The Place: The Peninsula Chicago
The Scoop: Chicago's installment of one of the world's most esteemed luxury hotel brands lures discerning event clients with a blend of sumptuous interior design, impeccable service and spectacular Michigan Avenue views. Recent upgrades include new carpeting, drapes and wall coverings in the property's Grand Ballroom and a 2006 overhaul of meeting space throughout the hotel.
The Buzz: In addition to upscale weddings in the 4,095-square-foot Grand Ballroom and high-stakes meetings in the 1,406-square-foot Water Tower Park room (among other spaces), the Peninsula offers an array of private dining rooms for intimate social gatherings, along with a chef de cuisine capable of designing a unique custom menu for any special occasion.
The Quote: “With over 9,500 square feet of versatile meeting and event space, the hotel provides the flexibility for every type of event from intimate gatherings to lavish galas. In addition, the majority of the Peninsula Chicago's meeting spaces are flooded with natural light and feature floor-to-ceiling windows. A nice perk while you are here is our seasoned conference concierge, who is here to address any on-site issues, concerns or needs, from photocopying to package delivery.”
— Gregory Hyder, director of catering
The Peninsula Chicago
108 E. Superior St.
Chicago, IL 60611
The Face: Fergus Rooney
The Biz: Event Architects
The Scoop: Partner Fergus Rooney may have won his green card in a 1994 lottery, but he earned his event-building stripes in London working on high-profile sporting events including Wimbledon, the Royal Ascot and the British Open. In 2000, he launched Event Architects, a turnkey operation with in-house floral, custom linen, audio-visual, graphic design and multi-media departments.
The Buzz: With its event management, meeting and convention planning, and incentive capabilities, Event Architects has won some big-name clients in its eight-year history — among them Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions and U.S. presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama.
The Quote: “Event Architects is renowned for our diligence, dedication and commitment to outstanding quality. We value partnership and strive for effective communication. Having set this high standard of performance for ourselves has enabled us, along with our clients, to achieve new levels of teamwork.”
— Fergus Rooney
311 W. Walton St.
Chicago, IL 60610
The Place: Museum of Science and Industry
The Scoop: Want to impress guests by letting them wine and dine in the presence of a genuine German U-boat captured during World War II? Then Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry is the place for you. As the largest science museum in the Western hemisphere, the building houses more than 35,000 artifacts, 14 acres of hands-on exhibits and magnificent event spaces both indoors and out.
The Buzz: Geek and chic alike will appreciate the museum's 57,504-square-foot Rotunda with its ample capacity (1,000 seated, 2,000 standing) and grand architecture.
The Quote: “The museum offers unique, unparalleled spaces and settings for parties and special events. Dine and dance in the shadow of real Boeing 727 airplanes. Mingle around the U-505 [submarine], a National Historic Landmark. Learn the art of glass blowing before dessert. Events become experiences at the Museum of Science and Industry.”
— Linda Kingsley, director of sales
Museum of Science and Industry
Catering by Sodexo
57th Street and Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60637
NEW IN TOWN
Now that it has been acquired by Classic Party Rentals, the former Chicago Party Rental is offering the wildly popular, ever-adaptable Chameleon Chairs — a Classic national exclusive.
With graduated steps and a fitted bowl, the tiered plate from M&M The Special Events Co. provides an alluring display for sushi, hors d'oeuvre, desserts and creative entrees.
New this year from Event Equipment Sales, the all-weather, no-tools-needed Outlok Dance Floor is perfect even for outdoor use in Chicago's temperamental climate.