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Five ways to save when visiting Chicago this summer

Chicago Skyline from Lake
Photo by City of Chicago/Choose Chicago

The NCRA Convention & Expo lands in the Windy City this August, bringing new speakers, networking events, and the kind of fun that only a group of more than 1,000 court reporters, captioners, and legal videographers can have. There are many thrifty ways that attendees can make the most out of their experience in Chicago.

  1. Register early. Rates increase significantly if you register for the event on site, so register for the event now. Also, NCRA has secured a deeply discounted group rate at the Chicago Hilton to make your stay more affordable. Be sure to make your hotel reservation no later than July 12, or you may be subject to the full listed price.
  2. Share a room. Know someone who is going? Bunk together and split the cost. Don’t have a roommate? Post in one of the many court reporting groups on Facebook and LinkedIn or on the NCRA Convention & Expo Facebook event page.
  3. Find the lowest airfare. If you aren’t within driving distance, flying may be the best option. To find the best rate to Chicago, use flight comparison sites like Kayak to find the best airline for you. Also, keep in mind that there are two airports into Chicago – the O’Hare International Airport and the Chicago Midway International Airport. Flying into one may be more cost-effective than the other.
  4. Take the train or bus. Depending where you live, taking the bus or train into Chicago may be more practical and cost -effective. Some round-trip bus tickets can cost less than $50. Check out Amtrak or MegaBus for fares and stops near you.
  5. See Chicago on the cheap. Chicago is an amazing city with a lot to see. There is a surprising amount that you can do on a budget. While you are in town, check out this list of economic ways to enjoy your stay.


Find new business by networking. Attendees consistently report that the contacts they make at the NCRA Convention & Expo generate additional work and new referral connections. If you really want to set yourself up for a raise, calculate your Return on Attendance (RoA) before you go. Set your personal goal for how much referral business you want to gain from your Chicago experience. Pay for your trip or earn a great deal more from your new network. Check out this article for ways to make connections while at convention.