Microsoft Ignite Will Bring 20,000 Attendees to Chicago in May 2015

October 18, 2014

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Choose Chicago President and CEO Don Welsh, members of Chicago-area organized labor and Microsoft general manager Julia White recently joined together to announce that Microsoft Ignite, a new technology conference, will take place May 4-8 in Chicago at McCormick Place.

Approximately 20,000 attendees are expected to attend the convention that could bring in more than $47 million in estimated spending.

“Microsoft Ignite will play an important role in helping us reach our goal of attracting 55 million visitors in Chicago annually by 2020,” said Mayor Emanuel.

He added, “This conference is an opportunity to showcase our growing strength in the tech economy and an opportunity to bring more visitors to our city – which means more jobs for people in our neighborhoods and communities.”

Microsoft Ignite is a new, signature event for the company, focused on helping businesses succeed in the new era of mobile and cloud computing.

”Chicago is an ideal setting for Microsoft Ignite,” White said. “It is accessible to technology professionals from around the world and home to many of our corporate customers. We know the city won’t disappoint when it comes to providing our attendees with great accommodations and entertainment.”

The conference combines five previously separate events and will cover a broad range of important topics for attending technology professionals, including cloud management, big data & analytics, productivity, unified communications, mobile devices and operating systems.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will deliver the keynote address, joined by many of the company’s top executives and engineers.

“Microsoft’s decision to hold this new technology conference in Chicago reinforces Mayor Emanuel’s and the city’s commitment to technology and innovation,” Welsh said. “It also reinforces that the labor reforms and service improvements at McCormick Place are working.”

Chicago secured the Microsoft Ignite as a result of a coordinated effort that included the Trade Show Promotion Fund Committee, which was created following the implementation of reforms at McCormick Place in 2011.

The Committee is comprised of four representatives from the Carpenters’ Union and four representatives from the Mayor’s office, all of who have worked collaboratively with Choose Chicago to identify opportunities to bring new business to Chicago.

“Over the last couple of years, Labor and the City have come together to boost the tourism and trade show industry by attracting new shows, restoring partnerships with shows that have left, and focusing our attention on creating a one-of-a-kind visitor experience that will bring more conventioneers and tourists to our world-class city,” said Jorge Ramirez, president of the Chicago Federation of Labor.

He added, “We have the most skilled workforce in the country, so this is a tremendous opportunity for us to grow our economy and create additional jobs for the hardworking men and women of the Chicago area.”

Microsoft Ignite is the latest event announced in 2014 and will join the James Beard Foundation Awards and the NFL Draft, also taking place in Chicago in 2015.

In May of this year, Mayor Emanuel and Choose Chicago announced that Automechanika Chicago, the leading international automotive trade show, will come April 24-26 to McCormick Place.

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