#SMSociety Conference is on July 22-24, 2020

Conference Venue

DePaul University (Loop Campus), USA

14 E Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60604, USA


Many people do not require a visa to visit the United States. Visit the U.S. Department of State to find out whether you will need to apply for a travel visa and how to apply for one. For information on visitor visas, refer to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs.


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Visa Waiver Program allows nationals of 38 countries to travel to the United States without a visa. Individuals eligible to travel to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program have to obtain an approved travel authorization (ESTA) prior to their travel to the United States. Approved ESTA applications are valid for a period of two years, or until the passport expires, whichever comes first, and an individual can take multiple trips to the United States without having to re-apply for another ESTA.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security advises that travelers apply for an ESTA no later than 72 hours before departing for the United States and that real-time approvals will no longer be available, meaning that arriving at the airport without a previously approved ESTA will likely result in being denied boarding.

Individuals traveling on valid visas are not required to apply for an ESTA. Canadian citizens are not required to obtain an ESTA. For U.S. entry requirements for Canadian citizens and residents, visit this link

If you need an ESTA, you can apply for it electronically before you travel at this link. For more info, visit this link.


  1. O’Hare International Airport (ORD) 
  • The CTA Blue Line station, which services downtown,​​​ is located right within the airport ($5.00 fare) — 45 minutes to downtown.
  • A taxi ride fare from downtown is dependent on traffic conditions ($40 or more) — 45 to 60 minutes to downtown. 
  • Uber and Lyft ride-share companies service the airport as well — 45 to 60 minutes to downtown.
  1. Midway International Airport (MDW) (Porter Airlines flies here)
  • The CTA Orange Line station, which services downtown,​​​ is located right outside the airport via a connected walkway ($2.50 fare) — 30 minutes to downtown.
  • A taxi ride fare from downtown is dependent on traffic conditions ($35 or more) — 20 to 40 minutes.
  • Uber and Lyft ride-share companies service the airport as well — 20 to 40 minutes.
  1. Amtrak train and regional buses (Union Station)
  • Amtrak, METRA and various regional bus companies service Union Station, located 0.8 miles (1.3 km) from the conference venue.


For events happening around the time of the conference, check back for a blog post on July events closer to the conference dates.

Looking for more? Visit See Choose Chicago or to see what’s happening in the city.


  • In the city, you can use the CTA for subway and elevated trains (the “L”) and buses ($3.25). You can buy an unlimited one-day travel pass for $10.00 on all CTA routes. A three-day pass is $20.00.
  • The METRA rail train system provides regional transportation in the Chicagoland area.
  • The Divvy bike share program lets you rent bikes throughout the city.
  • In addition to taxi services, which can be hailed on downtown streets, both Uber and Lyft ride-share services are available in Chicago.
  • Chicago is a very walk-able city and can be enjoyed on foot. 
  • For touring purposes, you may enjoy the Water Taxi on the Chicago River or Shoreline sightseeing tours.


You can locate parking in the Chicago “Loop” (downtown area) with the app Spot Hero.

It is not recommended that you drive to the DePaul Loop campus in downtown Chicago. We recommend taking public transportation, as well as taxi or ride-share options for transit into, and around, the downtown area. 


There is no ‘conference’ hotel. For your convenience, we have compiled a list of accommodations in the Chicago Loop, with walking or public transit access to the conference venue (14 E Jackson Blvd). The conference has no relationship with any of the providers and receives no financial return from any of these providers. Any rates/discounts mentioned are presented as a reference and might be higher at the time of your booking. We encourage you to shop around and book early.


Freehand Chicago

19 E Ohio St 

Chicago, IL 60611

J. Ira And Nicki Harris Family Hostel

24 E Ida B Wells Drive 

Chicago, Illinois 60605 


Best Western – River North

125 W Ohio Street

Chicago, IL 60610

Claridge Hotel

1244 N Dearborn Parkway

Chicago, IL 60610

Club Quarters – Central Loop

111 W Adams Street

Chicago, IL 60603

Crowne Plaza

733 West Madison Street

Chicago, IL 60661

Hampton Inn Chicago

68 E Wacker Place

Chicago, IL 60601

Hilton Garden Inn

10 E. Grand Ave 

Chicago, IL 60611

Guest Houses


(various locations and rates)

A great affordable option that allows you to live like a local by renting out a Chicago home.


Most of these choices are quite casual, but look out for the asterisk (*) to indicate more upscale dining options. Restaurants are listed starting from closest to conference venue.

Beatrix Market (DePaul Loop location) 

Has Deep-Dish to Go option 

23 E Jackson Blvd

Loop Market (11th Floor DePaul Center)

1 E Jackson Blvd

Just Salad

20 East Jackson Blvd

BIBIBOP Asian Grill

24 E Jackson Blvd

Cafecito (South Loop location)

26 East Ida B. Wells Drive 

Exchequer Restaurant & Pub

226 S Wabash Ave

Plymouth Rooftop Bar & Grill

327 S Plymouth Ct

Revival Food Hall

Upscale Food Court 

125 S Clark St

Gino’s East – South Loop (deep dish Chicago-style pizza)* 

Please note deep dish pizza can take up to 45 minutes to prepare. 

521 S Dearborn St