14th Chicago Seminars at Holiday Inn Heritage Edition, October 25-27, 2024 (Meet Greg!)


This fall, there are once again two miles & points conferences happening in Chicago, though this time around they are on separate weekends and at separate locations. We’ll be publishing a post about each conference.

Greg will be attending and speaking at the Chicago Seminars at the Holiday Inn Elk Grove from October 25-27, 2024. For those who attended seminars last year, this is put on by the team that hosted the conference at the Delta Hotels last year.

The Deal

  • Dates: October 25-27, 2024
  • Location: Holiday Inn Elk Grove
  • Cost:
    • Conference ticket: $165  (Includes live and replay access to the online 3rd Chicago Seminars Variety Show.)
    • 3rd Chicago Seminars Variety Show: $14. Online access to the Variety Show. No access to the in-person conference. If you purchase a Variety Show ticket and later would like to attend the full conference in-person, return to EventBrite to upgrade your ticket for the cost difference.
  • Link to register (note that host hotel booking info is in the ticket confirmation email)
  • More information about this event can be found in this FlyerTalk thread

What’s Included?

  • Live and replay access to the online 3rd Chicago Seminars Variety Show, the morning of Friday, October 25, 2024.
  • Access to in-person conference sessions the Friday, October 25, 2024 – Sunday, October 27, 2024.
  • Coffee / snack breaks
  • Lunch Saturday and Sunday
  • Reception Saturday night
  • Saturday After Hours VVIP Holiday Inn Lobby Hangout (all invited, no upsell)

What’s Not Included?

  • There is no virtual pass for the in-person conference
  • Breakfasts – these are only included for those booking the group rate at the host hotel
  • Dinners – a way to make friends is go out with a group and hand someone cash to let them have the credit card swipe

Key Terms

By purchasing a ticket, you agree to follow the event Participation Requirements, which will adapt up to and including the event:

  • Good conduct policy – You will conduct yourself at the event in a spirit of civility in line with the conduct required by the organizers and on-site volunteers.
  • No refunds and no chargeback policy – this is a charity event and has operated since inception on a no refunds policy. If you purchase a ticket and your plans change, there will be no refund. If, at the event, you violate the participation requirements, you will be required to immediately depart the event, and there will be no refund. In all cases, you will not make a credit card chargeback for your event ticket. Should you file a chargeback you will be banned from attending future Chicago Seminars events. Be happy that the event charities will benefit from your graciousness, even if you find yourself in that position from lack of graciousness. Ticket transfers will be allowed up to October 18, 2024, email the organizers with the ticket transfer request details at: info@chicago-seminars.com.
  • No recording of sessions – the no recording policy allows open discussions and respects the hard work of speakers. Anyone found to be recording (video, audio, or otherwise, that includes photos of every slide, etc) will be removed from the event with no refund. Exceptions only if a speaker gives explicitly up-front permission for some form of recording.

Quick Thoughts

I often say that conferences like the Chicago Seminars are a fantastic opportunity to connect with other people who share similar interests and learn a great deal. Oftentimes, the nitty gritty of that learning is not limited to the speaker sessions, but rather occurs in the hallways and at the hotel bar as you speak with other attendees and speakers. Just as I said about the travel summit recently, I often find that almost everyone knows very much about something that I don’t. There’s always more to learn and networking is an extremely helpful way to learn useful information.

As noted at the top, Greg will be attending this conference in person and presenting. Unfortunately, the rest of the Frequent Miler team was unavailable to attend either Chicago Seminars in person this year, though this Chicago Seminars event also features an online / virtual variety show and Stephen, Tim, Carrie and I will all participate in the variety show.

Other speakers at this event include:

In-Person Conference Speakers:

  • Husain Boxwala (Boxy) of Jetpack
  • Mindy Bumgarner, MS FIRE
  • Michael Cao
  • Chris Carley of Eye of the Flyer
  • Brian Cohen of The Gate with Brian Cohen
  • Ben Komenkul of Ben’s Big Deal
  • Andrew D’Amours of Flytrippers
  • Greg Davis-Kean of Frequent Miler
  • Tonei Glavinic of Taxes from Abroad
  • Andy Hicks, everycountryby50
  • Stefan Krasowski of Rapid Travel Chai
  • Moli of Maple Miles
  • Sarah Ramkissoon
  • Anshul Singh of Points Miles and Bling
  • Lela Shifton
  • Justin Vacula of Hurdy Gurdy Travel Podcast and Stoic Solutions Podcast
  • …plus more to be announced!

Friday Variety Show Bonus Speakers (online only):

  • many of the above in-person speakers, plus:
  • Tommy Danielsen of Loyalty Summit and MegaDo
  • Tiffany Funk of One Mile at a Time
  • Ric Gazarian of Extraordinary Travel Festival
  • Lisa Kulpa and Dave Muz of Basic Travel Couple
  • Stephen Pepper of Frequent MilerGC Galore, and No Home Just Roam
  • Nick Reyes of Frequent Miler
  • Tim Steinke of Frequent Miler
  • Grant Thomas of Travel with Grant
  • Michael Trager of TravelZork and ZorkFest
  • Robert ‘Tprophet’ Walker of Seat 31B and AwardCat
  • Carrie Yoder of Frequent Miler
  • Orest Zub of NomadMania, calling in from Ukraine
  • …plus some extra pop-ins as they arrive for the weekend

If you’re interested in expanding your knowledge in miles and points and honing your skills, I think attending a conference like the Chicago Seminars can be a terrific investment. When I first got started in miles and points, I thought I had learned a lot and then I met a friend who told me about a conference like the Chicago Seminars. My wife and I attended FTU and my mind was blown because there were so many things I had been missing despite having read blogs for a while. In fact, we learned so much at the first one we attended, that we flew across the country to attend another conference just a couple of months later. Obviously how much you’ll learn will vary with the knowledge base with which you start and your comfort level in building connections with a new network, but even for those more advanced in the game I find these conferences useful for the networking. The Chicago Seminars in particular often attract a crowd that is an interesting mix between beginners and people who have been in this game since before you thought the game existed.

Again, more information about this event can be found in the associated FlyerTalk thread. Along with ZorkFest 2024 in Las Vegas from November 1st to the 3rd, there are quite a few options for miles and points conferences this fall.

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This one is $165 and the Sept seminar is $299. Big difference! Wish they’d been able to work out their differences and keep it one conference.

Dugroz Reports

Very cool!