Tradeshows: Chicago Scores Major Contract Renewals

Two key tradeshows recently signed extensions at Chicago's McCormick Place, potentially bringing the city millions in revenue.

North America’s largest convention center will keep a couple of its major bookings.

We’ve been here since 1947 and we like it here. So, we’re gonna stay.

McCormick Place, on the shore of Lake Michigan in Chicago, will continue to be the home of the International Manufacturing Technology Show, which will take place in 2018 and 2020.

The most recent show, just last month, had 100,200 visitors — the first time the show topped 100,000 visitors in a dozen years.

“We’ve been here since 1947 and we like it here,” Peter Eelman, vice president of exhibitions and communications for the Association for Manufacturing Technology, told the Chicago Sun-Times. “So, we’re gonna stay.”

On top of this, the combined National Restaurant Association and Hotel-Motel Show will stay in the city for another five years, having extended from 2017 to 2021. The conference had threatened to go elsewhere.

The two events will create hundreds of millions in revenue for Chicago over the next five years, something the city’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, was quick to point out.

“It is agreements like this with these two shows [that explain] why Chicago has doubled hotel construction with up to 1,400 additional rooms to be built this year … It gives the hotel industry the type of certainty they need to expand,” he told the paper.

The city has had labor issues in recent years regarding the conferences, but a year ago, two key unions dropped a lawsuit with the city and agreed to a series of work-rule changes in an effort to save costs. The changes helped keep the conventions in Chicago.

(photo by John Picken/Flickr)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a senior editor for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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