"It's the only opportunity for the most powerful leaders of the most powerful countries to come together and meet the current crises, to change the course of their own nation's policies," said John Kirton, G8 Research Group.
While last-minute preparations are still under way, journalists from all over the world are in Chicago, ready to cover the event.
"So many heads of state and governments are coming together. There is always news you can't expect," said Martin Romanczyk, a journalist from Germany.
Reuters' Washington DC bureau chief who grew up in Wilmette is impressed with Chicago's hosting abilities.
"Of course it's very important for President Obama to showcase his city, and I would have to say that it is likely that Chicago will not disappoint this weekend," said Mary Milliken, Reuters.
The NATO host committee is hoping journalists will report on Chicago. The committee is offering information, displays and food that is strictly from Chicago.
"Allow people to come and eat, relax and learn a little bit about Chicago," said Lori Healy, director, Chicago NATO Host Committee. "We want to send everybody home with no Al Capone memories. It's all about what a great place Chicago is and what a city of the future that it is."
That, of course, is why city leaders signed on to host the summit. They are hoping that it will lead to more tourism and business in Chicago and international partners overseas.