Article from Rosemont Chamber of Commerce
Rosemont has long been a major center for corporations, entertainment and business activities due to its close location to several interstates, O'Hare International Airport, and downtown Chicago. To add to Rosemont’s ever-growing reputation as a meeting destination, back in the 1980s some of the Village’s larger professional healthcare associations recognized the need for a dedicated education and hands-on surgical training venue for their members.
After some years of planning, the original Orthopaedic Learning Center (OLC) opened its doors in 1994 at the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) headquarters, on River Road between Higgins Road and Devon Avenue.
Over the next 20 years, space in the AAOS headquarters building became limited. As the AAOS and other orthopaedic tenant organizations were growing in staff and demand for use of the OLC continued to grow, it became apparent more building and training space was needed.
Along with AAOS, the Arthroscopy Association of North America (AANA), the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM), the American Association of Hip & Knee Surgeons (AAHKS), and the Orthopaedic Learning Center (OLC) joined together as equity partners to build a brand-new home at the corner of River and Higgins Road, just down the road from the original AAOS headquarters.
In 2015, the new building opened its doors. The new larger facility was designed to house more than 25 orthopaedic organizations and an expanded, state-of-the art OLC with over 14,000 square feet of multi-purpose meeting and educational space—twice the size of the original OLC.
Today, the OLC plays host to dozens and dozens of medical meetings and events each year. And nearly 16,200 guests from all 50 states and 36 countries around the world come each year to the OLC. For example, AAOS and AOSSM host multiple events throughout the year, drawing top orthopaedic surgeons, residents and fellows from the US and as far as Dubai to learn the latest orthopaedic procedures. In addition, AANA just signed a two-year collaboration agreement with VirtaMed, a virtual reality simulation training company. Several of VirtaMed’s top-notch virtual reality simulators will be at the OLC for use in AANA courses.
Part of the OLC’s appeal is because it was specifically designed to meet the demanding requirements of today’s high-tech learning needs. The OLC also offers an innovative teaching lab for companies or associations requiring hands-on medical/surgical skills training, just to name a few.
In addition to expansive space and the medical/surgical skills training lab, some of its sophisticated features include: Wi-Fi integrated throughout; cutting-edge high-definition AV equipment; and a fully-equipped HD broadcast video studio and control room like you’d see at a major news network with the ability to transmit live presentations or demonstrations, host live video-streams and live webinars. OLC clients use the studio to bring their meetings and events to other parts of the world. One of the OLC’s largest hybrid events was livestreamed to 5,000 remote participants!
The OLC’s high-tech space is a draw for many other organizations too. The Association Forum, Association Laboratory, the Business Networking International, Rosemont Chapter and other associations host networking and educational events at the OLC because of the venue’s versatile learning spaces and proximity to Chicago and O’Hare.
Yet while the OLC is serious about learning and education, the space is flexible enough to easily accommodate fun social events too. The OLC has had a summer event featuring a gelato stand as well as evening receptions with a special wine sampling experience. And on a larger scale, specialty food trucks have pulled up in the OLC parking lot to offer a different lunch break experience and get attendees up and moving.
“Today’s meeting and event planners increasingly need to seamlessly incorporate technology and hands-on learning all while delivering an exceptional experience for their attendees,” says Lisé Puckorius, Chief Executive Officer, OLC Education & Conference Center. “The OLC was engineered with all of these trends in mind and provides an exceptional venue to deliver on attendees’ changing expectations.”
Learn more about the OLC by visiting www.olcevents.com or calling 847.384.4210.
The OLC Education & Conference Center has 14,000+ square feet of meeting and educational space and is located at 9400 W. Higgins Road, Suite 100.