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9th Annual Chicago Seminars - October 19 - 21, 2018

9th Annual Chicago Seminars - October 19 - 21, 2018

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Old Aug 13, 18, 2:13 am   -   Wikipost
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Last edit by: Renes Points
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Dates for 2018 event are: Oct 19-21, 2018

* Event Registration: URL https://chicagoseminars2018.eventbrite.com/ - lunch and daily snacks are included in registration (breakfast is NOT included in registration)
* Hotel registration is in post # 2 (Breakfast for 1 is included in room rate). The host hotel is not accepting reservations yet. They will once the event is live.
* A full list of the current speakers is in post #3
* Schedule of weekend events is in post #4.
* Current event sponsors in post #5 (and email provided if someone is interested in sponsoring)
* Some info re: charity raffle is in post #6.
* Request for volunteers is in post #7. (volunteers get thanks & handshake - and an apple).

The Elk Grove Village Holiday Inn (+1-847-437-6010) shuttle normally leaves the hotel on the hour and the airport (ORD) on the half hour. Domestic arrivals pick up at Door 2, international arrivals at Door 5E.
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Old Apr 24, 18, 3:51 pm
  #1  
Company Representative: AwardWallet
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9th Annual Chicago Seminars - October 19 - 21, 2018

Registration is live: https://chicagoseminars2018.eventbrite.com/

2017 event: 8th Annual Chicago Seminars - October 20 - 22, 2017 -- so you have a reference point.

This information will be cross-posted in the Award Travel 101 Facebook Group prior to registration going live. The team at AwardWallet is going to help out more this year so I can give my bum knee a break from all the running around like a monkey after consuming 20 shots of espresso. More details to come shortly.

Last edited by thehowieee; Jul 16, 18 at 11:02 am
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Old Apr 24, 18, 3:52 pm
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Hotel Booking Information

The Seminar host hotel is the Holiday Inn Elk Grove Village. ($109/night breakfast for 2 included)

Alternatively, we've secured a rate of $119 with the SpringHill Suites Chicago Schaumburg/Woodfield Mall as an alternative. There will not be shuttles between the hotels.

There is an airport shuttle (from ORD) to the Holiday Inn Elk Grove Village.

There is NOT an airport shuttle to the SpringHill Suites Chicago Schaumburg/Woodfield Mall; however, the rate with the SpringHill Suites includes a voucher for taxi to/from the hotel to the airport (one round-trip voucher per room).

If you have a hotel room and are NOT registered for the Chicago Seminars you room WILL BE CANCELLED. If you have multiple rooms reserved, additional rooms MAY BE CANCELLED. There are limited hotel rooms available at the host hotel and we need to make them available for confirmed attendees.

Last edited by thehowieee; Jul 16, 18 at 11:07 am
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Old Apr 24, 18, 3:52 pm
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Event Speakers

Right here in the schedule

Last edited by thehowieee; Sep 3, 18 at 12:58 pm
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Old Apr 24, 18, 3:53 pm
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Event Schedule

FRIDAY OCTOBER 19TH

4pm - 8pm - Registration Desk Open

530pm - 6pm - Welcome to Chicago Seminars & Tips on a Successful Event (thehowieee / AwardWallet) - An Introduction to the Chicago Seminars, some tips on how to get the most out of the weekend and an open forum to ask any event-related questions.

615pm - 715pm

Renting Cars for Profit & Elite Status (J.J. / Easy Go Traveler & Marty / FareWaze.com) - These guys accumulated over 2 million miles last year through rental car promotions. If you want to learn from two people that think outside the box, this is for you. They're pros in way more than just rental cars. See the TPG article on J.J.

Maximizing your points with 6 airline partners from Asia (Spencer / Straight to the Points) - Learn great ways to use ANA, JAL, Asiana, Korean Air and Asia Miles. Spencer will cover key / unique aspects of the programs such as stopovers, routing, things that can easily confuse while at the same time increase the value of the miles immensely.

Booking your first award (Tiffany / One Mile at a Time) - The fundamentals needed to book your first award ticket, including understanding alliances and partnerships, general tactics for finding award space, and what to expect when it's time to use your miles.

730pm - 830pm

All the apps you need on your phone to save money on everything (Richard Kerr / Award Travel 101) - Got a smartphone? Richard will show you all the apps you should be using to save money -- on everything.

Leveraging Vacation Rentals - Hotels Don't Always Make Sense (Dia / The Deal Mommy) - Do you find yourself often need more space than a single hotel room affords, or the price of a hotel is insane, or you just don't want to stay in a cookie cutter place -- vacation rentals can help with all of these. Dia thinks outside of the box without compromising quality and helps you spend your money perhaps where you'd rather see it go.

