Meeting venue? Check. Caterer? Check. Promotional swag for the guests? Check.
All the essentials for planning the perfect business event were on display Thursday at the second annual Northwest Chicago Hospitality Expo. More than 400 people mingled amid the 45 vendors at the Meadows Club in Rolling Meadows to learn more about what the Northwest suburbs have to offer in the hospitality industry. Exhibitors ranged from area hotels and restaurants to entertainment centers, event planners and promotional product suppliers.
The event was the ideal location to network with others and make new business connections, said Sheryl Novak of the National Concierge Association, Chicago and Suburban Region. Novak said the event is ideal to connect her organization's members with potential business, as well as find new members in the suburbs.
"There's a diversity of vendors and people who come to us with questions," Novak said. "We've been with (the Hospitality Expos) since they were established."
For first-time vendor Gerianne Llamas of Muscle Maker Grill in Rolling Meadows, it was a great opportunity to get the word out on the restaurant, which had just opened three weeks ago.
"We're getting a lot of people walking up who say they've read about us or heard about us and want to know more," Llamas said as she handed out sandwich wrap samples to passers-by. "I love it here."
Attendees did not leave hungry as restaurants offered samples of their cuisine, while others vendors offered snacks and candy. Chef Jorge Garcia of Wickets Bar and Grill in Schaumburg was slicing roast beef for sandwiches and serving up roasted tomato soup to those who stopped by. Wickets expected to go through 75 pounds of beef and six gallons of soup by the end of the event, according to restaurant operator Dennis Antoniello.
The Northwest Suburban Hospitality Expo was sponsored by the Daily Herald Business ledger in partnership with the Woodfield Chicago Northwest Convention Bureau.