Donald E. Stephens Convention Center

Donald E. Stephens Convention Center

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.0
355 reviews
Excellent
120
Very good
136
Average
71
Poor
22
Terrible
6

kgilbert78
Columbus, OH2,618 contributions
Aug 2021
We were here for a major hobby convention. This was a large space and was well lit. Plenty of places to eat and stay in the area. But parking was horrid and expensive. The garage across the street was easy to get lost in and it was tough to find one's way out of it or to get from one section of the garage too another. There was at least a 15 minute walk, and one time we got lost in the garage and could not find out way out. During show setup, the facility turned off the air conditioning. In August--when we were wearing masks. Ugh. The food service was expensive and of poor quality. $5 waters, for example. Still the basic setup was good. Meeting rooms on the floor above the show floor were excellent. With a little attention to detail, this facility would get a higher rating.
Written October 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

kasey1945
Glenview, IL240 contributions
Jan 2013 • Couples
If you are going out to Rosemont for an event, you can save yourself the parking fee. Visit the new Rosemont entertainment center and get your parking validated; it's good for 24 hours. The only downside is that you have to walk one block further. It's a little tricky, but instead of entering the garage off Manheim, go around down the street to the backside, next to the freeway. Don't enter into the movie entrance. Go to the one immediatey next to it.

Take your parking ticket and have it validated at one of the restaurants. I would recommend walking around the little square and picking one you liked. We had lunch at the Hofbrauhaus. It looks like its the same menu for lunch and dinner. We had lunch and it was a larger serving. Probably better for dinner, re price. THere is also an interesting bowling alley that serves food while you bowl. Just shop around.
Written January 28, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

ConvertibleWoman
Goshen, IN156 contributions
Nov 2012 • Family
We attended a car show there. The address on the paperwork and the GPS didn't jive so we drove through several neighborhoods before we got to the parking garage - we should have just used our heads and gotten off the interstate when we saw it. We parked in the parking garage, which was very convenient because there is an enclosed walkway from the garage to the Center; there appeared to be cheaper parking options. The downside is that the walkway seems really long especially after walking around a car show with no seating for several hours. Also, there were very few restaurants in the area.

A helpful hint: There is a bank of ATM like machines to pay for parking as you come back from the Center, remember to take your ticket with you so you don't have to go back. If you forget your ticket there were two booths where you can pay before you leave.
Written January 12, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

S T
Chicago, IL21 contributions
Jul 2016 • Family
American Telugu Association (ATA) organized its 25 year silver jubilee event on July 1-3 at Donald B Convention Centre, Rosemont, IL.

GREAT LOCATION
Organizers should be complemented for organizing a grand event on a July 4 long weekend. Rosemont convention center is a top tier location with good connectivity, good catering & event staff, close to parking and hotels.

WELL PLANNED ACTIVITIES FOR ALL AGE GROUPS
Significant amount of planning and thought went into organizing the events and activities. Convention center had a large event area supplemented by multiple smaller rooms where events were targeted for specific groups. Wide range of activities were planned for different groups.

This ranged from business events & networking, seniors activities, youth socialization, rural development, non profit organization events etc. People were actively participating in these events that conveys that these events were successful in meeting their goals.

DAY 1 - GOOD START BUT MARRED BY LUNCH FIASCO
Saturday (July 2) was the first day with many cultural, social, business, youth activities sprinkled throughout the day. These seem to be well received with participants staying engaged throughout the day. However during lunch things started falling apart wherein people had to wait for almost two hours to get food. Some of the queues ran out of rice, people waited for rice to be delivered, many of the folks decided to eat whatever was available. Later during the day dinner was better as more queues were opened up and mistakes from lunch were largely avoided.

Other activities continued as planned and focus turned to the main event area that was well designed with a large stage and multiple screens to enable people in back rows to get a close view. Main event area comprised of events by local talent as well as dance teams invited from Detroit, Atlanta, and other cities.

