Volunteer FAQ

Chicago Greeters are friendly, enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the city.  Becoming a Chicago Greeter requires no additional experience, just a passion for Chicago.  Basic training is provided by the program. Here is a list of questions that are often asked by prospective volunteers.

What does being a Chicago Greeter volunteer entail?

  • Showcases our city to visitors;
  • Makes the big city feel more familiar and friendly;
  • Imparts knowledge of Chicago’s public transportation system to visitors;
  • Facilitates discovery of Chicago neighborhoods;
  • Demonstrates how Chicagoans live, play and raise their families;
  • Connects visitors with a “friend” in the city;
  • Provides visitors with a Chicago experience from a local's perspective.
  • Able to make a commitment to the Greeter service for at least twelve times a year. 

Who are our volunteers? How are they selected and trained?

Greeters are a diverse group of over 200 Chicagoans from various walks of life, backgrounds and neighborhoods.

We are looking for applicants who are enthusiastic, knowledgeable about Chicago, professional, and can meet our need for volunteers with foreign language skills and in-depth knowledge of particular neighborhoods. Volunteers are chosen regardless of race, color, creed, gender, age, sexual orientation, marital status or disability.

Once applicants are interviewed and accepted into the program, they must undergo orientation and training that includes going along on Chicago Greeter and InstaGreeter visits for observation.

Who are the travelers that use Chicago Greeter?

  • Visitors who are looking for a more friendly, personalized tour experience;
  • Visitors who would like a “friend” to help them get the most of their stay in Chicago;
  • Visitors looking to discover something “off the beaten path”;
  • Newly relocated Chicago residents or those soon relocating to Chicago;
  • Working journalists writing about Chicago or Chicago Greeter

How are Greeters and visitors matched?

Visitors specify neighborhood, special interest and language preferences that are then used to match them to the appropriate Greeter.  Greeters and visitors are matched based on mutual availability.  Chicago Greeter office staff then send visitors a confirmation message letting them know the name of their assigned Greeter, the scheduled date and time of their visit, and any particular neighborhoods or special interests to be explored on their visit.

Where do Greeters meet their visitors?

All visits depart from the Chicago Cultural Center, Welcome Center, 77 E. Randolph, Chicago, IL.  

How do visitors hear about Chicago Greeter?

Chicago Greeter is promoted worldwide through various print, broadcast and online media, including newspapers, magazines, guidebooks, in-flight magazines and hotel publications.  Visitors also learn about Chicago Greeter through our websites, chicagogreeter.com, ChooseChicago.com the Global Greeter Network’s website www.globalgreeternetwork.com, and other related tourism sites.  Word of mouth is a great resource too, so feel free to tell a friend or e-mail them this webpage.

Who administers the Chicago Greeter program?

Launched in 2002, Chicago Greeter is a free visitor service of Choose Chicago.