Being able to bring grand ideas and dreams to life is one of the things I love most about my job.  You know the old quote “If you build it, they will come”?  It’s corny, but so true!

Not long ago I attended the Professional Convention Management Association’s (PCMA) Annual Meeting in San Diego.  There I was inspired while listening to a presenter discuss an event titled “Find the Future”.  It included 500 over-night guests working as teams on a scavenger hunt in the New York Public Library. The goal was to celebrate the library’s centennial through creating a book that would stay at the library for another hundred years to come.  The original idea came from a statistic having to do with the number of people considered gamers and how it has increased exponentially over the last couple of years.

The event struck me as such a magical evening with so much potential for personalization.  And thus the wheels started turning.  How could I create an event like this scavenger hunt and promote it to a broad audience?  With that I enlisted the help of my Sales and Marketing team.  Together we decided there was only one venue that could lend itself this one-of-kind event: The Chicago History Museum.  Through months of planning, we came up with what we call “The Great Chicago History Hunt”.  It is a remarkable evening that can be recreated for any group.  In my mind it would be most beneficial for the corporate world to be used as a team building activity, for VIP clients, holiday parties, sales incentives, and really any event that needs a unique, interactive twist.

Last week Wednesday, Berghoff Catering held the first of hopefully many to come, “Great Chicago History Hunts” at the Chicago History Museum.  We invited a combination of corporate clients, meeting and association planners, and press to showcase this remarkable evening.  Guests were greeted at the beginning of the night with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, then found their teams based off of clues given to them at check-in.  Each team then progressed through the museum playing three different history/scavenger levels.  Level 3 was my personal favorite, Are You Smarter than a Chicagoland 5th Grader?  The evening was lead by a trained emcee; Rich Daniels, a life-long friend and conductor of The City Lights Orchestra.  And the top it all off the truly interactive experience concluded with a fun and delicious family style seated dinner at a beautifully decorated long table.  Winning teams were announced, guests enjoyed music, drinks, and a cozy family style dinner.

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I have to say the evening was one of my favorite things we have done.  Watching this go from a tiny thought in my head to a unique event that none of our guests had ever experienced was such an amazing thing!  The creative process that myself and my team went through was so rewarding to say the least.  I am excited to watch it continue to grow and develop as we tailor the event to fit different groups and their needs.  So for all you Chicago history buffs or corporate clients who are looking to spice up your next work event, get your game pants on and let Berghoff Catering take care of the rest. Cheers!

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