Why Chicago Used Live Events to Promote Tourism

The U.S. Travel Association's IPW took place in Chicago for the first time in 16 years, and city reps seized the opportunity to promote local tourism.

By Jenny Berg May 7, 2014, 7:00 AM EDT

Photo: Timothy Musho Photography

IPW Opening Night Event IPW Closing Night Event
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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.

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