Population: 300,000

Location: Meet Chicago Northwest is a hub for eight different communities, including Arlington Heights, Elk Grove Village, Itasca, Roselle, Rolling Meadows, Schaumburg, Streamwood and Wood Dale. These communities sit on the edge of O’Hare International Airport and are centrally located to the Interstate system linking up with I-90, I-94, I-290, I-294 and I-355. Many of the communities are also serviced by Metra Rail service as well as the Pace Suburban Bus Service.

Key Contact: Tom Dahlquist, director of sales

Phone Number: 847.490.1010

The Must-Sees:
Groups will probably love Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, says Meet Chicago Northwest president Dave Parulo: "The mall itself has 300 stores, restaurants and entertainment venues, including the Improv Comedy Theater." In addition, Streets of Woodfield, across Golf Road, has open-air dining facilities and another comedy club called Laugh Out Loud. For more active outings, planners should consider GameWorks, a bar and gaming venue, or LEGOLAND Discovery Center for families, both located in Schaumburg. One other interesting venue in the town: IKEA’s U.S. flagship store.

Other attractions include Arlington International Racecourse and Metropolis Performing Arts Centre (both in Arlington Heights), the Lynfred Winery (and bed-and-breakfast) in Roselle, Schaumburg’s Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament and TopGolf in Wood Dale. "It’s a fantastic interactive golf course with multiple level driving areas; it’s catered to corporate groups with food and beverage service and additional entertainment," says Parulo. "Plus, all our facilities have free parking, which is a real advantage."

The Conference Centers & Hotels:
» "We have 62 hotels in the area, and of those, 15 have 10,000 square feet or more of meeting space," Parulo says, noting the Hyatt Regency in Schaumburg, The Westin Chicago Northwest in Itasca and DoubleTree Arlington Heights.
» The Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel is the largest in the region with 100,000 square feet of convention center space and an additional 38,000 square feet of meeting space.
» The Eaglewood Resort and Spa in Itasca also has dedicated conference space and its claim to fame is that it’s a Biggest Loser destination, meaning guests can participate in the television show’s official program.

Restaurants:
"We have more than 500 restaurants in our entire service area, especially along Meacham Road in Schaumburg, which is considered our restaurant corridor," says Parulo. Of note are the Weber Grill and Chicago Prime Steakhouses, as well as Seasons 52. Downtown Arlington Heights is also a food mecca with boutique spots like Carlos & Carlos, Peggy Kinnane’s, Salsa 17, Mago Grill & Cantina and a retro ‘50s diner called Circa 57.

How The CVB Helps:
"First and foremost, all of our services are free," says Parulo. "We like to be a one-stop shop for planners and help with site inspections, transportation and site coordination. We are also really proud of our virtual visitor information and guides that help guests enjoy the region." (In September, the CVB revealed its new branding strategy, Meet Chicago Northwest.

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Chicago hospitality collective 16” on Center partners with local businesses to turn everything from bars to theaters into serviceable event venues. Founding partners Bruce Finkelman and Craig Golden have transformed 14 businesses (like Bite Café, Dusek’s Board & Beer, MONEYGUN, The Promontory, Thalia Hall and more) and have provided a single point of contact for event planners interested in utilizing these spaces as venues.