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posted: 5/11/2017 1:00 AM

The perfect mix of traditional and unique meeting spaces

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The Chicago Southland offers meeting and event planners an array of hotels and venues with all the support services needed to ensure the event's success and we are only 25 minutes from Chicago with easy access to Midway and O'Hare International Airports and several interstates.

Traditional meeting spaces include six full and several select service hotels, colleges/universities and expo centers. The Chicago Southland is also home to the Tinley Park Convention Center, offering 58,000 square feet of continuous exhibit space with an attached 202-room full-service hotel.

If you're looking for an unconventional meeting space, then look no further. The Chicago Southland offers a multitude of unique venues that combine meeting space with unique activities. From the worlds-largest collection of Richard Haas murals to 40,000 acres of scenic forest preserves we have unique venue options to add hands-on experiences to your next event.

If you're looking for a teambuilding component for your next meeting, Irons Oaks Environmental Learning Center is the ideal venue. Irons Oaks offers a 1,300 square foot conference room and can be coupled with a fun, safe environment to take your business professionals to the next level of achievement. Irons Oaks features 38-acres of team building atmosphere including a high ropes course, climbing wall and crate stacking.

If you want to add a sports flavor to your next meeting, the Chicago Southland has a lineup of venues offering both meeting space and an opportunity to take in a game. Choose from Toyota Park, home to the Chicago Fire Soccer Club or Standard Bank Stadium where the Windy City ThunderBolts take on the Frontier League. Maybe a round of golf is just the right activity at any one of our 35 public and semiprivate golf courses?

To get the creative juices flowing add an element of art by holding your meeting at Governors State University offering up to 29,000 square feet of space. Take in a show at the Center for Performing Arts or enjoy guided walks in the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park, where you'll find yourself in selfie heaven while viewing over 30 permanent world renowned sculpture installations.

Fresh ideas and fresh air go hand in hand. Take your meeting outdoors at one of the many Chicago Southland nature centers, where you can get outside and kayak, canoe, fish, bike or hike. There are so many places from which to choose including The Center, Monee Reservoir, Sand Ridge Nature Center, Lake Katherine Nature Center and Plum Creek Nature Center just to name a few.

Want your team thinking outside the box? Add a bit of child's play to your day. Whether it's a popular escape room or simply go-karting, mini golfing or video gaming, the Chicago Southland features many family-entertainment centers to make this happen, where there's space to meet and space to play.

Host a meeting with a movie at Marcus Theatres which is a premiere entertainment destination featuring 16 auditoriums, one of which is an UltraScreen DLX® concept with a massive screen, heated DreamLounger leather recliners and Dolby Atmos multidimensional sound.

Want something off the beaten path? Watch high-dollar horses jump for the stars at HITS Balmoral Park. This world-class international hunter/jumper equestrian center draws horses from all over the globe. Be amazed at a historical location that sits on a 200-acre property with 4,467 seat mint-condition grandstand and VIP clubhouse with climate-controlled seating that overlooks all competition rings.

If you're just looking for a mobile activity to enhance your next meeting, the Chicago Southland can provide information on mobile teambuilding activities, sip and paint options, as well as social responsibility ideas.

Give our meeting experts a call at (708) 895-8200 to customize your next meeting or event. We take great pride for being a one stop resource for all your needs. Whether it's sourcing your request to our hotels or coordinating site inspections, the Chicago Southland CVB Sales Team is here to assist. Also, ask about our complimentary event services and current meeting incentives making the Chicago Southland affordable and the perfect place to hold your next meeting or event.

• Mary Patchin is director of sales at the Chicago Southland CVB. Contact her at