Chicago welcomes back the 2016 HR Tech Conference and Expo for the first time in four years, and the talent industry’s biggest event kicks off with nothing short of action-packed workshops, presentations, and mingling in the nation’s third largest city.
The Windy City in October welcomes a series of attractions like good eats, warm weather, live music, and a ton of merrymaking, including those of the brew-related sort. (It is Oktober after all.)
No matter the alley you choose to run up, Chicago offers a mix of events for everyone. Whether you’re in search of a place to connect with a colleague, to get lost in email, or to catch up on local culture, we’ve built this mini travel guide to keep you busy long after the conference doors close.
Places to eat:
Looking for nosh that isn’t deep dish pizza?
Check out Moxee Barbecue and Cajun and Mad Mouse Brewery for authentic, slow BBQ, including their own speciality bourbon-cured pork belly, beef pastrami, cinder-brined turkey, and smoked salmon. Don’t forget to try one of their 24 brews on tap.
The schnitzel, paprikash, and kolacky are the must-haves at the tasty and stylish Czech-inspired Bohemian House.
The Gage is your go-to after a stroll through Millennium Park, serving up rustic American fare, craft beers, wines, and a selection of Irish whiskeys.
Places to have a drink:
Lakeview’s Dry Hop Brewers serves up craft brews “designed to mirror the artisanal, neighborhood attitude of the brewery.” Find out for yourself what that means.
Kasey’s Tavern is Chicago’s second oldest tavern serving over 130 beers to keep your networking skills sharp.
For a more classic, speakeasy vibe, befriend your inner mixologist and pick up a craft cocktail at the hip, lounge-y The Barrelhouse Flat.
Places to have some fun:
Located on the Chicago River in the historic River East Arts Center, Pinstripes boasts bistro, bowling, and bocce in a classy dining setting. Need we say more?
Take a break from the cityscape and step into the Lincoln Park Conservatory showcasing tropical palms, ancient ferns, and other exotic plants.
Recommended Keynotes, Sessions and Events at HR Tech:
- “What’s Trending & Beyond? Talent Acquisition Technology for Modern Recruiting”
Wednesday, 10/5, 11 am-12 pm
Elaine Orler, CEO and Co-Founder, Talent Function
- “Happiness Analytics at Pandora”
Wednesday, 10/5, 1:15-2:15 pm
Jeremy Welland, Director of People Analytics, Pandora
- Party Like It’s Your Job
Wednesday, 10/5, 7:30 pm-12 am
Sponsored by Cornerstone, House of Blues Chicago
- “HR and Marketing Unite: Joining Forces to Beat the Talent Odds”
Thursday, 10/6, 11 am-12 pm
Leela Srinivasan, CMO, Lever; Jason Seiden, Founder and CEO, BrandAmper
- “Two Decades, Four Tech Revolutions and Billions of Dollars Later – Why is Hiring Still So Hard?”
Thursday, 10/6, 1:45-3 pm
Kris Dunn, Kinetix; Jon Bischke, Entelo; Mark Newman, HireVue; Jennifer Seither, CareerBuilder; Colin Day, iCIMS
- “How Stitch Fix Uses Data to Optimize High Volume Recruiting”
Friday, 10/7, 9:30-10:30 am
Daniel Chait, CEO, Greenhouse; Lindsay Varney, Director of Talent, Stitch Fix
Be sure to check out our 2016 recruiting and HR conferences eBook for even more info!
If you’re planning to extend your trip to a few days before or after HR Tech, here are some other cool events to check out.
The Ear Taxi Festival is the city’s celebration of emerging contemporary music scene with concerts, lectures, marathons, webcasts, and artist receptions. The festival will feature over 350 musicians, 88 composers, five sound installations, with performances from the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, the International Contemporary Ensemble, the Third Coast Percussion and Spektral Quartet, and more! October 5-10, Various venues, a majority of them a 10 to 15 minute drive from the conference center.
Hops lovers unite at the Rocktober Beerfest, happening closer to the tail end of HR Tech. The three-day annual event kicks off in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood, complete with Oompah jams, an Oktoberfest costume contest, and of course, a stein hoisting competition. Come ready to unwind, recruiters. October 7-9, West Loop, Randolph and Ogden.
Kanye West continues on his Saint Pablo Tour, stopping over in Rosemont, about a 40 minute drive from Chicago. See his floating stage live – there are still tickets up for grabs. October 8, Allstate Arena, Rosemont.
While it’s too late to enter the race, you can cheer on over 45,000 runners in this year’s Chicago Marathon whizzing through 29 neighborhoods in the city, including Chinatown, Lincoln Park, and the finish line at Grant Park. October 9, Starts and ends in Grant Park.
Complimentary shuttles will be available for HR Tech attendees to McCormick Place from the six official conference hotels – InterContinental Chicago, Hyatt Regency Chicago, Chicago Marriott Downtown, Sheraton Grand Chicago, Palmer House Hilton, and Hilton Chicago.
Uber and Lyft are two ride-sharing options to getting around the city, but if you’re looking for a more affordable, scenic route, consider using Chicago’s public transportation system, ranked one of the nation’s best and most efficient. Travel like a local and hop on a train or bus line and pick up a Ventra card for easy on-and-off riding.
What to pack:
Sunshine and occasional clouds grace Chicago the week of HR Tech and after with temperatures ranging in the high 40s to low 70s.
And don't forget to say hi:
We wouldn’t miss HR Tech for the world. Did you know Hiring On All Cylinders is the official podcast sponsor of HR Tech? We’ll be recording live, right next to the exhibit entrance! Our CEO Jon Bischke will also be speaking on Thursday’s Mega Session, “Two Decades, Four Tech Revolutions and Billions of Dollars Later — Why Is Hiring Still So Hard?” along with iCIMS, HireVue, Kinetix, and CareerBuilder. And if you’re looking for our brick and mortar, come by Booth #2631. See you in Chicago!