POOR EVENT SEQUENCING
Event sequencing seem to be odd as a high energy Tollywood dance was followed by a slow classical dance, further followed by political speech. This seem to indicate lack of experience and forethought in planning the nature and sequence of activities. GMR group founder was invited to speak and he gave a first hand motivating speech that was backed up by a nice audio-visual description of his accomplishments, however this was soon followed by a politician who gave loud political speech that seemed completely out of place.

EXCESSIVE DELAYS
For an event of this magnitude some delays and scheduled changes are likely however the event was completely out of sync with the published schedule. This was further exacerbated by interjections to introduce and thank political celebrities who came all the way from India for this event (not sure if their trip was paid for by American Telugu Association).

CELEBRITIES - LOST OPPORTUNITY
During the event Kajal Agarwal came to the main event area, she must be complemented for her gracious presence and patience in dealing with selfie seekers. She spent a good amount of time in the event area and backstage, however wasn't given adequate stage time, this reflected the poor planning and execution by the organizers. Similar situation happened with Jagapathi Babu garu who despite his stature and stage-presence got a very small fragmented stage time.

DAY 1 - ABRUPT END AT MIDNIGHT
Overall event schedule was few hours behind schedule and there was no significant attempt to catch up on the schedule. Poor planning and forethought was clearly evident when stage sound system and lights were turned off at exactly 12:00 AM.
The Bahubali event participants were literally frozen on the stage unsure of what is happening (some of the participants started crying). The American Telugu Association (ATA) organizers were caught completely unprepared and could not even apologize about this as the sound system was turned off.

DAY 2 - MISSING BREAKFAST
Sunday (July 3rd) was the second and perhaps more important day of American Telugu Association (ATA) silver jubilee. Some of the participants who showed up early could not get any breakfast, though some of the organizers seem to be carrying breakfast trays to their hotel rooms. This contradiction seemed to convey that insiders/organizers were treated differently than the general attendees. Perhaps not having any breakfast would have reduced cost and logistics, however not providing breakfast despite promising seemed to reflect inexperience or incompetence.

PRIME TIME - SMACKED OF NEPOTISM
Sequencing of events reflected inexperience & nepotism. One of the accomplished artist even mentioned that he wish he had been provided a prime slot where more people could have appreciated his superb performance.

POLITICIANS - EXCESSIVE APPEASING
Events again seemed to be chaotic and getting out of hand. Politicians were brought every now and then without any planning or discipline. It almost appeared that the organizers were more interested in highlighting the politicians than focusing on the main event and its cultural and social objectives.

CELEBRITIES - LOST OPPORTUNITY (AGAIN)
The lack of discipline was further evident when Tollywood celebrities were brought on stage wherein Nani and Kajal got stage time. However other Tollywood celebrities Rashi Khanna, and Lavanya Tripathi barely got any stage time. Later on they were whisked away from stage to make for political speeches and mediocre cultural performances. Not sure if American Telugu Association is accountable to explain if the money spent of the celebrities was optimally utilized.

POLITICIAN - OUTBURST ON STAGE
Some of the speeches were blatantly political and had no link to the event, however organizers had no say as they could not afford to offend any politician. This was further evident in a funny incident wherein a politician who was performing with his troupe burst into an angry threatening speech when he was gently nudged to wrap up their folk dance performance. Organizers had to go out of their way to appease him, and let him complete his event.

DAY 2 - DINNER - BIGGER FIASCO
The dinner on Sunday seemed to be another fiasco wherein people took almost two hours to get dinner. Perhaps this may have been limited issue, however the organizers put the main event areas on hold for about hour and half to let people finish their dinner.

Perhaps this was the best time to acknowledge the politicians and finish some of the average cultural performances. This was not an unreasonable expectation particularly when the previous night performances were abruptly halted at mid-night.

