There are several convention centers located in the greater Chicago area, but savvy meeting planners know that Schaumburg Convention Center in Chicago Northwest has more to offer than other venues. I’ve planned a number of different happenings there, including annual corporate meetings and a complex conference. Regardless of the size or scope of the event, the amazing Chicago Northwest staff members worked with me every step of the way to stay within budget and maximize my clients’ ROI. Below are some tips and tricks I picked up.
Time is money. Whether coming or going, the access between O’Hare International Airport and Schaumburg Convention Center is quick and easy via I-90. It only takes 15–20 minutes depending on traffic.
No unexpected expenses
Attendees come to meetings with certain expectations. They don’t like to be surprised by parking fees and other costs that eat up their per diem. The 100,000-square-foot Schaumburg Convention Center offers complimentary on-site parking (something that’s virtually unheard of in downtown Chicago!) and other amenities like free Wi-Fi in the lobby and public areas, ensuring attendees have plenty of cash to spend on the things that really matter. Like a delectable Alaskan King Crab dinner at the on-site Sam & Harry’s Steak House. Am I right?
Dozens of dining options
Return on investment isn’t just about the money. Clients always want to make sure that there are opportunities for networking. Attendees need to be able to mix and mingle before and after the meetings and seminars. There are approximately 40 restaurants within two miles of the Schaumburg Convention Center, all of which are perfect for that purpose. The Clubhouse is a Chi-town favorite that’s been serving up American cuisine for almost two decades. In the mood for Italian? Maggiano’s Little Italy boasts a private banquet room and serves up mouthwatering manicotti, among other things.
I’ve had clients book private dining rooms at these and other renowned restaurants for networking events, while others just allot free time for their attendees to socialize informally at cocktail hours. Guests staying in one of the Concierge Level rooms in the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel also have opportunities to network in the VIP lounge over the free breakfast in the morning or hors d’oeuvres in the evening.
There are plenty of other lodging options besides the upscale, 500-room Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel, which is adjacent to the convention center. Brands to fit any budget include:
- Embassy Suites
- Holiday Inn
- Hyatt Regency
All in all, there are more than 20 hotels boasting thousands of rooms near the convention center. Some are within walking distance, and the rest just a short drive. All the hotels offer a comfortable, convenient place for attendees to relax at the end of day full of work and play.
Speaking of play, there are countless opportunities for that as well. Whether someone forgot to pack a dress for cocktail hour or just needs some retail therapy, the Woodfield Mall is a mere two miles away from the convention center. Chicago Improv is also located on the mall property. This after-hours hotspot is the perfect place to unwind. Or, for those willing to venture a little farther, there’s a Metra rail station in Schaumburg that goes to downtown Chicago, giving attendees even more sightseeing options during their downtime.
Schaumburg Convention Center in Chicago Northwest is perhaps my favorite venue to book for meetings and corporate events. The helpful staff, convenient location and nearby attractions make it easy to plan a successful event with a good return on investment.
Learn more about meetings in Chicago Northwest.