24 Best Corporate Event Ideas in Chicago, IL

Home » Local » Corporate Event Ideas in Chicago ILUpdated: July 14, 2022

Here is our list of top corporate event ideas in Chicago, Illinois.

Corporate event ideas in Chicago are activities that you can engage your corporate event attendees in the Chicago region. Examples include bowling at Lucky Strike, indoor skydiving at iFLY, and whiskey workshop at KOVAL Distillery. These activities aim to increase attendees’ engagement, help break down corporate hierarchy barriers, and liven up your event.

These gatherings are examples of team building methods and can be inspiration for conference entertainment and corporate retreat schedules.

These ideas are similar to Chicago corporate outing ideas, group activities in Chicago, and team building activities in Chicago.

This list includes:

  • corporate event ideas in Chicago for adults
  • outdoor corporate events in Chicago, IL
  • corporate party ideas in Chicago, Illinois
  • large group corporate event activities in Chicago
  • corporate conference ideas in Chicago

Let’s get started!

List of corporate event ideas in Chicago

Chicago hosts some of the most entertaining, unique, and fun corporate event ideas. From Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier to zoo visit at Lincoln Park Zoo and Ping Pong at Spin, here is a list of our best corporate event ideas in Chicago.

1. Museum Hack

Museum tours are among the best outdoor corporate events in Chicago that you can use to teach event attendees about the city’s rich history. For two hours, the host will lead your team through renegade tours of the best museums in Chicago. To maximize team engagement and participation, Museum Hack also includes sassy stories about artists and art, activities, and games in the galleries, and sometimes, wine! And the best thing is that you can customize your Museum Hack experience based on your industry, company mission, and the varying attendee personalities. Museum Hack accommodates two participants and above.

Learn more about Museum Hack.

2. Ultimate Trivia Showdown

The Ultimate Trivia Showdown is not just your regular trivia questions. A professional entertainer will lead event attendees with out-of-the-box trivia for one and a half hours. The host will challenge participants in intense, fast-paced, and high-energy trivia. For instance, attendees may compete in trivia like Champion Challenge or Majority Rules. Participants will also learn communication, collaboration, and healthy competition tips. Ultimate Trivia Showdown accommodates six participants and above. Be sure to book your trivia session two weeks before your event and provide a location.

Learn more about Ultimate Trivia Showdown.

3. Pride Trivia

Pride Trivia banner

Supporting the LGBTQ+ community promotes inclusion and diversity. For one hour, a team of the LGBTQ+ community will lead event attendees into celebrating pride through Pride Trivia. In addition, the host will inspire and share knowledge with the entire workforce that will bring your team together. Be sure to book Pride Trivia two weeks before your event and provide a location. Pride Trivia accommodates six participants and above.

Learn more about Pride Trivia.

4. Minute Madness

If you are looking for physical corporate conference ideas in Chicago, then you might want to start with Minute Madness. For 5,400 seconds, the host will engage your attendees in high-energy and fun physical challenges. You can hold a team competition to see which participants will complete the challenge within the set time. Participants can release their competitive spirit as they race against time to win. Minute Madness accommodates six participants and above.

Learn more about Minute Madness.

5. Bank Heist

Bank Heist is an interactive activity where teams will follow a series of challenges and puzzles to earn clues that will help discover the culprits behind a bank heist. For one and a half hours, the host will engage participants in unveiling the occurrence of the bank heist. Attendees will also discover the location of the security team during the heist and how the criminals managed to escape the state-of-the-art guarding technology. Bank Heist is a high-energy, fun, and social activity that will teach your team collaboration and friendly competition. You can book Bank Heist for ten participants and above.

Learn more about Bank Heist.

6. The Great Guac Off

The Great Guac Off may sound unusual at first. However, prepare for one of the most creative corporate conference ideas in Chicago. The host will lead conference attendees in a guacamole-making competition. But first, participants will participate in other team building activities such as pub-style trivia and other fun games like Happy Cup or House Builder. Then, teams will hold the guac-competition. You can base the winning points on best presentation and taste. You do not need to provide anything other than your team and a spirit of fun. The party host will bring all guac ingredients, prizes, group photos, and dippers. However, you can add catering, BYOB, and gift bags to your package. The Great Guac Off is a 90-minute activity that accommodates six participants and above.

