Book Tours for Your Chicago Conference Group

No one wants their Chicago conference experience to consist entirely of the whirlwind of massive expo halls and rushed meetings. Experiences and activities provide a break from the pure business. They also create crucial opportunities for networking and relationship-building with colleagues and both existing and prospective clients. And no one wants a hokey group outing. Our tours of interior architecture, historic bars, jazz and blues and food, in both downtown and Chicago neighborhoods, are designed for savvy, well-traveled conference attendees.

If you are planning a conference in Chicago, we at Chicago Detours can manage your entire tour program so that any size group of conference-goers –from dozens to hundreds– can explore Chicago from a fresh perspective. Here are three major ways that booking a private group tour package with us will make your conference experience both easy to set up and exceptionally fun and educational.

history of mccormick place grand concourse interior chicago conference group tours
Meeting at McCormick Place? We can start your tours there!

#1. Easy Booking Process

First things first, we at Chicago Detours can manage event registration for the tours during your conference. We’ll handle most of the logistical legwork, including setting up web pages, managing the reservation process for your conference attendees, sending guest confirmations, and checking guests in at the tour site. The team at Detours will create webpages with unique links special for your guests. Every attendee will understand what they are signing up for, especially since we know and describe our tours inside and out – versus go-betweens like DMCs which often farm out much of their tour programs.

#2. Awesome Variety of Group Tours

Chicago yacht charters private tour night
Booking a boat charter for your conference group’s private tour in Chicago will guarantee a great night. Photo courtesy of Anita Dee Charters.

Not to toot our own horn or anything, but private tours with us are one of the best ways for a conference group to see Chicago. We are the only tour company in the city with a solid team of professional tour guides that accommodate large groups via multiple modes of transport – including tours by foot, luxury coach and private yacht charter. We’ve been doing this since 2010! We lead groups of 5 to 500 on tours and our array of tours accommodate a variety of interests.

Walking tours, which range from 1.5-3 hours, introduce guests to surprising spaces, untold stories and unique perspectives on history and architecture in Chicago. Many of our walking tours, like the Historic Chicago Walking Bar Tour, remain mostly indoors and are perfect for any type of weather. Your conference-goers will eat and drink while learning about the Magnificent Mile’s decadent party past, stepping into opulent 1920s architecture and cozying up in an underground dive.

Private tours by bus can share even more of the city with out-of-town conference guests. A luxury coach whisks you through downtown and into neighborhoods both north and south. Popular bus tour options include our Chicago Highlights Detour 101, the South Side Neighborhoods and Cultural Diversity Tour, or the Jazz, Blues, and Beyond Tour. Our highly-rated professional tour guides will share an insider perspective on the people and places that make Chicago so special.

Lastly, we’d love to be your guide on a private boat charter. River and lake cruises offer stunning skyline views while your Detours guide illuminates the city’s architectural history.

#3. Great Value

Cool Chicago Gift of a Walking Tour chicago conference group tours
Seeing the city + food & beverage inclusions + gifts and swag = great tour value. Photo by Pawel Skrabacz

Our private group tours deliver a great bang for your Chicago conference group’s buck. Tour guests will get to experience more of the city, learn about its history and culture from our professional tour guides, and leave each tour with some special gifts from Chicago Detours, like creative postcards or perhaps a a professionally printed map of Chicago’s Pedway.

Whether the conference organizer or the attendees are footing the bill, our tours offer quality experiences at competitive prices. Booking tours for your Chicago conference group will give your guests a complete experience without busting open bank accounts.

Call Us to Plan Chicago Conference Group Tours

If you’d like to learn more about our Chicago conference group tours, pricing, or availability, then just give us a call. You can reach us at 312-350-1131. Alternately, you can fill out the inquiry box on our Private Group Tours page.

Looking forward to seeing you in Chicago!


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Private Tour Coordinator and Tour Guide

There is no shortage of things to discover in Chicago—I love being an urban explorer and uncovering its hidden places. I have an MA in Public History from Loyola University Chicago, and I have worked as a museum educator and kindergarten teacher. My desire to learn new things fuels my passion for educating others, which I get to experience every day as a Chicago tour guide. I live in the northern neighborhood of Rogers Park.

“Our guide Ellen was exceptional and gifted with a great personal touch.”


Tour Guide

Whether you are a first-time visitor or a lifelong resident, the vibrant history and modern majesty of Chicago never ceases to amaze. I’m a graduate of Columbia College with an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Art. I’ve worked for many years as an educator at City Colleges of Chicago. As tour guide at Chicago Detours, I integrate my enthusiasm for culture and architecture with my passion as an educator. West Town/Noble Square area is home for me.

“Jen was a perfect storyteller and kept us spellbound for hours.”


Tour Guide

With our Chicago neighborhoods, vibrant cultural institutions and nearly two centuries of larger-than-life stories, there’s never a dull moment here! I’m a fifth generation Chicagoan and a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis. In addition to guiding tours, I’m a creative writer and amateur genealogist. I also enjoy the city’s dynamic theater scene. You can also read overlooked stories from 19th-century newspapers on my “Second Glance History” blog. I live in River North.


Tour Guide

Chicago is unique as it always evolves into the future while holding on to the past. I’m fascinated by how people latch on to old architecture but happily pave over others. My background is in theater and performance and I’ve been a tour guide here for more than 10 years. Currently I’m finishing my Master’s in Public History at Loyola University because I love to teach the history of this scrappy city. I’m in the Edgewater neighborhood.


Operations Coordinator and Tour Guide

Chicago’s history is so fascinating, you could spend a lifetime uncovering its secrets…I’m willing to give it a try! I have an M.A. in US History from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and then pursued doctoral studies in Urban History at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I love to learn new aspects of Chicago’s rich history and then share my knowledge as a tour guide with Chicago Detours. I live in Ravenswood.

“Marie was a bubbling fountain of information and contagious enthusiasm.”


Operations Coordinator and Tour Guide

As a fourth generation Chicagoan, I have been living and loving Chicago by bike, on foot, public transit or automobile. I am a graduate of UIC where through the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, began my eagerness to understand the nature, history and impacts of urban planning and development. It is incredibly rewarding to give back to this wonderful city by helping out in the office of Chicago Detours. I live in the incredibly diverse neighborhood of Albany Park.
“Sonny was extremely knowledgeable about all things Chi-town.”
Wade K


Content Manager and Tour Guide

Chicago has so many neighborhoods, buildings, and by-ways that it’s hard to go long without seeing something new, or something familiar from a new angle. I studied Cinema History for my M.A. from the University of Chicago. I’ve worked as a culture writer for various publications and as an educator of the humanities at the City Colleges of Chicago. I’m thrilled to share my love of this city’s busy past and unique architectural spaces with Chicago Detours. I live in the Chicago neighborhood of Lincoln Park.

“Alex was fascinating to listen to. He clearly knows his history and it shows.”
Katie K

Amanda Scotese

Executive Director and Tour Guide

I’m an interpreter of personal stories from the past and the city’s landscape. I love to imagine what originally happened inside old unmarked buildings, and what forces have shaped their design. I studied Chicago history, architectural history, and anything Chicago-related through my M.A. in the Humanities at the University of Chicago. My love for stories was enriched by my B.A. in Literature from the University of Michigan. I’ve written travel articles for publications like Rick Steves’ Italy best-selling travel guides, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and The Chicago Food Encyclopedia. I live in the Chicago neighborhood of West Avondale.
“You can TELL Amanda is hyper-passionate about doing the research and getting the story that nobody’s heard before.”
Shelby F

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