Registration

Online registration will begin on July 23 at 9 am CT. At that time, a link will be sent to each subscriber’s inbox, and a digital button will appear on our homepage at knowyourchicago.org. Follow the link or click the button to begin the registration process.

No usernames or passwords are required to register.

Watch a demo video of the registration process

Group registrations (max of 6 individuals per group) are available online.

Phone registration is available at 773.702.1727. Call volume can be quite high; please allow 24 hours for a return phone call during peak registration periods. Quick questions can be directed to kyclist@uchicago.edu.

Tour Planning

  • Tour planning begins in January.
  • Each Committee member is invited to suggest and research topics and/or venues that can be developed into a subject worthy of a day-long tour.
  • Many of the tour ideas are inspired by news articles highlighting new and challenging issues affecting the city and its citizens.
  • It takes a year for the Committee to plan and execute the autumn season of programs in partnership with the University of Chicago Graham School.
  • From January through June, the Committee researches topics and venues, evaluates potential venues and speakers and solidifies contracts and logistics. Over the summer, copy for the website, brochure, and Symposium program is written and edited and marketing materials are printed and mailed. From September through November, all attention is focused on presenting and evaluating the year’s programs.
  • KYC traditionally focuses on what is fresh, innovative, and relevant to Chicago citizens.
  • Repeating a popular tour exactly as it was originally presented is not consistent with this mission nor is it practical.
  • Host venues generously suspend their normal operations and donate significant staff time to participate in two days of a KYC tour season. To ask them to repeat this effort for a third day or for a second year would put enormous pressure on their generosity.
  • KYC has revisited certain venues multiple times if that venue has an exciting new addition, renovation, or program to highlight.

Tickets

  • The Know Your Chicago Symposium is the kickoff event for the KYC season.
  • The Symposium offers a stimulating intellectual day featuring expert speakers who present a broad overview of the subjects of the current year’s Tours.
  • The talks add depth to what will be seen and learned on the Tour days. Tours build on this foundation and demonstrate specific applications within the same subject.
  • Symposium and Tour registrations are non-refundable.
  • If you are unable to use a registration, you have two options:
    • You may give or sell your registration to a friend.
    • You may change your Tour date by contacting the KYC office (kyc@uchicago.edu or 773.702.1727) to exchange your tour registration for an available tour date.
  • Ticket availability is determined by the nature of the venues we visit.
  • Many smaller social service agencies, cultural institutions, businesses, and non-profits have limitations on the number of people they can manage inside their facilities.
  • In addition to space availability, our host venues may have security or staffing concerns that limit our numbers.

Yes, KYC Committee members are required to buy Symposium and Tour tickets.

Transportation

Please call the Know Your Chicago office at 773.702.1727. This line is forwarded on Tour days and you will be able to reach an office representative.

  • The Office of Transportation Planning, through the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), selects the bus drop-off locations each year. Since the Loop is a busy place, CDOT will not permit us to stage or unload our buses at any unauthorized locations.
  • We work with the city to select a location between Ogilvie Transportation Center and Union Station.
  • Locations change from year to year as new building and road construction allow.
  • The educational day begins on the bus. Materials may be handed out, videos shown, and/or orientation information conveyed. Participants miss valuable tour-related information and instructions if they are not on the bus.
  • Bus check-in ensures that participants have paid, have a lanyard identifying them as part of the Tour group, and are included in the headcount given to the lunch venue.
  • Security is an increasing concern for our host venues. KYC promises our hosts that we will arrive as a group and stay together throughout our time at the venue. Many host venues do not permit KYC participants to arrive on their own.
  • Itineraries are not given to participants in advance of the tours. This policy allows our Tour Chairs and Host Venues to make last minute changes to the schedule if needed.
  • Bus contracts specify exact pick-up/drop-off locations. Although traffic and detours may alter routes during the day, the beginning and end locations do not vary from the contract.
  • Liability issues associated with unplanned/unannounced stops are real causes for concern.
  • Participants are permitted to leave the tour from any of the participating host venues at any time during the day but, once on the bus, they must remain on it until it has reached its destination.

General Questions

Names and contact information can be added to the KYC mailing list online (knowyourchicago.org) or by mail (Know Your Chicago, University of Chicago Graham School, 1427 E 60th St, Chicago, IL 60637.)

  • KYC does not pay speakers or tour venues. KYC Symposium speakers are selected because they are experts in their field and are generally excited for the expanded platform our event provides.
  • KYC is grateful to the Tour speakers and venues that have generously donated their time and expertise. In return for their participation, speakers and Tour partners gain valuable publicity and exposure to an audience beyond their usual contacts.

We welcome new members with civic engagement and leadership experience. Please call the Know Your Chicago office at 773.702.2768 or kyc@uchicago.edu and ask to be introduced to the KYC Membership Chair.

  • KYC uses different caterers and vendors for each Tour, depending on their location and topic.
  • We are frequently able to make accommodations for vegetarian diets. Please contact the office at kyclist@uchicago.edu to alert us to vegetarian requests.
  • For severe food allergies or demanding diets, please bring your own lunch to Tour day.
  • The Symposium is held at Ida Noyes Hall on the campus of the University of Chicago. The building is ADA accessible and valet parking is available.
  • Listening devices are offered free of charge at the Symposium.
  • Charter buses are used for all Tour day transportation. Wheelchair lifts are not outfitted on each bus. Buses can and will transport walkers, wheelchairs, and other mobility aids for those who can navigate the bus stairs on their own. Mobility aids will be returned to their owners at each Tour location.
  • Know Your Chicago visits a variety of sites and venues each year. These vary tremendously regarding ease of access. Tour planners give considerable attention to selecting venues that offer maximum accessibility whenever possible. KYC tour partners cannot always offer physical assistance to KYC participants.
  • Please contact the Know Your Chicago office (773.702.1727 or kyclist@uchicago.edu) for more accessibility information in advance of specific Tour dates.
  • Each Tour is rated for stairs and walking difficulty. The walking grade (rated light to strenuous/stairs) appears in the Tour brochure and online.

Contact

Further questions? Please contact the Know Your Chicago office at kyclist@uchicago.edu or 773.702.1727.