Learn more about The Great Guac Off.

7. Gingerbread Wars

Gingerbread Wars is a gingerbread house-making competition. The 90-minute activity will engage event attendees in a round of fun team building events. To start, the host will lead participants in quick team building activities such as holiday trivia and Snowman Hustle. Then, your team will partake in an epic gingerbread house-making competition where you get to crown the winners. Even better, teams get to eat the houses after the competition. To make the Gingerbread Wars activity more memorable, you can customize your event by adding gift bags, cookie platters, BYOB, and holiday decorations.

Learn more about Gingerbread Wars.

8. Hidden Stripey Guy

While scavenger hunts are among the best corporate party ideas in Chicago, these games can get mundane. Hidden Stripey Guy is a one-of-a-kind scavenger hunt where attendees will discover a new city or explore a neighborhood that participants think they know well. Hidden Stripey Guy is one of the best corporate activities that you can use to foster team bonding and instill problem-solving skills in workers. This activity accommodates ten participants and above.

Learn more about Hidden Stripey Guy.

9. Storytelling Workshops

Storytelling Workshops is a two-hour corporate event in Chicago where lead storytellers, comedians, nerds, or academics will teach your team a storytelling framework. Participants will also learn the techniques for developing impactful and compelling stories. Crafting these narratives will inspire action among event attendees and improve job performance. Storytelling Workshops accommodate two to over three hundred participants.

Learn more about Storytelling Workshops.

10. ScavBoss

As opposed to giving attendees difficult clues to follow, ScavBoss uses micro-challenges, stories, and other elaborate puzzles that teams will complete to finish a hunt. The hunts will lead to exploring neighborhoods, landmarks, and museums in Chicago. This intellectual and fun corporate event idea will keep your attendees engaged for one and a half to two hours. You can run ScavBoss in both outdoor and indoor spaces. ScavBoss will promote teamwork and strategic thinking, and teach different approaches to solving problems.

Learn more about ScavBoss.

11. Escape Rooms at Fox in a Box

If you are looking for non-mundane corporate event ideas in Chicago for adults, then escape games at Fox in a Box are a must-try. Fox in a Box offers private escape rooms where participants will solve puzzles and follow clues to escape the room within 60 minutes. In addition, escape rooms will promote team bonding and teamwork among participants.

Examples:

  • The Bank- You are a well-connected group of thieves who have info on a stash of diamonds in a local major bank. While all bank alarms are inactive, you only have 60 minutes to get the diamonds and escape just in time before the alarms go off.
  • The Bunker- There is a cold war between the Soviet Union and the United States. Mr. Fox, a double agent, is missing and has infiltrated his bunker. The double agent has started a nuclear war that will destroy the planet in the next 60 minutes. You will cease the nuclear warhead within 60 minutes and save the planet.

The price of these escape games varies based on the day of the week, the number of participants, and the room selected. Be sure to take a group photo after the event, regardless of whether you escaped on time or not!

Learn more about Fox in a Box.

12. Ping Pong at Spin

An idea that developed from the need for two friends to compete in the USA Olympic team is now one of the best ping pong venues for corporate events in Chicago. The ping pong social club offers team immense fun and game options that transcends ethnicity, age, physical boundaries, and gender.

Spin features a minimum of twelve courts, a craft cocktail bar, and a full-service restaurant.
You can make the corporate event more memorable for attendees by having a tournament where you will reward the winning teams. Then, let teams order drinks to sip as they play and a meal after the event. For participants who want to take their ping pong game to the next level, a Spin guide will be on stand-by to offer handy tips. While you can walk in, be sure to avoid the waitlist by reserving two days before your event.

Learn more about Spin.

