8 Ways to Make the Most of Your Time in Chicago

friday_chicago_post.pngWith just a few days away from the annual United Fresh Expo, you’ve likely already wrapped up all of your major tradeshow related to-dos. BUT have you considered how to make the most of your time in Chicago outside of tradeshow hours? We’ve rounded up a few last-minute tips that can help you make necessary reservations and plans for next week. See you there!

  • Venture away from downtown – If you have the time, we’ve spoken with several locals who suggest venturing beyond downtown for the best eats and an eclectic vibe. City Winery is a great spot if you’re looking to take customers to enjoy the triple threat of wine, music and culinary arts.
  • Use Opentable to make reservations, and DON’T no show! – Many Chicago eateries allow reservations on Opentable (definitely make reservations!) but be aware that most will require a credit card for parties of 8 or more to hold your reservation. AND if you don’t show up, you will be charged a no-show fee, up to $40/head at some popular restaurants! We suggest you make a plan and stick to it.
  • Try Daily Grind in the Hyatt instead of Starbucks – There are two Starbucks locations in the convention center, and the lines are guaranteed to get long at both. Try walking to the Hyatt to try their coffee shop, the Daily Grind. They also have your needs covered with band aids for those blistered tradeshow feet!
  • Follow @Uber_CHI and look for promo codes – Uber is a great alternative to cabs in terms of getting TO the convention center, but keep in mind they cannot pick you up there because there is not a designated area for them. Also, remember to ask them to drop you off on the SOUTH SIDE of McCormick Place or you will be in for quite a hike!
  • Get your exercise in along Lake Michigan – If you love a long morning run in a new city like me, consider taking in the sights before the tradeshow floor opens! From McCormick Place’s South Hall to Navy Pier and back is approximately 6 miles.
  • Use a car service if you’re in a hurry – Car services like American Coach Limousine and Blacklane will eliminate the wait and get you where you need to go for not much more than cab. This can be especially helpful if you have a meeting soon after landing at the airport.
  • Try a new restaurant – The eateries Girl and the Goat, Irazu, and The Purple Pig received multiple mentions and kudos from the locals we spoke to. And of course if you’ve never been, don’t miss Eataly.

We can’t wait to see you in Chicago! If you have a marketing problem you need help solving, give the DMA team a shout so we can meet up and chat over coffee or a cocktail.