May 20, 2013

Mayor Emanuel and Choose Chicago Announce Two Shows Extended Commitments to McCormick Place and Chicago

$100 Million in Expenditures Expected as Shows Re-Commit as a Result of Continued Success

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Emanuel, together with the leadership of Choose Chicago and McCormick Place today announced that two key shows have extended their commitments to McCormick Place and the city of Chicago. The two shows are the Reed Exhibitions owned Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) and GRAPH EXPO.

“This is yet another sign that our tourism and convention strategy is working and bringing great economic impact to Chicago,” said Mayor Emanuel. “I will keep working with Choose Chicago and McCormick Place to increase the number and quality of shows we have in the city.”

The C2E2 show will return to Chicago in April 2014.  Recently named one of the 25 fastest growing shows in the US, the April 2013 show posted a 29 percent increase over its April 2012 show with 53,000 attendees.  The show is expected to deliver $57.9 million in estimated direct expenditures to the city and will mark the fifth consecutive year at McCormick Place.  GRAPH EXPO, a long-time Chicago customer has extended for one year through September 2018. As one of the initial proponents for the permanent reforms at McCormick Place, GRAPH EXPO’s extension is expected to deliver more than $40 million in estimated direct expenditures.

"The continued commitment of Reed Exhibitions and the Graphic Arts Show Company is a testament that Chicago and McCormick Place deliver the necessary business atmosphere required for their continued growth," said Don Welsh, Choose Chicago President and CEO.  “We are pleased to see positive progress especially as our team continues to aggressively pursue all potential customers, who will benefit from Chicago's impressive convention platform, its compact and diverse hotel offerings, along with unmatched cultural and entertainment offerings.”

"Our world-class facilities along with the McCormick Place reforms continue to attract important events like C2E2 and Graph Expo," said Jim Reilly, MPEA CEO.  "They understand the value of having their events on our show floors.  We welcome their decisions to extend these commitments to McCormick Place and pledge that we will do our part to ensure a superior show experience that reinforces their confidence in McCormick Place and in Chicago."

The 2013 C2E2 show boasted total registration for the three-day event of 53,000, marking the largest show to date.

“When C2E2 was launched in Chicago four years ago it was a grand, but unproven idea to bring the world of pop culture to the shores of Lake Michigan,” said Lance Fensterman, Global Vice President ReedPOP and Show Manager for C2E2.  “Every year since 2010 the event has grown by leaps, delighting pop culture fans throughout Chicagoland and the upper Midwest.  Without the support of the teams at Choose Chicago, McCormick Place, and the hoards of fans we never would have arrived where we have in 2013 - a truly massive pop culture celebration that made national news.”

Two crucial union deals have been agreed to at McCormick Place since Mayor Emanuel took office. Since these deals have been signed, more than $6 billion worth of renewed, new, or extended shows have been signed.