13. Volunteer at Habitat for Humanity

If you are looking for outdoor corporate events in Chicago where attendees will make an impact as they bond, then volunteer activities are a must-try. Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization that empowers the world’s poorest communities by offering decent housing. With a larger vision where the world’s population has decent housing, Habitat for Humanity is constantly looking for volunteers and partners. Your team can partake in building, repairing, and renovating homes. Teams will also have fun as they learn some building tips, such as using a hammer, home structure needs, and painting. The effort will allow the organization to build or renovate homes at a considerably low cost.

If attendees cannot participate in actual home building or renovations, then you can lead teams in organizing a fund drive and donate to support Habitat for Humanity.

Learn more about Habitat for Humanity.

14. Indoor Skydiving at iFLY

Indoor skydiving at iFLY is among the top adventurous outdoor corporate events in Chicago. At iFLY, participants will simulate skydiving in the indoor vertical wind tunnels. The iFLY experience is safe for all ages and beginners. Event attendees do not have to be athletes or in perfect shape to participate, as the company’s experts will guide players. First, the instructor will take every player through orientation and teach the basics of indoor skydiving. Then, each player will get a flight suit and the wind tunnel experience. You will enjoy special perks if you have a large group.

Learn more about iFLY.

15. Bowling at Lucky Strike

Lucky Strike is the perfect bowling spot for corporate events in Chicago. With 18 bowling lanes, you can have team competitions. Participants who do not fancy bowling can indulge in other fun activities such as ping pong, billiards games, darts, and arcade games. After the games, teams can taste the crave-worthy cuisine and drinks of choice. If some event attendees want to sit back and mingle, Lucky Strike has an upbeat lounge-style atmosphere.

Learn more about Lucky Strike.

16. Axe Throwing at Backyard Axe Throwing League

Axe throwing at Backyard Axe Throwing League (BATL) is one of the best corporate event ideas in Chicago that you can use to build a community among participants. This seemingly simple yet fun event is the perfect excuse for an afternoon team bonding activity where players can tick off their bucket lists. For more competitive axe throwing corporate party ideas in Chicago, join the Chicago Axe Throwing Leagues that happen every week. Participants will partake in an axe throwing competition regardless of experience. BATL coaches are available to give participants tips on the best throws and ensure that participants observe all safety measures.

And with the wide selection of craft beer, wine, and coolers, players can sip their drinks of choice after the event. You can also treat your team to food from the selected BATL food partners or bring in your food.

Learn more about Backyard Axe Throwing League.

17. VR Games at MassVR

MassVR offers exciting games that immerse players in a different world. The facility has four arenas that are approximately 8,000 square feet in size. Participants can opt for VR Champions, a shooter game that accommodates up to eight players in a four vs. four match. You can also opt to play the Hallow Realm, an immersive horror game where players will step into the supernatural. Both games allow players to roam freely through the massive virtual and physical worlds. Each game session lasts 45 to 50 minutes, and your team will have a fun and memorable corporate event.

Since VR games at MassVR involve movement, let participants dress in comfortable footwear and clothing. The cost of these VR games ranges between $22 to $29.

Learn more about MassVR.

18. Meadery and Winery Tour at Wild Blossom Meadery and Winery

As the first meadery in Illinois and the first winery in Chicago, Wild Blossom Meadery and Winery boasts of creating wine and mead with locally produced ingredients. With over 30 years of experience in wine-making, the winery is the perfect location for large group corporate event activities in Chicago.

You will taste a four flight of homemade meads for a tasting team event. The company’s tasting team will also explain the origin and history of each mead. You can also opt for a team s’mores and mead by the firepit, where participants will make their smores and pair them with selected meads. And if you want attendees to partake in a more engaging activity, be sure to reserve a brewing class or a wine-making class.

Learn more about Wild Blossom Meadery and Winery.

19. Whiskey Workshop at KOVAL Distillery

Being Chicago’s first distillery since the mid-1800s, KOVAL is the perfect venue for a whiskey workshop. The craft distillery produces a full line of gin, organic whiskey, specialty spirits, and liqueurs. A whiskey workshop at KOVAL will teach attendees the company’s unique approach to distilling award-winning organic spirits. You can lead your team through a visit to the KOVAL tasting room and enjoy flights, cocktails, light bites, perfect pairs, and international coffee drinks. If you have Yoga lovers on your team, then be sure to check out the Yoga and Cocktails package.