POLITICIANS - EXCESSIVE APPEASING CONTINUES
Once the activities resumed the focus turned more towards acknowledging the organizers and politicians (again). There seem to be no planning or control and once again the events were behind schedule and it seemed a repeat of previous day.

However the organizers managed to extend the end time to 1:30 am as the highlight of the evening Mani Sharma's event was scheduled as the last event.

MANI SHARMA CONCERT - TOO LITTLE TOO LATE
Mani Sharma's musical night started at about 11:15 PM and people expected to enjoy whatever time was left, the event started on a good note and seemed to be worth the wait. However soon the event was interrupted multiple times to finish a fashion show from one of the lead sponsors, acknowledge some of the big donors. Many of the audience seem to be completely exhausted and left well before Mani Sharma's event completed.

CONCLUSION - LOST OPPORTUNITY
To conclude the American Telugu Association (ATA) silver jubilee event was well planned, however organizer's lack of discipline and inexperience in managing such large events resulted in a poorly executed event. The undue focus on politicians seemed to indicate that organizer's personal agenda and networking took precedence over the event's objective and goals.

One would hope that the organizers learn from their mistakes and do not repeat them in future American Telugu Association (ATA) events.
Written July 8, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

John C
Glenview, IL133 contributions
Feb 2015 • Couples
As with most convention centers it was so,so. But, the real fly-in-the-ointment was parking costs. This is ridiculously high for suburban parking $13+
Written July 8, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Cindyboo22
Islamorada, FL122 contributions
Feb 2014 • Business
Attended a Trade show here and Im from Florida. I stayed at the Hilton attached to the conference center. If attending a conference here, I recommend choosing the Hilton or Hyatt which are the closest choices to the Skywalk. They need a better food service at the conference. It was worse then a ball game and expensive. Eat before you come! Im not sure if it was the Trade show's fault or theirs but there were no rugs at our trade show. Make sure this is requested!
Written February 21, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Trample
Chicagoland, IL55 contributions
Prices are robbery! Facilities are average, but the parking prices are embarrassing to consider what outsiders must think of us
Written January 1, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Denice G
26 contributions
Jun 2017 • Business
Convention center very clean and spacious. Adequate bathroom facilities. Loved the complimentary Wi Fi. Link ways to different hotels makes it easier to get around. Overall a very good area for large and small events.
Written July 20, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

kasey1945
Glenview, IL240 contributions
Jan 2016 • Family
If you are going out to Rosemont for an event, you can save yourself the parking fee. Visit the Rosemont entertainment center and get your parking validated; it's good for 24 hours. The only downside is that you have to walk one block further. The entertainment center is directly east of the Convention Center. Easiest way to reach it is go down to street level and walk through the garages. It's a little tricky, but instead of entering the garage off Manheim, go west down the east-west street just north of the Convention Center to the backside, next to the freeway. Turn left near the end of the street. Enter the garage on the right. There are two gates. Don't enter into the movie entrance. Go to the one immediately next to it.

Take your parking ticket and have it validated at one of the restaurants. I would recommend walking around the little square and picking one you like. We had lunch at the Hofbrauhaus. It looks like its the same menu for lunch and dinner. We had lunch and it was a larger serving. Probably better for dinner, re price. There is also an interesting bowling alley that serves food while you bowl. Just shop around.

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g36630-d1418715-r150847792-Donald_E_Stephens_Convention_Center-Rosemont_Illinois.html#
Written February 9, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jim S
Mishawaka, IN709 contributions
Oct 2015 • Business
The Stephens Center is a great place to hold a trade show or other large-venue event. I have attended several events over the years, and they are always very well done. The in-house food service tends to be a little underwhelming, but there are some pretty good restaurants nearby. If you park at the garage across the street, don't bother to take the walkway unless the weather is bad. It really meanders around and adds a lot of steps. It is quicker to exit the garage and walk across, and there will be traffic control there helping you cross (if there is a large event going on).
Written October 29, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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