Chicago Event Planning Guide | The Vendry

Event Planning Guide
Chicago

Source the best vendors and venues for your event.

Welcome to Chicago

Located in the heart of the United States, Chicago has proven to be a popular spot for conferences, conventions, meetings, and special events. From its impressive McCormick Place convention center to historic Navy Pier, this Midwestern metropolis boasts one-of-a-kind venues, along with a wealth of cultural programming including architectural marvels, award-winning restaurants, pro sports teams, and more. Plus, it’s home to many major events such as the Lollapalooza music festival and the National Restaurant Association Show.
Chicago Highlights
Stay up to date on the latest news and announcements in and around Chicago, find out information on the city’s transportation systems including area airports, get acquainted with the main convention center, and more by visiting the below sites and resources. Plus, receive current info on business openings and closures and event restrictions.
The Bean
Officially titled “Cloud Gate,” this work of public art is one of the world’s largest permanent outdoor art installations.
Art Institute of Chicago
Home to the greatest collection of Impressionist paintings outside of Paris, this museum also boasts Ferris Bueller as a fan.
The Field Museum
Besides viewing the T-Rex named Sue, planners can host events here—from intimate dinners to large receptions for 10,000.
Shedd Aquarium
Here, visitors can meet 32,500 creatures from aquatic habitats including beluga whales, dolphins, sea otters, sea lions, and penguins.
Navy Pier
This lakefront destination contains more than 50 acres of parks, restaurants, attractions, retail shops, cruise boats, exposition facilities, and more.
Millennium Park
This lakefront park in Chicago’s downtown Loop is home to the Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion.
The Second City
Famous for its sketch comedy performances, this iconic venue is where many top comedians got their start.
The Ledge
Catch breathtaking views from this all-glass balcony, which rises 1,353 feet and is located at Willis Tower’s Skydeck Chicago.
The Bean
Officially titled “Cloud Gate,” this work of public art is one of the world’s largest permanent outdoor art installations.
Art Institute of Chicago
Home to the greatest collection of Impressionist paintings outside of Paris, this museum also boasts Ferris Bueller as a fan.
The Field Museum
Besides viewing the T-Rex named Sue, planners can host events here—from intimate dinners to large receptions for 10,000.
Shedd Aquarium
Here, visitors can meet 32,500 creatures from aquatic habitats including beluga whales, dolphins, sea otters, sea lions, and penguins.
Navy Pier
This lakefront destination contains more than 50 acres of parks, restaurants, attractions, retail shops, cruise boats, exposition facilities, and more.
Millennium Park
This lakefront park in Chicago’s downtown Loop is home to the Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion.
The Second City
Famous for its sketch comedy performances, this iconic venue is where many top comedians got their start.
The Ledge
Catch breathtaking views from this all-glass balcony, which rises 1,353 feet and is located at Willis Tower’s Skydeck Chicago.
Chicago Weather
It’s not nicknamed the Windy City for nothing. Because of its waterfront location on Lake Michigan, Chicago can experience frigid gusts but it’s not technically windier than any other U.S. city, so don’t let that deter you. Expect warm, potentially humid summers and pleasant weather during the spring and fall seasons.
Today
Clouds
73°
Wednesday, Jun 16
Chicago Weather Essentials
MonthHighLowPrecipitation
June81°63°4.1 in
July84°68°4.0 in
August82°66°4.0 in
September75°57°3.3 in
October63°46°3.2 in
November48°34°3.4 in
December36°23°2.6 in
7 Day Forecast
Wed, Jun 16
73°
Clouds
Precipitation: 0%
Humidity: 45%
Wind: 10.94 m/s
Thu, Jun 17
76°
Clouds
Precipitation: 0%
Humidity: 41%
Wind: 11.81 m/s
Fri, Jun 18
77°
Rain
Precipitation: 100%
Humidity: 77%
Wind: 21 m/s
Sat, Jun 19
71°
Clear
Precipitation: 0%
Humidity: 49%
Wind: 13.38 m/s
Sun, Jun 20
77°
Rain
Precipitation: 100%
Humidity: 62%
Wind: 13.06 m/s
Mon, Jun 21
70°
Rain
Precipitation: 100%
Humidity: 61%
Wind: 16.02 m/s
Tue, Jun 22
64°
Rain
Precipitation: 54%
Humidity: 48%
Wind: 10.78 m/s
Wed, Jun 23
72°
Rain
Precipitation: 20%
Humidity: 52%
Wind: 17.31 m/s
Wed, Jun 16
73°
Clouds
Precipitation: 0%
Humidity: 45%
Wind: 10.94 m/s
Thu, Jun 17
76°
Clouds
Precipitation: 0%
Humidity: 41%
Wind: 11.81 m/s
Fri, Jun 18
77°
Rain
Precipitation: 100%
Humidity: 77%
Wind: 21 m/s
Sat, Jun 19
71°
Clear
Precipitation: 0%
Humidity: 49%
Wind: 13.38 m/s
Sun, Jun 20
77°
Rain
Precipitation: 100%
Humidity: 62%
Wind: 13.06 m/s
Mon, Jun 21
70°
Rain
Precipitation: 100%
Humidity: 61%
Wind: 16.02 m/s
Tue, Jun 22
64°
Rain
Precipitation: 54%
Humidity: 48%
Wind: 10.78 m/s
Wed, Jun 23
72°
Rain
Precipitation: 20%
Humidity: 52%
Wind: 17.31 m/s
Chicago Resources
Get There
What is the best way to get to Chicago?
Flying: Chicago is home to two international airports—Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW)—with daily inbound and outbound flights to more than 240 destinations. Downtown Chicago is accessible from both airports via the CTA’s L trains, as well as by taxi and ride-sharing apps like Lyft and Uber. Car rental companies and airport shuttles are also available.
Train: Chicago’s Union Station serves both Amtrak and Metra, the city’s commuter rail service that connects outlying suburbs to downtown.
Car: Chicago’s central location, which is accessible by many of the nation’s major interstates including I-90, I-94, I-55, I-290, and I-294, makes it easily reachable via car.
What is the best time to visit Chicago?
Summer is Chicago’s peak tourist season, with bars and restaurants spreading out onto rooftops, terraces, and sidewalks. At this time, the city is also jam packed with food festivals, concerts, and more. Some can't-miss citywide events include Taste of Chicago (the largest outdoor food fest in the world) in July; Blues Fest and Gospel Fest in June, Lollapalooza in August; and Jazz Fest in September. But weather wise, the best times to visit Chicago are during the spring and fall seasons when the temperatures are warm and pleasant. Expect frigid temps during the winter, which is the least crowded time, making it a good season to spend time indoors exploring the museums and catching a theatrical performance.
Get Around
Walking: Chicago’s downtown pedestrian way system (the Pedway) is a network of tunnels, ground-level concourses, and bridges connecting buildings throughout the business district (known as the Loop), allowing travelers to explore the city on foot while avoiding the cold and snow.
Transit: The CTA operates Chicago’s eight L train lines and 129 bus routes. Travelers can pay cash for single bus rides or they can purchase a reloadable Ventra card or an unlimited ride pass to use on both trains and buses.
Taxi: In addition to physically hailing cabs on the street, visitors can also e-hail and pay with CHICABS-approved apps ARRO and CURB. Credit cards are accepted in all taxis. Or use an on-demand ride-sharing app such as Uber and Lyft.
Get Inspiration From Previous Events in Chicago
Want to be inspired? Browse our Chicago galleries by event type, industry, vendor, venue and even attendee count.