EventCamp Program Schedule Announced

December 8  |  meeting and event planning education  |   Andrew Maxwell

EventCamp National Conference

EventCamp has announced the program schedule for its 2011 national conference, which is being held February 11 – 13, 2011 at the Catalyst Ranch, a highly unusual facility located in the west loop section of downtown Chicago.

The event camp team consisting of Christina Coster, Jessica Levin, Jeff Hurt, Mike McAllen, and Mike McCurry have put together an outstanding program that features facilitated “small group” discussions and “peer to peer” discussions of hot topics.

The general sessions feature several outstanding social media thought leaders, including:  David Armano, Hank Wasiak, Sarah Evans, and Liz Strauss (a personal favorite!).

Registration opened yesterday. Please check the EventCamp Website for details.

Attendance at this event is limited so reserve your spot today!

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Chicago: McCormick Place Unveils Phase II Of Changes To Convention Center

November 4  |  meeting and event industry news  |   Andrew Maxwell

McCormick Place | WTTC Chicago

McCormick Place has unveiled the next phase of reforms designed to benefit customers of America’s largest convention center.

As announced last week, the reforms cut costs for customers and provide greater flexibility for groups doing business at the convention center. These are the latest round of reforms to be announced and are part of a series of changes that will be phased in over several years.

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Chicago Is Second Largest Meeting Planner Employer In The Nation

August 11  |  meeting and event planning resources  |   Andrew Maxwell

WTTC Chicago Skyline

Did you know? The Chicago area is the second largest meeting planner employer in the nation, thanks to the dozens of associations that call Chicago home, including the American Bar Association, American Dental Association, American Medical Association and the National Association of Realtors.

Chicago hosts some of the largest conventions generating billions of dollars in revenue, which increases employment in nearly every aspect of the meeting/special events industry.

Employment is expected to continue to grow faster than the average for all occupations over the 2004-14 period. Figures from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics show the median annual earnings of meeting and convention planners in May 2008 were $44,260.


Going Green with The Fairmont Chicago

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September 22  |  meeting and event planning resources  |   Andrew Maxwell Feature - Going Green with the Fairmont Chicago

Michael Phares, Director of Sales & Marketing at the Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park knows a green meeting when he sees one. Since 2004, the Fairmont Chicago’s Eco-Meet program has helped planners deliver events that are both memorable — and environmentally responsible.

The Eco-Meet program encourages maximum waste diversion and environmental awareness for conference delegates and consists of four options that can be tailored to the individual needs of the client — depending on how “green” they want to go.

* Eco-service provides “disposable-free” food and beverage services and recycling stations in the meeting rooms. This service is an important element to a sustainable meeting and includes china and cutlery used instead of disposal items, linen napkins instead of paper, and centerpieces that are edible/organic or made from reusable items such as silk flowers. White boards are used rather than paper flip charts.

* Eco-accommodation at the Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park offers in-room information, recycling bins, optional sheet and towel replacement, energy-efficient lighting, and water-conserving shower heads, toilets and tap aerators.

* Eco-cuisine menus incorporate local, seasonal and organically grown foods. Special menus can also include a 50-percent reduction in animal proteins, supplemented by vegetable proteins at meal functions. The emphasis is on healthy, environmentally friendly and delicious food. A sample organic menu might include:

Farmer’s Market Organic Salad — Organic greens, herb-crusted Montrachet, shaved fennel, oven-roasted tomatoes, Marcona almonds and green goddess dressing
Chestnut-crusted Filet of Barramundi — Nichol’s Farms chestnut dust, peeky toe crab and lobster risotto, braised artichoke hearts, fines herbs broth and organic micros
Organic Carrot Cake — Cream cheese ice cream, ginger poached carrot Malibu Rum-caramel sauce, and walnut vinaigrette

* Eco-programming provides activities such as “Shop with the Chef” to complement the Eco-Meet experience. “Shop with the Chef” allows groups to visit Chicago’s Green City Market and learn about locally-sources, sustainable farming in the Midwest. Attendees can select food items that will be served in a special group menu.

Paperless services are available for events including a dedicated TV channel to provide information and updates to delegates, electronic paperless check-in/checkout and e-mailed contracts and information. And, the Fairmont Chicago also assists meeting planners to offset their event’s greenhouse gas emissions by purchasing green tags or renewable energy certificates.

To find out more about the green tags or any aspect of the Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park’s Eco-Meet Program, contact Nora Melikian, Director of Group Sales at (312) 565-6624 or e-mail

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