19 Best Corporate Event Venues in Chicago, IL

Home » Local » Corporate Event Venues in Chicago ILUpdated: August 05, 2022

You found our list of top corporate event venues in Chicago, Illinois.

Corporate event venues in Chicago are locations for events for workers and consumers to foster company unity and loyalty in The Windy City. Examples include the Art Institute of Chicago, Shedd Aquarium, and Convene. These options foster positive company culture and boost employee engagement during company events.

These spaces work well for company retreats, corporate Christmas parties, and upscale office parties. The venues are useful in planning Chicago retreats and corporate events in Chicago.

This article contains:

  • small corporate event venues in Chicago
  • large corporate event venues in Chicago
  • outdoor corporate event venues in Chicago
  • corporate event spaces near Chicago

Here we go!

List of corporate event venues in Chicago

Chicago is popular for corporate events because of its convenient location and numerous venues. The following is a list of corporate event spaces near Chicago.

1. Art Institute of Chicago

When it comes to art museums, the Art Institute of Chicago is unrivaled. Pieces in the collection range in age from ancient to contemporary and feature a wide range of materials, including decorative arts, paintings, sculptures, prints, photographs, textiles, and architectural designs.

The Institute displays several works by Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Georges Seurat, among other impressionist and post-Impressionist artists. Built for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, the main structure was designed by Shepley, Rutan, and Coolidge in the beaux-arts style. Over time, the administration added structures to the complex, increasing its size to over 400,000 square feet. In addition, the Institute has several event spaces, including Fullerton Hall, Griffin Court, Pritzker Garden, Ryan Learning Center, and Rubloff Auditorium.

Learn more about the Art Institute of Chicago.

2. Museum of Science and Industry

The Museum of Science and Industry is at the northern end of Jackson Park and is perhaps the finest museum in all of Chicago. The venue opened its doors in 1933 with the mission of using scientific principles to advance manufacturing and other technical endeavors. This museum is the first in the United States to introduce the concept of “hands-on” displays. Hundreds of exhibits are available for visitors to explore. The MSI has both permanent and rotating exhibitions and an OMNIMAX cinema. The museum also has designated spaces for private events. You can choose from options like Rotunda, West Pavilion, Auditorium, and Giant Dome Theater.

Learn more about the Museum of Science and Industry.

3. Field Museum of Natural History

The Field Museum of Natural History was established in 1893 to display the biological and anthropological specimens amassed during the World Columbian Exposition. Originally called the Columbian Museum of Chicago, the museum was renamed in 1905 to honor the department store magnate, art collector, and generous donor, Marshall Field.

The permanent collection houses over 20 million artifacts and specimens from fields as diverse as geology, botany, zoology, and anthropology. The biggest and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton, named “Sue,” and the permanent exhibitions on Ancient Egypt and North, Central, and South American civilizations are the highlights. In addition, you will find unique, revolving exhibits on display at various times throughout the year.

The Field Museum is ideal for any private event, including large corporate gatherings. Some available options include Outdoor Terraces,  Theaters, East Atrium and Pavilion, and Sue’s Gallery.

Learn more about the Field Museum of Natural History.

4. Shedd Aquarium

For your event, you can take a trip to the Shedd Aquarium to see what kind of aquatic life exists just off the coast of downtown Chicago in Lake Michigan. The displays focus on the world’s marine areas, from the Arctic to the Caribbean.

The Polar Play Zone is an absolute must if you have a corporate event with family members. Kids may dress up as their favorite animal, pretend to explore the ocean in a submersible, and even reach out and touch real sea stars at this venue. The Stingray touch tank is a hit with kids of all ages. In this enormous tank, you may interact with friendly stingrays that like being rubbed and stroked.

Shedd Aquarium has event spaces that can accommodate up to 600 guests, whether you are planning a formal dinner, a cocktail celebration, or need a cutting-edge conference center.

Learn more about Shedd Aquarium.

