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Travel Resources

Traveling to Chicago? | Public Transportation | Safety | Emergencies | Accessibility | Parking | Airport Shuttle | Visa Letter of Invitation

2020 MPSA Annual Conference Cancellation

Thank you for your understanding and patience as we weather together these public health and economic crises. The MPSA 2020 Conference is now cancelled. Please remember to cancel your travel reservations; see these helpful resources on cancelling your accommodations. 


Chicago is the ideal location to be the host city for the MPSA conference for several reasons. Although our name denotes a regional representation, the MPSA conference is actually a national and global conference which draws attendees from all over the country and the world. Nationally speaking, Chicago’s central location in the heart of the country allows for relatively easy access for attendees from both coasts. While international attendees get to experience one of the country’s most exciting cities with easy flight access hub. Coupled with its unique history, the Chicago location will be integral in providing easy access for our growing audiences, as we continue to grow nationally and globally.

Traveling to Chicago

Two international airports service Chicago

Public Transportation

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) operates the nation's second largest public transportation system and covers the City of Chicago and 35 surrounding suburbs. On an average weekday, approximately 1.7 million rides are taken on the CTA

  • MPSA regularly arranges for discounted parking and discounted airport shuttle services for conference participants. Please check back for additional information.

Safety in the City

Please exercise caution in Chicago, just as in any other big city. A few simple precautions include the following: remove your badge outside the conference site; keep all valuables out of sight: don’t display expensive jewelry, cameras, bags, and other items that might draw attention; avoid pickpockets (wallets should be kept in front pockets and purses should be worn across the shoulder); stick to well-lit, well-traveled streets; and always lock your car.


Mobile App Alerts - In the past, urgent messages for conference participants were directed to the registration desk and relayed to conference participants via the message board on the 4th floor during the registration hours. You can now send messages directly to other attendees via the conference mobile app. Download the app prior to arriving to the conference so that you have it loaded and ready to go on your mobile device. We will send out information in March when the app is ready for download. You must make sure that your email address is spelled correctly when you register to attend the conference in order to access the app, this is a common error by users.

City of Chicago Alerts - NotifyChicago is a city service that provides residents with text messages, and/or e-mail alerts on various emergency and non-emergency situations taking place throughout Chicago. Register today to receive up to date information on everything from weather-related emergencies to traffic alerts.

Accessibility at the Palmer House

Main elevator bank accesses Street Level, Lobby, Mezzanine, and all guest room floors. To access Spa, 5th-floor meeting rooms, Exhibition Halls, and salons:

  • From Street Level, please use the State Street Elevators on Street Level to location
  • From guest floors, please use the main elevator bank to 6th floor then cross over on the 6th floor to State Street elevators.

Locations requiring wheelchair/ADA lift elevators:

  • Pool and Fitness Center on the 8th floor, there is a wheelchair lift inside to access both areas.
  • For the Empire Ballroom, there is a wheelchair lift on the west side of Empire Ballroom near the Lockwood restrooms.
  • For the Honoré Ballroom, there is a wheelchair lift on the north side of Honoré staircase. Lift may be accessed through automatic sliding door.
  • To access Potters’ upper bar may be accessed using automatic doors to the right of the Potters main entrance. The ramp leads to upper bar area.

 Additional information regarding accessibility at the conference can be found at


We recommend booking convenient and affordable parking in advance through SpotHero, the nation’s leading parking reservation app. To reserve your parking spot for the Midwest Political Science Association Annual Conference, visit the Hilton Parking Page and book a spot with rates up to 50% off drive-up.

New to SpotHero? Click here to download the SpotHero app.

Airport Shuttle

MPSA offers discounted airport shuttle fees for MPSA Attendees. GO Airport Express offers airport shuttle services between O'Hare and Midway Airports and downtown Chicago hotels at remarkable savings. Receive a 25% discount on your airport transportation. Offer ends April 7, 2019 ($2.00 Per Person airport tax not included). These fares are only available through this MPSA reservation portal.  Click Here to book your Airport Express airport shuttle reservation(s). You can book online or call (773) 247-1200, mention the discount code: MPSA

Visa Letter of Invitation

MPSA has established an automated process which allows online requests for official annual conference invitation letter from the association. To learn more about visa requirements to travel to the United States, please visit the U.S. Department of State website. 

When you are signed in to the website, a gold "Request Visa Letter" button will appear below.