Making Memories with Photos - More than an iPhone (Toni Perkins Southam / Award Travel 101) - Toni's photo skills are insane. She's using more than her iPhone but if you want to make some amazing memories with your photos, spend an hour with her to learn how to do it right.

9pm - 10pm

Award Travel 101 - LIVE Bourbon Q&A (Sponsored by AwardWallet). Grab a drink at the bar on behalf of AwardWallet. Drink tickets will be handed out with your badge.

SATURDAY OCTOBER 20TH

8am - 12pm - Registration Desk Open

830am - 930am - Credit & Rewards Cards - How to do it right (Howie / AwardWallet) - Howie will cover the fundamentals of credit, credit scores, and dispel some of the too many myths with credit cards. Are you under 5/24?

945am - 1045am

Miles & Points for Beginners (Emily / Million Mile Secrets) - Emily will cover the foundational principles that everyone should follow to be successful with points and miles.

Top 10 Frequent Miler Insider Tips (Greg / Frequent Miler) - Greg will cover his top 10 tips not discussed on the blog.

Travel Photography - Great Pictures Without a Ton of Equipment (Jeff Brownson / Upgraded Points) - Going light on equipment and still coming home with amazing photos. An iPhone and a couple of attachments can be all you need to carry. Also, how to edit in just a few seconds to make your social media pictures look much better.

11am - 12p

Ask me Anything with Frequent Miler (Greg / Frequent Miler) - You ask, Greg answers for 1 hour.

Disney Disney Disney with Dia (Dia / The Deal Mommy) - You either get Disney or you don't. If you have a love for Disney and want to do it right (no lines, better prices, less pain), you have to attend this session.

Status Matching & Maximization (Henning Mente / First Class & More) - Only the beginning is hard. Learn the skills and which programs from airlines, hotels, and car rental companies are worthwhile applying a match.

12pm - 1pm - Lunch

1pm - 2pm

Earn Miles Without Flying: Ways to build your balances without Manufactured Spend (Nick Reyes / Frequent Miler) - Subject says it all. Nick will cover how to spot deals and focus on out of the box ways to rack up tons of points and miles

Advanced Mileage Run Techniques (Marty Paz & Kevin Song) - Beyond the simple hit & miss or ‘fare alerts’ a hobbyist might stumble upon, this session will provide some rarely shared techniques to make Mileage Run discoveries more efficient and productive. This seminar is not for the inexperienced; it is best if you come with some knowledge of using either Kayak or Priceline Multi-City Booking Tools, ITA Matrix or comparable first-hand experience in constructing your own Mileage Runs. I will share with you some insight on how to tweak even other’s fare alerts to meet your needs or improve upon the rewards. I will share a couple of my own Mega Mileage Run examples to the participants.

Maximizing Layovers (Jeff Brownson / Upgraded Points) - Jeff will cover challenges with undesirable layovers, how to maximize them to your benefit. He'll cover ways to store luggage, renting cars, and leveraging hotels for the quick stays. He'll cover his own personal experience to give you ideas on how you can easily add a layover on your trips.

215pm - 315pm

Ask Me Anything / Why You're Doing it Wrong - Dispelling Group Think in the Points/Miles World (Richard Kerr / Award Travel 101) - Don't be a robot and believe just what you see. Think outside the box, think through an idea and don't follow what everyone else does. Richard will go over examples of how and why you need to think differently and how to beat what everyone else is doing.

Ask Me Anything with Tiffany from One Mile at a Time (Tiffany / One Mile at a Time) - Looking for a chance to get YOUR question answered by an expert in every aspect of the points and miles world? (she won't admit to it, but she is). Bring your out of the box questions to try and stump Tiffany -- good luck!

Ask me Anything with J.J. & Marty (J.J. / Easy Go Traveler & Marty) - An hour to ask two guys that spend their days maximizing promotions how they do it, why they do it, and how you can do it.

4pm - 5pm

Advanced Credit Cards (Stefan / Rapid Travel Chai) - Banks are smart, so we need to be smarter. Learn the latest developments and techniques for maximizing credit card rewards and benefits. Explore little-known cards, cards for heavy spend, and more.

Maximizing Citi ThankYou Points (Spencer / Straight to the Points) - The Most Underrated Flexible Points Program out there, Spencer will show you how to extract maximum value and convince you that you shouldn't be ignoring TYP.

