Bring the great outdoors to your next regional meeting or event!
By Katie Arvia published June 02, 2021
As pandemic restrictions continue to be lifted, the Chicago Southland is enthusiastic to assist you in planning your regional meetings and events! We have always prided ourselves on stellar service and going the extra mile in assisting all planners, no matter the meeting or event size. The Chicago Southland is here for you.
When it comes to finding the perfect space for your next regional meeting or event, many factors contribute to where you’ll decide to host it. No matter what you’re looking for in a meeting space, the Chicago Southland can help you find the perfect location. Made up of 62 south and southwest suburbs of Chicago, the Chicago Southland is just 25 minutes from downtown Chicago. Our communities are easily accessible via interstates 55, 57, 80, 94, 294 and 355. We are located within a five-hour drive from eight different states, making the commute to the Chicago Southland region quick and easy. There is also plenty of free parking available at all hotels and most event venues and attractions throughout the Chicago Southland.
The Southland region has everything from small, hospitable meeting spaces to a 70,000 square foot convention center—and everything in between, including a wide variety of outdoor and unique venues to choose from. As we continue to navigate through these uncertain times, you can rest assured that our partners are taking extra precautions to ensure safe spaces for your next regional meeting or event.
Take your next regional meeting or event outdoors to one of the many beautiful outdoor spaces the Chicago Southland has to offer. With over 40,000 acres of forestry, there is no shortage of incredible nature centers that are ready to welcome your attendees. These nature centers have a variety of fun outdoor activities for attendees to participate in, like kayaking, canoeing, fishing, biking, hiking and more. The Center, Monee Reservoir, Sand Ridge Nature Center or Lake Katherine Nature Center & Botanic Gardens are just a few of the wonderful options to explore in the Chicago Southland.
Lake Katherine Nature Center & Botanic Gardens (Photo by Steve Zasadny)
Irons Oaks Environmental Learning Center in Olympia Fields is another exceptional outdoor option. Irons Oaks is a 38-acre nature preserve that is the perfect spot to incorporate team building into your meeting. Activities such as high ropes, a climbing wall and crate stacking are among the exercises available, in addition to the 1,300 square foot conference center. Irons Oaks provides you and your attendees a secluded, relaxing environment for your meetings and events.
Located on the campus of Governors State University in University Park is the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park. Home to 30 permanent, world-renowned sculptures, this park is the perfect place to take a picturesque stroll in between meetings or sessions. Guided tours are available. Your attendees won’t want to miss these larger-than-life sculptures! If you’d prefer to stay indoors and enjoy the scenery from afar, Governors State University offers 29,000 square feet of indoor meeting space for you and your attendees to enjoy.
Of course, the Chicago Southland is home to an abundance of traditional, indoor meeting spaces as well. There are several full service hotels throughout the area with available meeting space, including the DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago-Alsip. This location recently completed a three-year renovation project, with updates in the guest rooms, lobby and ballrooms, which can accommodate up to 600 guests. The DoubleTree also has plenty of beautiful outdoor space that your attendees can utilize, such as the courtyard.
In Orland Park, Georgios Banquets, Quality Inn & Suites Conference Center has a 22,000 square foot banquet and meeting space, which can accommodate up to 1,200 guests. Georgios also recently completed a renovation, modernizing 150 guest rooms. In terms of outdoor space, Georgios can accommodate up to 200 people theater-style or 60 people classroom-style. Plus, Georgios will work with each individual planner to ensure a perfect floor plan based on your needs and requirements for your next regional meeting or event.
If you’re looking for a larger meeting space, look no further than the EVEN Hotel and Tinley Park Convention Center. Located conveniently off I-80, the Tinley Park Convention Center is a 70,000 square foot facility with 58,000 square feet of contiguous meeting space. This convention center is known for its beautiful and versatile exhibit space, including a spacious patio off of the exhibit hall with a water feature, making for a peaceful outdoor space. Complimentary internet access and an abundance of FREE parking is available. The Tinley Park Convention Center is a preferred venue for meetings, tradeshows and conventions. Plus, with the attached, brand-new EVEN Hotel, meetings are going to be “EVEN” better in the Chicago Southland!
Located in downtown Homewood is La Banque Hotel, a stunning boutique property. Featuring 18 state-of-the-art guest rooms, La Banque is an excellent choice for company retreats, board meetings and other small gatherings. The meeting space is customizable and event planning services are available. The hotel is located just steps from the Homewood Metra and Amtrak station, making commuting to and from the city quick and easy. La Banque also features an on-site restaurant, La Voute Bistro & Bar, which serves as a location for delicious meals before, during or after your meetings.
If you’d prefer a non-traditional space, check out Thornton Distilling Co. in Thornton, which has multiple event spaces with an industrial chic, hometown rustic aesthetic that can accommodate 150-300 guests. If you’d like to add delicious food and wine into your meeting, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant in Orland Park or New Lenox is perfect. Private events at Cooper’s Hawk can be hosted in semi-private rooms or The Barrel Room and can accommodate anywhere from 22-72 people.Additional full service facilities with meeting space include the Holiday Inn Chicago Matteson Conference Center in Matteson, featuring 203 newly renovated guest rooms and meeting space that can accommodate anywhere from 10 to 1,200 guests, and the Homewood Suites by Hilton/Elements by the Odyssey in Orland Park, which has over 6,400 square feet of unobstructed meeting space.
The Chicago Southland has several other venues that can add a unique sports flavor to your next regional meeting or event, including SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Ozinga Field in Crestwood or Accelerate Indoor Speedway & Events in Mokena. The Chicago Southland also has over 30 public and semiprivate golf courses to choose from.
Bingo, virtual reality, wine tastings, escape rooms, team building, line dancing, sip and paint sessions, caricature artists, casino games and more can also be brought to your regional meetings and events. The Chicago Southland can help plan community service projects that can easily be incorporated in your meetings. We can coordinate donation drop offs or suggest service projects that your attendees can participate in.
Not only does the Chicago Southland help plan events, we also offer a wide variety of complimentary event services. From pre-event services, including brochure distribution, event listings and supplies, itinerary planning and marketing assistance to on-site services such as name badges, registration assistance, executive gift baskets and promotional signs are available.
Contact our meetings expert, Mary Patchin, at 888-895-3211 or Mary@VisitChicagoSouthland.com. Mary has over 20 years of experience and would love to help customize your next regional meeting or event, provide resources, assist in securing facilities and coordinate site inspections. You can also visit MeetChicagoSouthland.com for additional information. Ask about our current meeting incentives! When you’re ready to begin planning, we’re here to help!