I work in HIV research and there are some pretty interesting people that are involved in this field. Most of our meetings are in corporate-like settings that are formal and uptight. However, a recent meeting that my company had was at the Catalyst Ranch in Chicago. There are several different spaces, but all of them have a creative character that sparks thought and fun. We had our meeting in the Polka room which is decorated in colorful fabrics and accessories throughout the room. Despite the eclectic embellishments, the room is open and professional. There were flip charts that were provided to us by the venue. There are tables that are spread out and perfect for break-out sessions that are so popular in our meetings. The whimsical atmosphere fostered an open environment with lots of debate and discussion. There was also catering provided by the venue. The food was delicious and the food was delicious. I was a bit concerned about what the food might be like considering the funky atmosphere. I was pleasantly surprised, however, by the fresh food that leveled out the eccentric space. The staff were extremely pleasant and accommodating to our needs. Because the overall venue is rather small, it felt like a close, tight-knit meeting rather than the typical corporate feel that dismisses creativity and debate. Catalyst Ranch is also located in Haymarket Square, which was an accessible Chicago location. I was not involved in the planning and booking of the venue, but I would imagine that the cost was very low compared to our usual venues. I thought it was an excellent place to hold a meeting and I would highly recommend it to companies that are searching for an open and different venue.
I had a work meeting at this location in February 2011. It offers a very unique environment for a meeting with different decor for each room and provide a nice change of backdrop from the normal office meeting space. For our group we had about 30-40 people in the meeting and we fit very comfortably in one of their rooms and there was probably space for more. The food was good and staff was friendly. With it being over a year ago, I can not be 100% sure, but I also believe that they had onsite free parking which is always a plus when meeting downtown. Good place for team building. I was not an organizer for this event, so I cannot rate the value as I do not know how much it actually cost, but I can say that the feedback was good from everyone.
Coming from someone who absolutely despises meetings, this place is off the charts. We all know meetings tend to be useless, and boring, and repetitive in nature. Even if the meeting is intended to be fresh full of new ideas, its sometimes hard to get into it when everyone just sits around in a boring conference room. Well, let me tell you, the minute you walk into this place, your mind is blown. Its very bright and colorful, in a good refreshing way. First time I walked in there, I immediately woke up, and something about the place just gets your brain moving. The staff is amazing, and depending on the type of meeting you want to have, liquor is available. Yum. They have five different large rooms, and one smaller conference room. I have only been in 2 of the larger rooms. All the rooms are named after dances. Yeah, it's cheesy, I know, but it's still fun. All the rooms have large windows to allow for plenty of natural light, which is a must of mine to stay energized. This off sight venue just puts an immediate smile on everyone's face. The food is also excellent, with a big menu. So if you need to get out of that drab gray cubicle or synthetic lighting, take a breath of fresh air and get out from underneath those fluorescent bulbs and whether you want to polka, cha cha, or do the tango (names of rooms), give this place a chance. You absolutely will not regret it. If you enjoy it that much, they'll even help you spruce up your regular workplace.
The Catalyst Ranch was a great meeting venue and a very unique place to visit especially if you are from out of town. It is located in a loft of an 1880's historical building in downtown Chicago. I was there for an out of town meeting and was amazed at how open the meeting rooms were. The temperature outside was freezing, however it was not noticed inside. The staff was extremely friendly. One of the neatest things about this venue was how it practices being "green". The dishes were ceramic and their disposable items like storage containers are bio-degradable. Catering was done by a company called Big Delicious Planet. The food was organic and there were vegetarian options. The benefits of having organic is the fact of being able to taste the delicious food served without worrying about harmful additives. Meals were served fresh. Our meeting was held in the Tango room which was beautifully decorated. Its red brick appeal was beautiful. The room was decorated cafe style which gave the meeting a quaint home like feeling. There was a point in the meeting where the lead meeting holder needed a chart board. The staff was available with the materials on hand. It was convenient and the meeting did not have to stop. As a member of a corporate business I would recommend this venue to anyone who wants to hold a meeting in downtown Chicago. I would highly recommend the staff and encourage venue seekers to take a tour of what the Catalyst Ranch has to offer.
Catalyst Ranch is a very good place to hold your event vendor, be it a wedding, party, or a meeting. The Catalyst Ranch is located in chicago il, and the last experienc that i had with them was when my mom had her company party up there. Once we arrived we were very impressed with the overall style of the Catalyst Ranch. They have a ranch style set up with beautiful marble floors of all colors, and the furnature was just as bright and colorful as well. They had huge spacious rooms for conferences with big giant screens set up for presentations and movies. My moms company purchased the buffet/barbecue package, and the variaty of food that they had was amazing. They had a whole table with only health food items avialable for those who didnt eat meat, and they also had seperate tables broken down into categories, such as chinese food, american barbecue, italian, and Indian food. The Catalyst Ranch also included a dj and the assisted in serviing the food as well. The catalyst ranch customer service was wonderful and they made absolutly sure that everyone was comfortable and enjoyed themselves. The staff was very nice and so much so that my mom and i inquierd about their pricing and suprizingly it was very reasonable. I highly recommend the Catalyt Ranch for your party, wedding, or meeting needs.