Going Gaga for Star Alliance in Chicago

CHICAGO, July 9 - Star Alliance regional representatives in Chicago seized the opportunity offered by a highly sought after musical evening to reinforce the Alliance's strength in Chicago and the Midwest of the United States, inviting 74 guests to a concert by Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga at the Ravinia Festival.

Ravinia is the oldest outdoor music festival in the United States, with a series of outdoor concerts and performances held every summer from June to September. It has also been the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1936. Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, following the success of their critically acclaimed album Cheek To Cheek, performed a concert together at Ravinia on June 27, accompanied by a full orchestra, along with each artist's jazz ensembles.

Chicago is the third largest city in the US and the home of United Airlines. Working as a regional subcommittee (CRG) of the USA Country Steering Council (CSC) local Star Alliance carriers sponsored a tent at this popular event and invited Chicago-based global corporate travel managers/buyers and senior agency leadership. It was the most-attended night in the 111-year history of Ravinia and tickets were only available to donors and not the general public due to strong demand.

Nanci Cheberenchick, coordinator for CSC USA, commented: "This was a truly memorable evening. Attendees are already asking about next year!"

The CHI CRG, co-chaired by Suzanne Wahl (UA) and Jennifer Merwarth (AC), was able to secure free tent rental courtesy of UA Corporate Community Affairs. Patrick Khoury, Senior Director Sales USA for Air Canada gave the welcoming remarks. 14 of the 18 airline members of CRG Chicago sent representatives, and during dinner in the tent had opportunity to talk with guests. The planning team also sent out a pre-event quiz for CD prizes and airline ticket prizes and received 100% completion of their questionnaire.

Perhaps the best summary from an invited guest was from the travel manager of Allstate, a major U.S. insurance firm: “I know you thanked all of us for supporting Star Alliance, but we should all thank you for inviting us to this terrific event. Thank you."