CHICAGO Chicago hosted the U.S. Travel Association's IPW conference (formerly known as the International Pow Wow) from April 5 to 9 for the first time in 16 years. The event drew some 6,000 guests from 70 countries and was considered a great boon for Chicago tourism. According to The Chicago Tribune, the event could lead to more than one million new international visitors and $1.6 billion in tourism spending in the next three years.
Hoping to showcase the city in the best possible light—and with plenty of pizazz—tourism development agency Choose Chicago hosted splashy opening- and closing-night parties for the international visitors. Here's a look inside the two grandiose affairs. The opening-night bash took place at Cinespace, drew 5,500 guests, and was produced by Event Creative; the closing-night event brought 3,500 guests to the Museum of Science and Industry and was produced by Sodexo.