Midwest History Meets Modernity

The birthplace of the skyscraper takes meetings to new heights

By Morgan Saltz

As the metropolitan area that defined urban landscapes with the construction of the first modern skyscraper in 1885, the greater Chicago area offers a decidedly elevated cultural experience to groups with business opportunities, exciting events and venues brimming with personality. Unrivaled history, innovation, and an evolving definition of what it means to be in the middle of it all make it easy to source a venue that is both accessible and inspiring for large swaths of the country.

Pro Tip

“In a word…FUN.”

–  Andy Ritter, public relations manager, Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau


How to Experience Greater Chicago

  • bartender pushing cocktail towards camera
    Thornton Distilling Company

    Chicago Restaurant Week

Chicago Restaurant Week (Jan. 20 – Feb. 5 2023) will feature over 300 restaurants and a world of local and global cuisines. Grab some seafood at Chicago Oyster House a block away from McCormick Place or enjoy Italian fare with handmade pasta and house-cured meats at Coda di Volpe a few blocks from Wrigleyville. Tickets are $25 for lunch and $42 or $59 for prix fixes menus throughout the Greater Chicago Area.

  • Chicago-style Pizza Tour

With so many cuisines, Chicago is still known for one in particular. “We’re known for our pizza and offer a Chicago-style pizza tour,” said Ritter. Corporate groups of 15 to 100 attendees can book a day tour with a local pizza guide to learn about Chicago through its most famous edible past time.

  • Underground Railroad Shuttle Tour

As an important city in the history of the Underground Railroad, Chicago takes great pride in offering group shuttle tours of locations that played a monumental role in an extremely pivotal era of American history. Take a tour around the riverfront neighborhood of Alton and Godfrey and learn about how Chicago’s connection to the Mighty Mississippi is rooted in our nation’s story.

  • Thornton Distilling Company

The infamous Al Capone called Chicago home in the prohibition era, making impressive profits through bootlegging operations. Take a tour with Thornton Distilling Company and view the legendary limestone space that has been brewing and distilling since 1857. After a group tour and tasting, visit the award-winning cocktail bar and restaurant, The Well for elevated pub fare and Dead Drop Spirits.

Read More: 4 Hotels with Unforgettable Drinking Experiences

  • The Second City

One of the most revered improvisation theater groups in the country, The Second City has expanded from one theater to multiple theaters in the same location. Groups can attend comedy shows or participate in professional development programs through performance and storytelling exercises covering creativity, communication and leadership.


5 Places to Meet in Greater Chicago