I would love to make it to the Festival Of Maps in Chicago. Ever since I was a little kid I have been fascinated by maps both in using them and creating them. I even learned how to read USGS Topographic Maps to use when hiking. This came in handy when we were hiking in the mountains near Elko, Nevada. Being able to locate springs and stay on track was invaluable (and a lot of fun as well).
Of course, it seems that proper printed maps are passe with the availability of inexpensive GPS gear but for me, there will always be an attraction to printed maps (just as electronic books have never really caught on with me). Must be a tactile thing deep inside me. Or maybe in an oblique way, it is as Marshal McLuhan observed in the Medium is the Message: you broadcast a concert on the television, or have books on tape and it is just not as satisfying as experiencing it live.
As always, the Britannica Blog as some excellent thoughts on the Chicago festival and maps and mapping in general.