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Chicago DMC

CHICAGO VENUES LIKE NO OTHER

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CHICAGO VENUES LIKE NO OTHER

Looking for a venue that will wow guests at your next event? Check out these extraordinary venues you’ll only find in the “Windy City.”  Chicago is the only US city blessed with eventspaces ranging from sky-high perches with amazing views in some of the world’s tallest buildings to lakeside venues that take full advantage of Chicago’s stunning waterfront. 

Millennium Park

Millennium Park is Chicago’s downtown playground for the arts, creating a giant expanse of green space in the city center (“the Loop”). There are several event venues located throughout this sprawling park, including the stage of the architecturally- (and acoustically-) impressive Jay Pritzker Pavilion, the Rooftop Terrace that offers dazzling skyline views and the tree-lined Chase Promenades, just steps from Michigan Avenue and overlooking the popular Cloud Gate sculpture. Millennium Park can accommodate up to 7,000 people, with many spaces for smaller groups.

Navy Pier

This iconic Chicago landmark dramatically juts out into Lake Michigan, providing sweeping water and skyline views. Navy Pier offers two exhibit halls and 36 meeting rooms. But the real stunners are the nostalgic 18,000-sq.-ft. Aon Grand Ballroom, which is original to Navy Pier’s 1916 construction and features an 80-foot-tall domed ceiling (accommodating up to 1,100 for dinner, with additional seating for 300 in the balcony); and the seasonal Rooftop Terrace, a 27,000-sq.-ft. space equipped with a 50-by-100-ft. tent that can accommodate 350 for a sit-down dinner or 1,000 guests on the entire terrace.

The Crown at Tribune Tower

This hidden gem venue is located 25 stories atop the historic Tribune Tower, at the juncture of North Michigan Avenue and the Chicago River. The private outdoor veranda nestled within the flying buttresses of the neo-Gothic Tribune Tower’s 25thfloor provides your guests with dramatic views of the city. The venue also includes an indoor lounge featuring a copper-topped bar decorated with vintage printing plates from the venerable Chicago Tribune newspaper. The Crown can accommodate up to 150 people for cocktails.

Adler Planetarium

This waterfront space-science museum offers out-of-this world venue options. The spectacular Solarium features floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Lake Michigan. Book the Solarium (370 seated dinner/477 cocktail reception) and guests will have access to the adjacent outdoor terraces with spectacular Chicago skyline views. The Grainger Sky Theater is perfect for presentations or cocktails (195 theater seating/400 reception), and features a dramatic 36-foot-tall domed ceiling. The Clark Family Welcome Gallery features futuristic architecture and colorful customizable lighting, making it the perfect spot for an intimate dinner or reception (80 seated/150 cocktails). Arrange for a thrilling private sky show or high-tech telescope viewing in the Doane Observatory.

360 CHICAGO

Located on the 94th floor of the John Hancock Center (the fourth-tallest building in the city), 360 CHICAGO was named one of the Best Views in America by Travel + Leisure, offering panoramic views of the city, Lake Michigan and four states. 360 CHICAGO offers four flexible event spaces that can accommodate groups as small as 10 and up to 550. Each space offers stunning views, with vistas of the cityscape, lakefront and The Magnificent Mile below. Or do a full buyout of the entire 94th floor and bask in true 360-degree views.

Willis Tower Skydeck

Take your next meeting or event to new heights at the 99th-floor Willis Tower Skydeck, located in the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. Your guests will be treated to jaw-dropping panoramic views that can span up to four states and nearly 50 miles on a clear day. The flexible venue space can be set up theater, classroom or reception style, accommodating up to 175 seated/300 for a reception. Time your cocktail event at sunset to see the city transform from day to glittering night. You can also arrange for private VIP access to The Ledge, composed of glass balconies that extend four feet beyond the building to create an unforgettable viewing experience from 1,353 feet up in the air, located on the 103rd-floor Skydeck Chicago (the highest observation deck in the United States).

GMS Global Management Services, Inc. is a leading destination management and event planning company with offices throughout the US and Canada.  We specialize in custom-tailored programs for meetings, events and incentives throughout North America. Let us showcase our services in planning your next special event in the US or Canada.

