Photo: ©Enjoy Illinois

The state of Illinois is considered to be a hub for world-class event venues. From conferences and conventions to meetings and special events, planners are turning their full attention to all that Illinois has to offer in urban magnets like Chicago and Springfield, not to mention many of the outlying suburban areas of greater Chicagoland.

Springfield is often referred to as the “center of everything” as the capital city is in the heart of the Midwest and easily accessible for attendees. Although significantly smaller than Chicago, Springfield rivals some of the best urban locations because of its vast array of event venues that usher attendees from near and far.

Of course, Chicago is one of the most iconic cities in the U.S. to host a meeting or event due to its beautiful lakefront, award-winning eateries, awe-inspiring architecture and fantastic entertainment options that keep attendees coming back.

But greater Illinois also packs a punch — including delightful meeting venues in such historic towns as Galena, as well as in downstate Illinois, which is teeming with attractions to keep event attendees engaged while they work some and play some.

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6 Places to Check Out

  1. Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery, Galena
    Take a trip to the countryside and enjoy a vineyard with a view. Participate in a wine tasting in the tasting room, or relax on the spacious wraparound deck and enjoy the sunset. In the winter, visitors can cozy up in a heated igloo instead.
  2. Buddy Guy’s Legends, Chicago
    Opened in 1989 by blues musician Buddy Guy, this classic blues club features famous acts and up-and-comers seven nights a week, plus New Orleans-inspired grub. The club also does private events, whether it’s a small group of 30 or a corporate event for 600.
  3. Gino’s East, Wheaton
    Gino’s East is infamous for its Chicago-style deep-dish pizza — made the same way it was over 50 years ago. Its private and semi-private event spaces can accommodate most group sizes for client dinners, corporate meetings or social get-togethers.
  4. Field Museum, Chicago
    This museum has a whole menu of fun activities to choose from like docent-led tours, wine tastings and behind-the-scenes experiences for groups. Plus, this venue has a place, from outdoor terraces to spacious Stanley Field Hall, to suit groups of any size, connecting all of us to the natural world and the human story.
  5. Anderson Japanese Gardens, Rockford
    This beautiful outdoor setting inspires the mind and energizes the soul on a 12-acre landscape of streams, waterfalls, winding pathways and koi-filled ponds. The destination holds tours, workshops, yoga classes, lecture series, sound and gong baths, and more.
  6. Chicago Riverwalk, Chicago
    The 1.25-mile-long path includes four districts: The Confluence, The Arcade, The Civic and The Esplanade. The Chicago River is a cherished natural amenity in an urban canyon of famous architecture and the Chicago RiverwaIk ensures close proximity to the waterway.