Credit Cards, Debit Cards and ATMs
Major credit cards widely accepted in the United States include Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover. If using a debit card, be sure to remember your PIN (personal identification number). ATMs (automatic teller machines) are available in the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile and throughout Chicago.
The United States Dollar is the official currency in the United States. Coins come in 1/4 (quarter), 1/10 (dime), 1/20 (nickel) and 1/100 (penny). The most frequently used bank notes are US$1, US$5, US$10, US$20, US$50 and US$100. International travelers can exchange foreign currency at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, O'Hare International Airport, Midway International Airport and Currency Exchange International. Find more information here.
In the event of a force majeure and for reasons beyond their control, the 65th Zonta International Convention 2020 and/or Zonta International and/or its agents have the right to immediately alter or cancel the Convention or any of the arrangements, time tables, plans or other items, relating directly or indirectly to the 65th International Convention 2020. The participants shall not be entitled to any compensation of damages that result from such alteration or cancellation. Furthermore, with the exception of any willful damage or gross negligence committed by the 65th Zonta International Convention 2020 and/or Zonta International and/or its agents, shall at no time be liable for any direct or indirect damage suffered by the participants, including consequential and immaterial damage caused by failure to comply with any provision of this Convention document, the registration form or related informational materials.
USA | Voltage: 120 V | Frequency: 60 Hz
Standard US two- or three-prong plugs will work in the hotel. Please bring your own converter.
Emergency Information Form – Leave behind for your family
We know your family will be concerned while you travel. Check back soon to download a form to provide your family with key information for reference.
Non-Zontians are welcome to attend the International Convention. Guests are welcome to attend the opening ceremony and register for tours and special events, unless otherwise marked. The minimal registration fee covers administrative costs. Remember: Zontians may not register as guests. Fees are listed below.
Before 12 February: US$150
13 February - 3 May: US$165
4 May - 15 June: US$175
Carry adequate travel and health insurance. Zonta International and/or its agents cannot accept liability for accidents, illnesses or injuries that may occur at/or during the Convention or its social events.
English is the official language of Zonta International.
Lunch Break Options
Lunch is not included in the registration fee, but you may add boxed lunches to your registration or choose to dine at one the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile's three restaurants: Rush Street Pantry, Harvest or Reviver. No matter what you are craving, Chicago has a seat at the table for you. The hotel is surrounded by five-star and Michelin-rated restaurants. Click here for a list of options provided by Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile.
Check with your carrier to determine if your cell phone will work on the systems available in the U.S.
Official Convention photographers will be on site, and all the photos are included in your registration fee. You are welcome to bring your own camera; however, when official photos are being taken, you will be asked to refrain until the photographer is finished to ensure the flashes do not interfere with the official photo.
By registering for the Zonta International Convention, you agree to be photographed by the official photographer of the Convention. You authorize the use of photos by Zonta International, and accept that they may be published on the Zonta International website, official social media channels and in The Zontian magazine.
Chicago is the third largest city in the United States. The City of Chicago has set up several departments to ensure and maintain public safety. Utilize the following safety tips and resources from Choose Chicago to make your experience more enjoyable.
Emergency Contact Numbers
- Dial 9-1-1 in the event of a crime or emergency.
- Dial 3-1-1 for non-emergency police reports or for general city information.
- Always remain alert when using Chicago’s “L” train system. Pay attention to people entering or exiting the trains and try to avoid having your cell phone out.
- When using a taxi, ensure that the meter is always running. If a taxi driver offers you a quoted price, do not continue with the trip.
- If using a Lyft or Uber, confirm the license plate number and driver name to ensure you are getting into the correct vehicle.
- When waiting for a bus or train, remain in busy and well-lit areas of the stations.
Personal Safety Tips
- If venturing out for a walk or jog, always try to go with someone. If you do go alone, be alert to your surroundings and avoid wearing headphones.
- When out early in the morning or after dark, remain on well-lit streets. Do not go into alleyways or other dark, isolated places.
- Avoid wearing headphones or talking on the phone if you are out alone.
- Be aware of your personal belongings at all times. Do not allow anyone you don’t know to take them off your hands or hand you any packages.
- Plan your route in advance and ask your hotel for proper guidance.
- If lost, find an open local business or a police officer. Do not ask strangers for directions.
- Use travelers checks whenever possible and try not to display any cash in public if not necessary.
- If you are approached by people who offer to be guides to tourist attractions that don’t have some form of identification, do not engage.
- Be alert in crowded areas.
- Do not give money to solicitors. If you would like to provide financial assistance to people in need, your hotel can recommend a charitable organization.
The combined sales tax rate for Chicago, IL is 10.25%. This is the total of state, county and city sales tax rates. Chicago hotel guests pay a combined 17.4 percent tax on their rooms.
While tipping is not mandatory, it is customary for certain services. A basic rule is if you are being served by an employee, you should offer them a tip (this includes taxi drivers, bellhops, coat room attendants, valet drivers and the concierge desk).
For a sit-down meal served in a restaurant by wait staff, it is standard to tip 15-20% of the bill (reflective of service received) before tax is included. If you are dining in a group of six or more, gratuity may already be included on your bill. To be sure, check your bill or kindly ask your server. If gratuity is included, you do not have to add an additional tip.
Transportation Throughout the City
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is the operator of mass transit in Chicago and some of its surrounding suburbs, including the trains of the Chicago L and CTA bus service. The Red Line runs the length of the city with a stop just three blocks west of the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile. The Red Line is part of the Loop, the 1.79-mile (2.88 km) long circuit of elevated rail that forms the hub of the Chicago L system. There is also a bus stop just across the street from the hotel. You can plan a trip or take a look at schedules and routes for buses and trains.
Lyft, Uber and Via offer rideshare services in Chicago
Taxis can be caught by hailing one from the curb, calling a taxi company, booking a ride online through a taxi company's website or using a taxi app such as Arro, Chicago Taxi App, Curb and Universal Taxi.
Visa Information and Passport Information, Invitation Letters
A foreign national traveling to the United States for tourism needs a Visitor Visa (B-2) unless qualifying for entry under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). You must be a citizen or national of one of 38 countries to be eligible to travel to the United States under the VWP. Citizens of Canada and Bermuda generally do not need visas for tourism.
Visa Letters of Invitation Attendees required to obtain an official letter of invitation in order to attend Convention will indicate that need when registering for Convention online. You will see a screen requesting the following information: date of birth, country of origin, passport number, date of issue and date of expiration. Please have this information when registering online. Those member invitation letters will be provided by the Convention Committee.
The Chicago Marriott has wireless in guest rooms and meeting rooms. There is complimentary wireless in the lobby and public areas. It is US$14.50 per day for high-speed (check email and browse the Web) and US$18.95 per day for enhanced high speed (video chat, download large files and stream video).