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Chicago Seminars: Some News About This Year’s Event

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


We now know a little bit about the 2020 Chicago Seminars!

Rapid Travel Chai‘s Stefan Krakowski has the unenviable task of organizing this year’s event, which is currently scheduled for October 16-18 at the Holiday Inn Elk Grove Village.

According to the Seminars’ FlyerTalk thread, the event’s status is a “maybe.”

When will the “maybe” change to a “yes” or “no”?

“If the event can happen, what the set-up will be, what capacity we can have, will only be decided very close to the event dates,” Stefan wrote. “Perhaps four weeks or even two weeks out we will make the go/no go decision. Only at that time, in the case of a go, will we open up registration.”

So registration for the non-profit, charity-oriented event likely wouldn’t start until about mid-September or early October.

As Stefan notes, “Many airlines have generous cancellation policies through June 30, 2020, so you may want to book a penalty-free cancel ticket to Chicago.” So that gives you a few hours today to your airfare to the Windy City without penalty. UPDATE: Delta extended their change fee waiver to July 31.

Expect an update to the FT thread “by August 31, 2020, and regular updates from there until a decision is made.”

Stefan Krakowski of Rapid Travel Chai speaks during the 2017 Chicago Seminars at the Holiday Inn Chicago-Elk Grove in Elk Grove Village, Illinois.
Stefan Krakowski of Rapid Travel Chai speaks during the 2017 Chicago Seminars.

What Are Illinois’ Gathering Guidelines?

Depending on how many people attend, I think there’s a possibility the event could happen.

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker gave the go-ahead for meetings and conferences. The Chicago Sun-Times reports, “Venues and meetings can resume with 50 people or under or 50% of overall room capacity, according to the new state guidelines.”

So each session’s attendance would have to be pretty light to conform to those rules.

But in terms of getting back to the “normal” Seminars that (and other events) can’t happen in Illinois “until a vaccine, widespread treatment or herd immunity is achieved.”

Are René or I Going to the 2020 Chicago Seminars?

Unless there’s a COVID-19 vaccine or cure readily available before then, neither René nor I will attend this year’s event. (In fact, René is shocked they are taking the risk to have it this year.)

And I really, really, really want to go. I love the Chicago Seminars. So many people are friendly and welcoming. But at this point, I’m not comfortable traveling or being in groups.

That stinks, too, because I was making it a point to get more pictures this year! 🙂

However, I’ll still post as much information as possible. (I’ll live vicariously through you if you go! 🙂 )

Save the Date for 2021!

If you want to start looking forward to next year’s Chicago Seminars, it appears they’ll be held on October 15-17, 2021.

— Chris

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


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9 Comments

  1. I applaud you guys for walking the walk when it comes to taking covid seriously. I’m in the midst of my longest stretch at home in 6 years personally and anxious to get back out there, but at the same time don’t want to contribute to the spread.

  2. It would be incredibly irresponsible to hold this event in person this year. Shame on the organizers for even considering this an option.

  3. Thanks for posting this! I am in the same boat as you, I REALLY want to go.

    Hopefully viable and affordable treatments for COVID-19 are widespread in plenty of time to make this thing happen!

    I can be an optimist, right?

  4. Why not also do a live event using either zoom or google media, or even facebook live where questions can be asked. This might lessen the load on the meeting space and help those of us not quite ready to travel.

    • Agree with John. Why not host these meetings via Zoom? The audience could be bigger as I have wanted to go in the past but my schedule has gotten in the way. Now all you have to do is log in from your chair. You could even have a la carte pricing for those workshops you want to attend.

    • Certainly an interesting and logical idea — especially given that we all now live in the Zoom age! 🙂 But there are a few things that make a virtual seminar easier said than done.

      Individual access codes to individual sessions would probably have to be issued. There are some people who’d gladly post a public access code so others could join for free. Because proceeds from the Chicago Seminars go to charity, that’d really be unfortunate.

      Plus, there’s the matter of audio-visual production: cameras and microphones being wired for the venue but also the live stream, PowerPoint presentations, and making all of it look good. Plus, enough volunteer manpower to make it all work.

      And, of course, there are always a few tips that panelists ask not to be disclosed outside of the rooms. People could easily video-jack the streams and leak them.

      But perhaps someone smarter than I knows how all that can fit together 🙂 .

      • When I organize a zoom meeting, I invite participants. Since I do the invite, no one else can attend that meeting. This would certainly limit participants to those that paid. I am not that familiar with google media and how that might work. Since the money goes to charity, I would be willing to pay the same or slightly less as someone there in person.

        I understand the value of networking with other people, but this is a different time and place. Until a proven vaccine is found, I will just be building miles and working to keep other from expiring. Hey, right there is a topic.

  5. i am OVERZOOMED A real event would be great If we wait for the VACCINE it maybe years !!!

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