastic lounge area that hooks up directly to the secret Shag Room. This circular 324-square foot space is a private lounge with – you guessed it – shag carpet. The Shag Room is where your team can really get down to business.
4. The Langham, Chicago
Neighborhood: River North
Capacity: 356 standing, 260 seated
Understated and elegant, The Langham, Chicago, presents as an ideal spot for your next high-level annual or board meeting. House in a 52-story Chicago River-front masterpiece by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, this Forbes 5-Star Hotel is an architecture lover’s dream. For your meeting, choose The Chelsea, a 2,400-square foot junior ballroom that can be divided into two or three separate event spaces. Or choose The Piccadilly, a room that feels like a place where all the big decisions are made. It’s a conference room with killer views from the floor-to-ceiling windows and is filled with contemporary art. The Cinema Suite is what it sounds like, but so much more. It features a high-definition screen with really cozy theater-style seating, and is the perfect impression for presentations or product launches.
5. Waldorf Astoria Chicago
Neighborhood: Rush & Division
Capacity: 230 standing, 210 seated
A Parisian-inspired AAA Five Diamond Award-winning wonder in the Gold Coast, the Waldorf Astoria Chicago sets the stage for a truly unforgettable meeting or conference. The views are incredible and the hotel’s private courtyard is like something out of storybook Europe. It’s clear why The Toyota Technology Institute in Chicago chose the Waldorf Astoria for their Leadership Dinner and Meeting a few years ago, as no detail was overlooked. There are ballrooms and salons, all of varying size and capacities, each delivering the unique touch of the Waldorf Astoria. These event spaces exclusively found on the third and fifth floors feature art of 1920’s Paris, silk covered walls, coffered ceilings, and custom made draperies. All very opulent, and oh so alluring.
6. The Godfrey Hotel Chicago
Neighborhood: River North
Capacity: 750 standing
The modern vibe of The Godfrey Hotel Chicago brings a creative energy to your meeting, SKO, or conference. Local business Connelly Electric enjoyed the space so much they hosted their 40th Anniversary Employee Event here. This boutique hotel offers up the 85-person Truss Meeting Room, complete with lots of space and state-of-the-art tech. Or utilize the VIP Room, a 20-person boardroom perfect for a C-suite meeting or team breakout session. The real stunner at The Godfrey Hotel is the I|O Rooftop Lounge up on the fourth floor, which offers a whopping 15,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor space and panoramic views of the Chicago skyline.
7. Pendry Chicago
Capacity: 400 standing, 285 seated
If you are looking to make a statement with your meeting venue choice, book Pendry Chicago. This Art Deco-designed space set in the Loop is a contemporary, luxury hotel and event venue that feels modern and inspiring. There are several ballrooms from which to choose. The Michigan Ballroom is a meeting space that has two areas that can be separated or combined, as well as a 40-foot outdoor terrace offering views up and down bustling Michigan Avenue. Pendry Chicago couldn’t possibly be in a better location in the city, too. Your business cohorts will find plenty to do and see while staying here.
8. Four Seasons Hotel Chicago
Capacity: 1150 standing, 750 seated
Now this is where meetings happen. There are two stunning Boardrooms on the upper floors of the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, both equally as impressive as the other. These two spaces feature a formal board table, executive style chairs, a private restroom, a kitchen space, and even a separate parlour area for making private calls. There’s audio/visual, wired or wireless high-speed internet, and an on-site technician should you have any questions. And the views! Natural light floods in from the floor-to-ceiling windows in these beautiful meeting rooms, with sweeping vistas of Lake Michigan.
9. The Robey Chicago
Neighborhood: Wicker Park
Capacity: 220 standing, 60 seated
Wicker Park is a creative, forward-thinking neighborhood in Chicago, so it’s no surprise The Robey Chicago has made a home here. This boutique hotel has awesome skyline views and offers several of restaurants, lounges, or rooftop spaces for private meetings. The standout is the impossibly cool Boardroom, a dark wood, art-deco chic meeting room that can seat 13. No need to worry about food and drink for your associates when you are working at The Robey, as all event catering is created in-house by their culinary and beverage team.
10. The Hoxton
Neighborhood: West Loop
Capacity: 120 standing, 40 seated
If your team is looking for room to spread out, present, pitch, or create, then The Apartment atop The Hoxton Hotel is your solution. It might be tough to find a layout like this anywhere else, so scoop this up while you have the chance. The Apartment is a bright space made up of five creatively designed rooms, which can be separated or brought together for one big meeting space. Each of these thoughtfully designed rooms come standard with Wi-Fi and printing, a tv, a fridge filled with water and soft drinks, baked goods, flip charts, and even an event professional on-hand all day. These spaces are all designed to feel like home, which allows for the ideas and inspiration to flow.
11. The Guesthouse Hotel
Capacity: 48 seated
There are two spaces within The Guesthouse Hotel in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood that would work perfectly for your off-site or team meeting. The Club Room is warm and welcoming, and features a collection of repurposed vintage and leather seating. Feel free to mix up the room’s configuration to suit your meeting’s needs. The Library is a stunning spot for a high-level or board meeting. Stacks of vintage books line the walls as your team meets below the soft golden glow of the tin ceiling. Plan to share ideas over the 10-foot barnwood table. Only 12 people fit in this space – just enough for the decision makers.
12. Nobu Hotel
Neighborhood: West Loop
Capacity: 150 standing, 30 seated
Known the world over as sleek and sophisticated, Nobu Hotel Chicago lives up to the well-earned hype. Book the Kawa Ballroom, and enjoy 3,398 square feet of flexible meeting space. High up on the 10th floor, your associates will fall in love with the view. Feel free to play around with the space, but you can set it up classroom-style for 48 people. It goes without saying that your business cohorts will not leave a meeting at Nobu Hotel hungry, as the cuisine they will enjoy will be as unforgettable as the space.
Being the savvy event planner you are, you know about all the considerations that come into play before booking a venue for your corporate event. When it comes to booking an event space in Chicago, there are a few items to think about before your final decision is made. Before signing on the dotted line in this city, take into consideration the following about Chicago:
Time of year. Yes, the Windy City is known for its blustery conditions and tough winters. But ask any Chicagoan: you simply can’t beat the city in the summertime. But should you find yourself here during the colder months, Chicago is efficient. For example, if you happen to book in February and there’s a massive snowstorm, Chicago is crazy competent to get the snow up and out of your way.
Neighborhood. Like any other great American city, there are some neighborhoods in Chicago that have more restaurants, shops, and nightlife than others. For instance, the Loop in Chicago is bustling during the day, but more quiet in the evening hours. Make sure to ask your venue what’s around so your associates have lots to do, see, and eat.
Accessibility and transportation. Similar to “neighborhood” on your checklist, selecting a venue that’s easy to get to and find is important in Chicago. Also, be aware of your group’s needs – there are so many turn-of-the-century buildings in Chicago, built in a time before elevators or ADA compliance. Always be sure to ask!
Budget, Gratuity, and Tax. Naturally, you will have your budget parameters before you set out to find a venue for your corporate event, but be sure to get all your final numbers in writing. Be sure to ask about tax in Chicago – a small price to pay for all the amenities you get in a world class city like Chicago, but good to know for the budget.
Activities and entertainment. Outside of your meeting, your guests will need things to do. Chicago is home to 22 Michelin Star restaurants and tons of Broadway shows. And the sports – don’t forget the sports. Wrigley Field is just a few L stops away…
Chicago is full of spaces and venues waiting to host your next corporate meeting or conference. Use The Vendry to search via neighborhood or capacity, then peruse what each space has to offer. Request a proposal directly from your search!