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Saint Patrick's Day

Saint Patrick's Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig, "the Day of the Festival of Patrick"), is a cultural and religious celebration held on March 17th, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461), the foremost patron saint of Ireland.  What began as a religious feast day in the 17th century, has evolved into a variety of festivals across the globe celebrating Irish culture with parades, special foods, music, dancing, and a whole lot of green.

Celebrate Irish culture and tradition in Chicago with its deep-rooted Irish heritage.  From raucous pub crawls to lively parades, there’s nothing quite like Saint Patrick's Day in Chicago.  Irish taverns are packed with revelers and jovial crowds jam the city streets.  However, the spectacular sight is reserved for the dyeing of the Chicago River that sparkles brilliant shades of emerald green.

Dyeing of the Chicago River

On Saturday, March 17th, you are in for what might be one of the world's most famous Saint Patrick's Day rituals—when the Chicago River turns an emerald green. Actually, at first glance, the eco-friendly (yet secret formula) dye used appears orange on the river's surface—but don't panic. Thanks to a little leprechaun magic (or, well, science), the hue transforms and seeps in until the whole river is a bright, beautiful green. Dating back to over 50 years ago, the dyeing of the river remains a cherished tradition for many generations of Chicagoans and draws almost ½ million spectators to the city center eager to catch a glimpse before taking in the parade that follows. The Chicago River keeps its color for about five hours only, so don't miss it!

Saint Patrick’s Day Parade

Chicago is home to one of the largest St. Patrick's Day parades in the US.  Join in the Chicago tradition that dates back to over 60 years ago.  Rain or shine, don your best green outfit—or a kilt if you dare—and embrace all Chicago has to offer for those Irish at heart. You will be witnessing an array of colorful floats waving their green flags high, troops of Irish step dancers in their requisite curls, booming marching bands and bagpipers.  A sight not to be missed.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! 

Chicago St. Patrick's Day.jpg

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Product Launch of a different sort

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Product Launch of a different sort

When the word got out that a luxury auto manufacturer was about to introduce a new vehicle type to the North American market, naturally a fierce rivalry broke out amongst leading event production companies vying for the enviable honor to showcase their ware and flair.  After all, such opportunities don’t come by often.  GMS decided to throw its name in the hat too.  The deciding factors were all very exact, demanding and revolved mostly around uniqueness and creativeness of ideas.  To our delight, the client elected to award the project to GMS. 

Now the hard work started.  Luckily, the client had already selected Chicago for this momentous event.  Situated on the confluence of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River, Chicago is blessed with an impressive urban landscape.  We immediately thought that the Chicago River could offer extraordinary opportunities as an unconventional “road” to transport the model vehicle for this project.  We just had to construct a way of incorporating the River into our proposal—and that we did.  We proposed to have the new vehicle brought in for the reveal on a barge floating on the Chicago River and had the barge docked close by the event venue we had already scouted—the Chicago Lyric Opera.  And not just anywhere at the opera house.  We designed to have the car nowhere by on the stage of the famed opera house. 

The invitees, the company’s dealers from across North America, arrived like royalty and unaware of what to expect.  Upon entry, guests were treated to sumptuous canapés and champagne as they strolled over the theatre’s red carpet admiring the theatre’s grand surrounds as the jazz quartet entertained the visibly excited patrons.  Once introductory festivities were at their height, to the amazement of just about everyone in the audience, unexpectedly lights dimmed, the velvet curtains slowly lifted, and there it was—the brand-new model vehicle—on the centerstage like the rightful star of the show.  Jaws dropped and then, as if in collective awe, the audience broke into an enthusiastic applause—like it had been rehearsed for months.  Admirations were afloat—both about the car as well as the striking way it was revealed.  Many of the dealers had previously witnessed a new vehicle roll off the assembly line, but no one had ever experienced seeing it on the performing stage like a singular star of a Broadway show.       