Sweet Spots & Maximization with Hotel Points (Henning Mente / First Class & More) - A lot of hotel programs had a relaunch or changed their conditions: World of Hyatt, SPG/Marriott Rewards/The Ritz-Carlton Rewards merging and Hilton Honors changed the rules. In this session, Henning will give an overview of the most generous programs, the best quick wins for beginners, how to get a high tier elite status fast and how to get a maximum value out of your points.

515pm - 615pm

Airline Award Sweet Spots (Richard Kerr / Award Travel 101) - The sweet spots that aren't obvious. Richard obsessively studies airline award charts and award zones to figure out how any award can be maximized. Which program to use when, how to find the best value, and how to never say "I should have used these miles instead"

#FAIL : The mistakes I've made in this game and what you can learn from them (Nick Reyes / Frequent Miler) - From resales gone wrong to redemptions I regret and all the miles I've left on the table -- Nick will go over what you shouldn't do and how to avoid making those same mistakes.

Ask me Anything with Stefan from Rapid Travel Chai (Stefan / Rapid Travel Chai) - In addition to knowing an insane amount about credit cards, Stefan is a handful of countries short of visiting them all. Anything travel relayed, he's your guy.

7pm - 8pm

Happy Hour / Reception in Woodfield Ballroom

SUNDAY OCTOBER 21ST (All Sunday Sessions are open to all)

8am - 9am - Open Panel Discussion on Credit Cards

9am - 10am - Sponsors Workshop

10am - 11am - Charity Raffle

1115am - 1215pm - Hotel Breakouts

1215pm - 115pm - Lunch

115pm - 230pm - Airline Breakouts

245pm - 4pm - Event Closing & Open Panel on Everything Else Moderated by Stefan / Rapid Travel Chai
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Last edited by thehowieee; Oct 19, 18 at 12:33 pm
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Old Apr 24, 18, 3:53 pm
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Company Representative: AwardWallet
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Join Date: Feb 2008
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Sponsors

Up to 8 total. Sponsors help keep the cost of the event in check.

Current sponsors:Sponsorship is $1000 and includes
  • 1 Ticket to event
  • 8' Table near the registration desk
  • 15 minutes to speak on Sunday morning at Sponsors Workshop
Please contact [email protected] with any inquiries

Last edited by thehowieee; Sep 17, 18 at 9:27 am
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Old Apr 24, 18, 3:54 pm
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Charity Raffle & Donations

donate donate donate
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Old Apr 24, 18, 3:55 pm
  #7  
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Volunteer Opportunities

We will do a call for volunteers via email of registered attendees about 2 weeks before the event.

Things we'll need help with:
  • Registration Desk
  • Selling Charity Raffle Tickets

Last edited by thehowieee; Sep 3, 18 at 1:00 pm
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Old May 1, 18, 8:50 am
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I hope we have some new topics and not repeats of the same presentations like last few years and other events...
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Old May 1, 18, 8:55 am
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Originally Posted by kingrat View Post
I hope we have some new topics and not repeats of the same presentations like last few years and other events...
That'll all depend on the speakers and the topics they pitch. You may not know, year after year we're at about a 2/3 to 1/3 first time attendee to repeat attendee. Every year we have new/different topics but some topics make sense to repeat based on the audience. If you'd like to see something change, pitch topics to cover.
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Old May 5, 18, 6:12 pm
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Hey, its Cinco de Mayo.
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Old May 8, 18, 3:16 pm
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Originally Posted by EasternTraveler View Post
Hey, its Cinco de Mayo.
Life got in the way but I'm just about caught up. I've gotta reach out to some more speakers but we should be good this weekend (I think)
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Old May 8, 18, 3:51 pm
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Originally Posted by thehowieee View Post
Life got in the way but I'm just about caught up. I've gotta reach out to some more speakers but we should be good this weekend (I think)
The Chicago Seminars are like chocolate. They are always good, even the ones that are only sorta good! ;-)
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Old May 8, 18, 3:54 pm
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Originally Posted by Renes Points View Post
The Chicago Seminars are like chocolate. They are always good, even the ones that are only sorta good! ;-)
hahahah! Just no white chocolate!
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Old May 11, 18, 1:13 pm
  #14  
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Registration Will go live May 18, 2018, at 12 pm EDT hell or high water!

Working on the scheduling now! fingers crossed for Friday but it could be delayed due to some folks traveling.
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Last edited by thehowieee; May 16, 18 at 12:24 pm
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Old May 30, 18, 10:06 pm
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Hi Howie - any word on the registration for the event? I'd like to sign up!
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