American Library Association Signs on in Chicago for Three More Years

July 4, 2012

Chicago just received a big boost with the American Library Association signing on to bring its annual trade show to the city in 2020, 2023 and 2026.

The association already was committed to having the event in the Windy City in 2013 and 2017.

Each show is projected to bring in $50 million in estimated direct expenditures per year, according to Choose Chicago officials.

“This is great news for our convention industry and shows that Chicago is the place for large, national organizations to come and do business,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.

He added, “The reforms at McCormick Place and Navy Pier have attracted more than $3.25 billion in committed shows and this number continues to grow.”

The ALA, which usually meets the week before the Fourth of July and was last in Chicago in 2009, had planned to hold its annual meeting in New York in 2013, but three years ago it decided to relocate the meeting to Chicago.

The event, recently held in Anaheim June 21-16, attracts approximately 25,000 attendees and books more than 34,000 room nights.

“We are delighted to host ALA’s Annual Conference in Chicago with greater frequency with our new, multi-year commitment covering 2020, 2023 and 2026. The recent legislative changes and cooperation from Chicago’s labor unions have made this agreement possible,” said Maureen Sullivan, president of the American Library Association.

She added, “Chicago is our hometown and such a fabulous city. We enjoy working with our partners at Choose Chicago and McCormick Place and are excited that our attendees and exhibitors will now have the opportunity to experience this city’s great amenities more often.”

Don Welsh, Choose Chicago’s president and CEO, attributed the passing of labor reforms that helped curb costs at McCormick Place for more shows signing on in the city.

"ALA’s decision to include Chicago in its annual convention rotation is a perfect example of a major customer returning to Chicago as a direct result of these reforms,” he said.

Welsh added, “We are pleased to see positive progress and our team will continue to aggressively pursue all potential customers, who will benefit from Chicago’s impressive convention platform, vibrant city and the significant cost savings resulting from the labor reforms."

Overall, Chicago has seen a positive uptick in visitors to the city, with a 6.8-percent increase in occupancy rate for its hotel rooms, from 62 percent in 2011 to 66.2 percent in 2012.

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