Learn more about KOVAL Distillery.

20. Ice Cream Party

An ice cream party is one of the simplest summer large group corporate event activities in Chicago. You can start by getting the team’s choice of ice cream, such as vanilla, chocolate, or specialty flavors. Then, get ice cream toppings such as coconut shavings, chocolate sauce, and sprinkles. In a park, hold a picnic-style corporate event where participants will partake in ice cream competitions. For instance, teams can compete in making the best ice cream presentation, most likely to melt, or the best ice cream combo. Be sure to get a variety of non-dairy ice cream for those workers who are lactose intolerant.

21. Play Darts at Flight Club

Flight Club is a social venue where teams can play darts while enjoying drinks and light bites. The company has developed a range of exciting and fast multi-player games that will bring event attendees together and keep teams unexpectedly hooked. Regardless of whether you have beginner players or expert dart snipers on your team, every participant has a chance to win once they step into one of the Flight Club’s multiple throw lines. You can participate in competitions and celebrate colleagues’ winning shorts with replay videos. While Flight Club allows walk-ins, be sure to make your reservation as availability is not guaranteed.

Learn more about Flight Club.

22. Botanical Garden Tour at Garfield Park Conservatory

As one of the largest and most stunning botanical conservancies in Chicago, Garfield Park Conservatory is one of the best venues for free corporate event ideas in Chicago for adults. Your team will see thousands of plant species from around the globe at the eight indoor display gardens. With a constantly evolving collection, you will catch new specimens and hybrids regardless of how often you visit the conservatory. Depending on the time of the year, participants can enjoy the picturesque lush flora in the over ten acres of outdoor garden and water lily pond. In addition, be sure to visit the outdoor gardens, fern house, desert house, aroid house, and show house.

Learn more about Garfield Park Conservatory.

23. Zoo Visit at Lincoln Park Zoo

Situated just a few minutes from downtown Chicago, Lincoln Park Zoo is a great outdoor venue for corporate outings. The zoo houses over 200 unique species of critically endangered wildlife from around the world. Lincoln Park Zoo is also home to over 2,000 individual plants that create an urban home to native birds, turtles, fish, and turtles. The zoo offers an opportunity for teams to see playful meerkats, roaring lions, majestic guerrillas, and chimpanzees. A visit to Lincoln Park Zoo will instill the need for conservation and wildlife protection in your workforce. Be sure to ask the zoo guides for new arrivals.

Learn more about Lincoln Park Zoo.

24. Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier

Navy Pier is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Chicago. Your team will have an unforgettable moment as participants soar to heights of almost 200 feet on the Centennial Wheel. The scenic lakefront boasts various attractions that your team can check out after the Ferris wheel. From boat cruises to drinks at the country’s largest rooftop bar and live music, be ready for a fun-filled corporate adventure. Attendees can catch unparalleled and panoramic views of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan from the Offshore. You can even give your team coupons to shop at the nearby retail shops and restaurants. Then, wind down the day with Navy Pier dining packages and experience Chicago’s rich culinary tradition under one roof.

Learn more about Navy Pier.

Conclusion

While corporate team events may be an expense to a company, they are worthy investments. Regular corporate events for teams in Chicago will increase attendees’ engagement and output. However, be sure to consider the demographic of your attendees before choosing an event, as activities that are ideal for some groups may not be preferable for others.

FAQ: Corporate event ideas in Chicago, IL

Here are answers about corporate event ideas in Chicago.

What are some ideas for corporate events in Chicago?

Some ideas for corporate events in Chicago include a botanical garden tour at Garfield Park Conservatory, axe throwing at Backyard Axe Throwing League, and an ice cream party.

How do you entertain attendees at corporate events in Chicago?

You can entertain attendees at corporate events in Chicago by engaging in fun activities such as scavenger hunts, trivia, and competitions like Gingerbread house making.

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Author: Grace He

Grace is the Director of People & Culture at TeamBuilding. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.

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