5. Chicago Riverwalk and Lakefront

The Chicago River flows through the center of the city, parallel to the shoreline, and is notable for its enormous number of moveable bridges. The river has up to 18 bridges within two miles, all of which can accommodate huge vessels.

Visitors to the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum may look closely at the workings of one of Chicago’s most recognizable landmarks, the moving McCormick Bridge. Plus, several river excursions and cruises leave from the Riverwalk, and it is also home to a wide variety of restaurants and year-round activities.

From 71st Street on the South Side to Ardmore Street on the North Side, the 18-mile long and completely paved Lakefront Trail provides stunning views of the city skyline and Lake Michigan. Parks, gardens, leisure places, and beaches line this pathway, accessible by foot and human-powered vehicles. Navy Pier, Lincoln Park, and Soldier Field are just some of the city’s must-sees that are visible along the path.

Learn more about Chicago Lakefront and Riverwalk.

6. Shoreline Sightseeing Charter

You and your teammates will have a fantastic time on a private Shoreline Sightseeing Charter. You will board one of the open-air, double-decker boats for a ride on the legendary Chicago River and beautiful Lake Michigan. The charters are perfect for groups with 75 to 175 passengers, and provide enough room for lavish spreads, served appetizers, and dancing to your favorite tunes. You may also enjoy Chicago’s iconic skyline as a backdrop for your event with any private charter from Shoreline.

Learn more about Shoreline Sightseeing Charter.

7. One Eleven Events

Located at Macy’s State Street, One Eleven events lays in the center of the Loop, close to State Street’s theater and retail areas. The venue’s dedicated team of experts works closely with clients and vendors to guarantee a smooth and successful event. You can choose from the three venues on the top floor. The first is the Narcissus Room, with its functioning marble fountain divisible in half for a more private setting. The Culinary Studio is often used for culinary demos and smaller events, while The Walnut Room, a historic restaurant, is more of a pleasant traditional setup.

Learn more about One Eleven Events.

8. Willis Tower

The Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower, has a peak height of 1,729 feet. The completion of newer buildings in Dubai and Tokyo means this venue no longer qualifies as the “tallest building in the world.” Yet, the Willis Tower is a true Chicago treasure. This location is a bustling commercial space for TV and radio, with various observation platforms for visitors to enjoy.

As you stare down the horizon, you will see the cityscape below you, as well as the lake, bridge, and clouds. The most popular vantage point is the Skydeck, an elevated platform with glass walls and flooring. In addition, you may walk on air at startling heights on the Skydeck Ledge, a series of translucent boxes that protrude from the side of the structure.

The Willis Tower may no longer be the highest building in the world, but it is undoubtedly the tallest in Chicago and may even be the tallest in all of Illinois.

Learn more about Willis Towers.

9. American Writers Museum

You can host a remarkable event at the American Writers Museum. The location has several different spaces and seating arrangements to host various events, from seated dinners in the Nation of Writers Gallery to cocktail receptions in Readers Hall to small, private business breakfast meetings. The museum offers a wide variety of in-house facilities and high-quality equipment and collaborates with expert vendors to make your event remarkable. The museum is also available for private parties, where visitors may enjoy refreshments and a private viewing of all displays.

Learn more about American Writers Museum.

10. Convene

Convene, situated at 16 W. Adams St. in Chicago’s Loop, is the city’s most centrally located space. This venue is ideal for hosting meetings, events, and a flexible workspace. Accessible directly from the street, this multi-level facility takes design cues from the city grid and the lake’s organic curves to create a luxurious setting for work that encourages creativity, innovation, and teamwork. The Citadel Center’s Convene has tech-enabled conference rooms, lounges, eating spaces, and a reception area that can accommodate a total of 350 guests.

Learn more about Convene.