The participants’ authentic reaction was acclaim enough for us.  But our client showered us after with genuine words of praise—that we accepted with gratitude and humility.  Product launches pose special challenges for event planning companies.  Only careful and measured analysis of the client’s objectives and the product in question can act as a good roadmap to success.  We were gratified to take the bow.   

GMS is the leading producer of special events in the US and Canada    

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Chicago Ranks as the No 1 City in the World

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Chicago Ranks as the No 1 City in the World

According to Time Out’s annual City Life Index, Chicago is once again the top city in the world.  It’s hard to believe it as Chicagoans dig out from under 20” of snow, but over 15,000 respondents from around the world think so.  Two years in a row, the Windy City has grabbed the top rank away from all major metropolitan areas from around the globe.  The Index looked at 6 variables to reach its ranking.

1.     Dining Options

Chicago is blessed with so many food options and ranked in this category only behind Tel Aviv.  Ask any Chicagoan and they will agree with you because on average the Windy City dwellers dine out once a week and don’t mind waiting for a table for an hour. 

2.     Culture, Culture, Culture

The wealth of museums, concert halls and theaters make Chicago the mecca for cultural diversity.  On average, Chicagoans go to a cultural venue once a month. 

3.     Warm and Friendly Residents

As the heart of the Midwest, Chicago is populated with the warmest and most friendly residents. Holding the door for you comes naturally for every Chicagoan as does thanking for anything you do for them.

4.     Chicago is Inexpensive

As the third largest city in the US, and one of the biggest cities in the world, Chicago remains very affordable.  Ranked only behind Philadelphia, it is still possible to own your own home, dine out or enjoy the cultural activities in Chicago without having to take a second mortgage on your home.   Eat your heart out London—or Paris!

5.     Chicagoans are Happy

While no Bhutan, Chicago ranks as one of the happiest people in the survey.  More than 90% of respondents were happy to be living in this Metropolis—harsh winters notwithstanding. 

6.     Quality of Life

Chicagoans are content to be living here.  They cite good public transportation and easily accessible amenities as some of the reasons.  The “L” train does a great job taking away people’s frustration with driving.  The city’s infrastructure makes for an easy place to get around.  Try that in Los Angeles.

 

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Together: A celebration of corporate unity

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Together: A celebration of corporate unity

How to bring alive the geographic diversity of multilocation practice for a large national consulting company?  That was the challenge thrown our way—a tall order, but we were up to it!  We all had to put our famed GMS creativity hats on and start imagining what each urban area where the company has a foothold stood for. Mandated by the conference theme “together,” and armed with graphic design and CAD drawings, we set off to transform Geraghty, a blank event space in Chicago, into an urban oasis of food and festive imagery representing some vibrant US cities. From Chicago to Texas, from Seattle to New York, from San Francisco to Minneapolis, and from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles, there was no shortage of metaphoric representation of each geographic area. 

Food is what unite us all! From Chicago’s famed deep-dish pizza to Seattle’s celebrated java, from New York’s legendary corned beef to LA’s delightful fish tacos food was everywhere aplenty.  Some were downing Texas smoked briskets while sipping on Napa’s premium wines. In another corner, some found themselves in Pittsburgh admiring pierogi while other were plainly appreciating Minnesota’s wild rice risotto. The food was the best tool we found to bring together such a dynamic group of professionals in admiration of their firm’s geographic and practice diversity. There was no shortage of food replication nor city scenes to cure any nostalgia some participants may have felt during the weeklong proceedings.  With a unifying theme like “Together,” the young and active crowd danced the night away to the versatile music of the Rod Tuffcurls & The Bench Press to wee hours—but miraculously, they were all attentive next morning for their closing ceremonies.  

Event Décor & Technical Production by Kehoe Designs

Challenged with such enormous tasks as creating a lasting theme for what turned out to be 15th year anniversary of the firm’s founding, we had to reach to symbols.  Crystal is the symbol of 15th anniversary and the weeklong celebrations shined in every turn like a symbolically brilliant crystal.  As our client plays a pivotal role in transforming many companies’ businesses, we too tried to bring together the firm’s disperse operations under one brilliantly decorated roof with pomp and circumstance—as a symbol of natural unity.      

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