Heading to Chicago this June for Salesforce Connections 2019? We are, too! Even when we’re traveling for professional events, we love to find ways to maximize our time in the host city — especially one as vibrant and diverse as Chicago.
If you’re arriving the weekend before the event begins or staying for the weekend after, you’ll have plenty of time to immerse yourself in Chicago culture. And if you’re only in town during the conference dates, you can still use some of your downtime to get a taste of the city.
We asked some of our Chicago-based RelationEdge team members to give us their recommendations for quick, fun things to check out while you’re in town for Connections. We’d love to hear if you took us up on any of these suggestions and what you thought!
1. Take an Architecture Boat Tour
The city of Chicago is home to incredible architecture and a gorgeous river; you can enjoy both by taking to the water for a sightseeing tour of the city. Chicago’s architecture boat tours are especially fun during the warmer summer months and a great way to check off a host of must-see monuments within a short trip. Float past more than 40 Chicago landmarks, as your guides point out the impressive examples of architecture and engineering this city is known for.
2. Get a Skyscraper’s-Eye View of the City
If you’re not afraid of heights, head up to the 360 CHICAGO observation deck located on the 94th floor of the John Hancock building — for those counting, that’s a “mere” 1,000 feet above the city! From the observation deck, you can peer down on the magnificent Chicago skyline and the beauty of Lake Michigan. For the truly daring, the John Hancock Building even offers a thrill ride called TILT, which does exactly as the name implies: tilts you out over the streets of Chicago in an enclosed moving platform.
3. Stroll on the Riverwalk
If you have a hard time choosing between spending time outside and eating delicious food, don’t — do both! Meander along the Chicago Riverwalk; during the summer, the Riverwalk’s lively atmosphere draws residents and tourists alike to wine and dine in the fresh summer air. You’ll find an array of outdoor restaurants and bars where you can pop in for a beer, a glass of wine, or an ice cream cone. This is a great place to meet up with a professional connection to grab a bite.
4. Go See a Game
If you’ve got extra time on the front- or tail-end of your visit, take yourself to one of Chicago’s two home fields and enjoy a night of baseball. Sports fans are in luck: The Chicago White Sox are playing home games every day from June 13-16, and the Chicago Cubs are playing home games daily from June 18-27. That means while you’re in town for Connections, you have plenty of opportunities to catch a ball game.
5. Pedal Along the Lake
Want to get in some physical exercise while you explore? Rent a bike and go for a ride along the 26 miles of gorgeous land running alongside Lake Michigan! There are a number of bike rental shops in the city, and you can even rent a bike by the hour. With plenty of parks, beaches, and landmarks to check out, biking is a great way to see the city at a more leisurely pace than you would by car or train.
6. Devour Some Deep Dish Pizza
If you’re like us, whenever you visit a new city, one of the first things on your mind is food. Chicago doesn’t disappoint! The city is of course known for its deep dish pizza, and you don’t have to walk far to find a mouthwatering slice loaded with cheese and sauce on that famously soft breaded crust. (Psst: We’ve been told that Lou Malnati’s is the place to go.) This comfort food really hits the spot after a long day of sightseeing — or professional networking. Enjoy!
7. Visit Millenium Park
Among Chicago’s many iconic structures is Cloud Gate, more affectionately known to both residents and visitors as “The Bean.” The curved and mirrored bean-shaped sculpture, designed by Anish Kapoor, sits in the heart of Millenium Park where it reflects the Chicago city skyline. Make like a tourist and snap a photo in front of The Bean before exploring the rest of the beautiful park.
8. Come to Happy Hour with RelationEdge
We want to start off Connections week by connecting with you! Join us at Apogee Chicago on Monday, June 17 from 6-9 PM for a drink and engaging conversations with leaders in the Salesforce space. We are co-hosting the event with LiveArea, and we look forward to bright conversations about how we can connect marketing, commerce, and service to better unify the customer experience.
Once Connections week is in full swing, don’t forget to stop in for Commerce Cloud B2C Partner Demo Jam on June 18 at 4:30 PM. Our VP of Solutions – Marketing, Chris Zullo, is hosting this action-packed technology face-off between teams showcasing their best Commerce Cloud integrations. The winner is chosen by the audience, so be sure to be there so you can cast your vote!
If you’re interested in cross-channel customer experiences and personalization on social media, we also recommend the session Tomorrow’s Social Experience: Personalization, Connection & Rising Expectations on June 19 at 1 PM. Frank Cerda, Social Media Specialist at Rackspace, will be joined by leaders from Novartis, Salesforce, and Twitter to discuss strategic priorities, challenges and technologies transforming their work.
Thanks to RelationEdge Chicago-based team members Emily Belke, Katie King, Chad Smith, and Adam Plummer for contributing these top-notch recommendations!