National Restaurant Show, IMTS Both Reup at Chicago's McCormick Place

September 30, 2012

After a grueling time trying to get labor reforms passed at Chicago’s McCormick Place, those days are in the past and there are plenty of reasons to celebrate with two big shows – the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show and the International Manufacturing Technology Show - both renewing their contracts to stay in the Windy City.

The National Restaurant Association will remain in Chicago through 2021, which is a five-year extension on the organization’s current contract.

After a thorough review of options, the agreement was signed with the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority and Choose Chicago to keep the restaurant and hospitality industry’s largest trade show at McCormick Place.

“The restaurant industry is a large, dynamic, creative and generous collection of businesses that serve every community in this nation,” said National Restaurant Association President and CEO Dawn Sweeney.

She added, “Therefore, it’s important to us that we hold our industry’s premier trade show in a location that embodies so many of our industry’s unique qualities and values.”

Sweeney pointed to not only Chicago being a “world-class travel destination”, but also the enactment of the labor reforms as two big reasons the city holds a lot of value for attendees.

“We are assured that our show will provide exhibitors with a first-rate experience, and with the new exhibitor rights, our customers will realize sustained savings; enhancing our ability to attract an even greater number of trade show exhibitors from across the United States and around the world to Chicago,” Sweeney said.

This year’s show, which was collocated with the International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event, attracted 61,000-plus registrants from all 50 states and more than 100 countries - a 6-percent increase, compared with  2011.

The show’s new five-year contract will bring more than $600 million in economic impact to Chicago, Sweeney said.

The biennial ITMS Show has extended its contract to stay in Chicago for two years, 2018 and 2020, which will add $346 million in estimated direct expenditures to Chicago's economy.  

"AMT and the IMTS Show are proud to be extending our relationship with Chicago, which dates back to 1947,” said Peter Eelman, vice president of Exhibitions and Communications for the Association for Manufacturing Technology, the show’s owner.

He added, "The dramatic and productive changes at McCormick Place have improved the exhibitor experience and the visitor experience and we are pleased to be a part of the trade show future in Chicago."

The recently concluded 2012 IMTS Show covered 1.248 million net square feet of exhibit space with 1,909 exhibiting companies.

Total registration for the six-day event was 100,200, which is a 21.6-percent increase, compared with 2010, marking the largest show-to-show increase ever for IMTS, according to show officials.

"The labor union agreements at McCormick Place have created a new landscape that demonstrates that Chicago is open for business and the best destination in the world for any convention or trade show," Mayor Emanuel said.

He added, "I am thrilled that these two shows have extended their commitment to the city and will bring tremendous economic impact and jobs to the city. I'll continue to work to attract more and more shows to Chicago."

Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn also said; "Today's announcement by two of the world's most prestigious exhibitions is proof that the strong partnership between the state, the city of Chicago, the MPEA and its unions will create a renewed era of prosperity and jobs for Illinois. Working together, we will make McCormick Place and Illinois' tourism industry even stronger for years to come."

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