The city of Chicago has long been a Midwestern hub for trade and commerce. In the 1800s, its location on the shores of Lake Michigan made it a strategic shipping point for crops and livestock from the south and merchant vessels from the north and east. As the city prospered and grew, it was only natural that it would become the center for business in middle America. Chicago boasts two airports and McCormick Place, the largest trade and convention center in North America.
Landing at O’Hare Airport
For many business travelers, a trip to Chicago begins at O’Hare Airport, northwest of downtown. O’Hare is one of the busiest airports in the country. With so many travelers flying in and out, it is no wonder that many corporations have headquarters and offices within a few minutes of this hub. If you are meeting in the Chicago metro area or attending a conference near O’Hare, you will want to find the perfect hotel close to O’Hare airport. Fortunately, there are many to choose from.
The Hyatt Regency O’Hare Chicago is the largest hotel and convention center in the area with a host of meeting spaces for all business needs. It also has a 24-hour airport shuttle service.
The Hilton Chicago O’Hare Airport is the only hotel on the grounds of the airport. You can walk from your gate to your room for the night. It has 37,000 square feet of meeting space available.
The Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare boasts several fine restaurants, an airport shuttle, and a meeting/convention space that can accommodate up to 3,000 people.
There are also several budget-priced options if you are in Chicago to meet at one of the corporate offices in the area. Example include the Best Western Hotel at O’Hare Airport and the Holiday Inn and Suites at Chicago/O’Hare.
McCormick Place is located to the south of downtown Chicago. It is one of the major reasons that business travelers will make their way to the city. As America’s largest trade center, it hosts many trade shows and conventions throughout the year. If you need to make your way to McCormick Place from O’Hare airport, you can easily make the trip in about 40 minutes by public transportation. Take the Blue Line from O’Hare to the Clark/Lake station and transfer to the Green Line. Take this line south to the Cermak-McCormick Street Station.
Creative Business Meetings
Most of the hotels around O’Hare have bars, lounges, and restaurants to take a meeting with a client, but Chicago offers some creative options for business meetings. If you want to combine a meeting with getting your steps in, there is a walking path along the entire lakeshore with views of Lake Michigan. A relaxing stroll around Promontory Point near the University of Chicago might inspire some new ideas.
If you want to combine business with culture, take in a meeting at Terzo Piano, the Italian Restaurant on the third floor of the Art Institute of Chicago. Other interesting settings for conversation include Galileo’s Café at the Adler Planetarium and Harry Caray’s Tavern at Navy Pier. For drinks with a spectacular view of the city, check out the Signature Room at the top of the John Hancock Building. Chicago has many options to entertain and impress your colleagues and clients.