11. Chicago History Museum

The Chicago History Museum has all the information you need to understand the triumphs and tragedies that shaped the city. The devastating Chicago Fire of 1871 and the construction of the city’s first railways in 1836 are only two of the many topics on display. The political displays feature Abraham Lincoln prominently since he made Chicago his home base for most of his life.

The highlights include other key historical events that impacted Chicago, such as Prohibition, the Civil War, and the Women’s Suffrage Movement. The museum excels because it does more than merely include plaques with names and dates. Instead, the museum brings the past to life with features like moving trains, fake fires, and giant Chicago-style hotdogs designed for youngsters to climb on. The museum’s effectiveness in teaching is due, in large part, to the fact that it is entertaining.

The Chicago History Museum has several event spaces, an outdoor plaza, and even a theater, making it possible for the museum to accommodate groups of all sizes, from small get-togethers of 10 people to major events with as many as 1,500 attendees.

Learn more about Chicago History Museum.

12. Chicago Theatre

It is hard to miss this lovely Chicago landmark, with the theater’s distinctive sign and beautiful facade. The building’s front, constructed in 1921, has stained glass and an extravagant neon sign inspired by Paris’s Arc de Triomphe. The interior features decor in a French Baroque style reminiscent of Versailles Palace. As guests approach the seven-story high theater, they will first see a magnificent foyer with intricate decorations and a grand staircase. The theater is one of the large corporate event venues in Chicago. The theater currently regularly features performances by well-known comedians, bands, and musicians.

Learn more about Chicago Theater.

13. Loop

This spectacular structure is located next to Millennium Park and is the country’s first free municipal cultural center. At Loop, you can enjoy a wide variety of events, exhibits, and architectural marvels, as well as peruse a gift shop packed with creations by local artisans. Visitors to the Loop should try to check out any event at the Cultural Center, from an art show to a large architectural expo.

You can also visit the Landmark Gallery on the first level when you finish at the Preston Bradley Hall to see “The Great Chicago Fire in Focus,” a permanent display of glass plate negatives illustrating the destruction caused by the Chicago Fire.

Learn more about Loop.

14. Aon Grand Ballroom

If you are looking for outdoor corporate event venues in Chicago, then you should check out Aon Grand Ballroom. The 18,000-square-foot Aon Grand Ballroom, which dates back to the initial building of the Pier in 1916, combines the beauty and grandeur of a bygone period with the conveniences and services of today. The Aon Grand Ballroom fully uses Chicago’s timeless architecture and scenic wonders with its soaring 80-foot curved ceiling and breathtaking views of the lakefront. The venue also has artistic touches like fountains, lighting, and statues. This Chicago venue often books out for high-end events.

In addition to being accessible to the general public, the venue’s location on Navy Pier makes it an ideal stop on any tour of the many other sights around the neighborhood. The Aon Grand Ballroom is an indoor nature attraction for corporate groups who appreciates beauty and serenity in their natural surroundings. You may still admire their exquisite flower arrangements in any weather.

Learn more about Aon Grand Ballroom.

15. Maggie Daley Park

Maggie Daley Park is high on the list of corporate event spaces near Chicago. The park is the realization of an architect’s wildest dreams, a place where people of all ages may have fun. Therefore, the park has many facilities that encourage friendly gatherings. The park has lawns, gardens, harbors, playgrounds, and picnic places. This well-known park in the center of downtown is a great place to have any kind of outdoor event, from the most informal to the most formal, thanks to its proximity to the city’s best restaurants and bars and its stunning views of the Chicago cityscape and Lake Michigan.

The park also has areas for rollerblading, rock climbing, tennis courts, and golf courses. The mirror labyrinth and the upside-down woodland are just two of the many interesting and amusing attractions adults may enjoy. The Fieldhouse has several rooms available for usage, and the Cancer Survivor’s Garden is a beautiful outdoor venue with granite columns framing a dramatic open metal pavilion and wide green areas surrounded by flowers and lush vegetation. Lawns and picnic groves are available for reservations.

Learn more about Maggie Daley Park.

