Our countdown to ClueCon 2023 has officially begun! With just two months left before the annual developers’ conference, August 14th-17th, we at FreeSWITCH and SignalWire are buzzing with excitement for our yearly adventure to the Windy City.
There are a lot of reasons why you should attend ClueCon – informative presentations, one-of-a-kind networking events, community building – but there’s something special to be said about getting to explore Chicago in the summertime. (If you’ve only been to the most recent two October ClueCons, give it a try! We promise it’s better…)
Many updates are to come in the next two months on the specifics of speakers, schedules, and other details surrounding the business side of the conference. But to kick off our Countdown to ClueCon series, let’s talk about the home of ClueCon: Chicago.
Nestled in the heart of downtown Chicago along the Magnificent Mile, the Drake Hotel is an iconic landmark that exudes timeless elegance, located conveniently for daily excursions between conference activities.
As the venue for this year’s ClueCon, this luxurious hotel offers a perfect blend of history and modern amenities. Many of our nightly activities this year will be 1920’s prohibition-themed, and as the decade when the Drake was built, this historical hotel will serve as the perfect backdrop for our Casino Night and annual Gigabit Reception.
With its breathtaking views of Lake Michigan and impeccable service, the Drake promises a truly memorable stay. Explore its opulent interiors, dine in one of the many nearby restaurants, or unwind with a cocktail at the famed Coq d’Or Lounge. The Drake will be the perfect base for your ClueCon adventures.
Not to mention, it may or may not be haunted…
The Magnificent Mile
The Magnificent Mile is a famous section of Michigan Avenue, rich with landmarks, cool restaurants, and all kinds of shopping. Boasting an impressive lineup of upscale boutiques, department stores, and luxury brands, the Magnificent Mile offers a pleasant walk towards Lake Michigan.
The Drake also happens to be located along the Magnificent Mile, so you’ll be right where you should be to explore Chicago’s downtown!
You can also head to the Chicago Riverwalk to check out the river. There, you’ll find waterfront cafes, wineries, monuments, museums, and boat tours, lined along a backdrop of public art. It’s also a good spot to get outdoorsy – try kayaking or paddleboarding!
Chicago is renowned for its food scene, and you’re in for a treat during ClueCon! We’re hosting our Monday night welcome dinner at Giordano’s, so that you can try Chicago’s famous deep dish pizza. (If you really love it, you should also give Lou Malnati’s a try…)
For an elevated dining experience, Alinea, a three-Michelin-starred restaurant, will take your taste buds on an unforgettable culinary journey. And let’s not forget the mouthwatering steak options at Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse for a truly indulgent meal.
You can find Chicago’s famous hot dogs piled high with all the fixings or a classic Italian beef sandwich at Portillo’s, if you’re looking for something more casual.
For your free days in the city
We also have a curated list of things to do in Chicago for when you’re not busy with ClueCon activities. Whether you’re into history, art, nature, architecture, food, shopping, or just wandering around and seeing the city, we’ve got you covered.
Chicago is rich with all kinds of museums, whether you want history, art, or nature. If you’re into music, there are a ton of music festivals throughout the city during the summer (and Chicago is home to Lollapalooza, two weeks before ClueCon). Aquariums, planetariums, boat tours… whatever you like to do or see on vacation, you can find in the Windy City!
The ClueCon team is familiar with Chicago and has plenty of suggestions for how to spend time in the city. If you’re looking for any guidance as you book your hotel room and plan your trip, feel free to ask us!
And don’t forget – you get a special rate for staying with us at the Drake! Be sure to book your room by July 21st if you want our room block discount. You can get our special rate from August 11th-19th, so we encourage you to book an extra day or two to check out the city while you’re there.
Get $200 off your ClueCon tickets with the code COUNTDOWN. We can’t wait to see you there!