16. Ignite Glass Studios

Ignite is a cutting-edge glass studio and unique event venue in Chicago’s buzzing West Loop. This space has three distinct sections, increasing the total square footage to far over 9000. The Main Room is the perfect location for a formal dinner or business conference, and it comes complete with a glass-blowing demonstration and instruction for your guests. In addition, you and your team can relax in the tranquil outdoor surroundings of the Urban Garden or take in breathtaking views of the Chicago cityscape from the Rooftop Deck.

Learn more about Ignite Glass Studios.

17. The Zhou B. Art Center

The gallery’s bright, open layout and minimalistic design provide the perfect setting for any creative gathering. Zhou B Art Center’s Spirit Area offers sliding doors, ideal for intimate events. At the same time, the Moongate space is a popular choice for cocktail and reception events due to its open layout and distinctive permanent art pieces. Group Dance is a spacious area on the second floor perfect for a ball or other big gathering. The outside space at Life’s Garden, complete with manicured gardens and a koi pond, is also accessible for weddings and other celebrations.

Learn more about The Zhou B. Art Center.

18. Welles Park

Welles Park is an ideal getaway from the hustle and bustle of downtown Chicago if you are searching for small corporate event venues in Chicago. The park has all the conveniences one may need. The focal point is an elegant gazebo with a wire roof, perfect for outdoor performances and speeches by civic officials.

The park also has a swimming pool, fitness center, baseball field, football field, and playground equipment for kids. Despite its many attractions, the park shines as a tranquil natural haven. You may discover green fields for picnics, and shady tree groves for nature walks in this fantastic area to get away from the rush of Chicago. Welles Park is a great event venue if you are looking for a more serene, unpretentious environment.

Learn more about Welles Park.

19. The Violet Hour

The Violet Hour is one of the top bars in Chicago, and it is open every night from 6 PM to 2 AM. The sophisticated decor sets the lounge apart from the seedier dives of downtown. If you can follow the dress code and refrain from using your phone while inside, then you will experience the thrill of exclusivity.

The lighting is low, the drapes are dark, and the tables have a sleek, polished wood grain. In some ways, the venue harkens back to the speakeasies of Prohibition-era Chicago. Cocktails are imaginative and tasty with memorable names, including “Moonchild” and “Giving Life to Memory.” Bartenders at The Violet Hour may cater to private and semi-private groups. For every event, the award-winning beverages, great service, and delectable cuisine provide an elegant and distinctive environment.

Learn more about The Violet Hour.

Conclusion

An organization may host both internal and external events with varying purposes in mind, and the nature of the event plays a significant role in shaping its design and execution. The location of your event is crucial to provide the space for your group, and it influences the experience for all guests and impacts the logistics. The variety of alternatives available in Chicago might make it challenging to choose. You can use this list as a starting point to narrow down your options.

For more resources, check out event management software and event management companies.

FAQ: Corporate event venues in Chicago, Illinois

Here are frequently asked questions about corporate event venues in Chicago.

What are some good venues for corporate events in Chicago?

Some good venues for corporate events in Chicago include Chicago History Museum, Crystal Gardens, Maggie Daley Park, and Zhou B Art Center. It is critical to pick a location that is conveniently accessible, especially if your guests are traveling from different parts of the country.

How much do event spaces cost to rent in Chicago?

Rental prices for Chicago event halls often run between $1200 and $4000. Rental costs depend on several elements, including square footage, neighborhood, and conveniences. A venue’s rental fee depends mainly on the size and nature of the event you want to hold.

How do you choose places to hold corporate gatherings in Chicago?

To hold corporate gatherings in Chicago, take a copy of your schedule with you as you visit potential venues. It would help if you took some time to inspect the event location and plan out a run of show. You need to know if the space can handle your activities and whether it has the resources that meet your needs. Understanding the layout and atmosphere of a potential location might spark new ideas for corporate event venues.

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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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