May 7, 2019

Mayor Emanuel Announces Chicago Will Be Home to Starbucks’ 2019 Leadership Conference

New Private Sector Investment Announced at the City’s, World Business Chicago’s, and The Hatchery’s Community of Food Event, Celebrating Chicago’s Thriving Food Industry
Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Emanuel today announced that Chicago will be home to Starbucks’ 2019 Leadership Conference in September 2019, building on the City's position as a thriving food and beverage hub for businesses, conferences and tourists, restaurants, entrepreneurs and investors. This is the first time Chicago will host this event, which is estimated to bring over 13,000 attendees to the City.

“The decision to move the Starbucks’ 2019 Leadership Conference to Chicago is a recognition of our city’s reputation as a culinary capital and cultural destination," Mayor Emanuel said. "This is a major victory for Chicago’s world-class food and beverage scene, which continues to thrive as a vital part of the city’s economy. We are proud to host this global event and we look forward to showing even more visitors what our city has to offer.”

The Starbucks 2019 Leadership Conference brings together store managers and other Starbucks leaders from around the world for a four-day event at Chicago’s McCormick Place. The conference will be held
from September 3 through 7 and is expected to generate $29 million in estimated economic impact through spending by the estimated 13,000 attendees.
 Of the 60 most recent major future meetings confirmed at McCormick Place, 15 will convene in Chicago for the very first time with six additional conventions returning to Chicago that had not met here for more than ten years.

“Securing the Starbucks 2019 Leadership Conference convening this September and welcoming over 13,000 attendees is a vivid example of a continuing focus on booking short-term and new types of conventions for Chicago,” said David Whitaker – President & CEO of Choose Chicago. “It’s also not a coincidence that Chicago’s emergence as a food center of excellence plays a role as hosting Starbucks joins a growing line-up of diverse food-related events such as recent extensions and agreements to annually host the James Beard Awards, the National Restaurant Show and the Institute of Food Technologists.”

“We look forward to welcoming the Starbucks Leadership conference to our campus,” said Lori T. Healey, CEO of MPEA. “A world-class company and brand, it is an honor to have 13,000 of its leaders from around the world to experience McCormick Place and Chicago this fall.”

The Mayor made this announcement at Chicago’s Community of Food event at The Hatchery where leaders from Chicago’s diverse food industry join together to celebrate the future of Chicago’s thriving food sectors and discuss shared challenges.

“Chicago’s central location, connectivity, and unparalleled talent base make it a global hub for business and the U.S. leader in food and beverage manufacturing GRP and employment,” said Andrea Zopp, president and CEO of World Business Chicago. “At the Chicago’s Community of Food event today, we had the opportunity to hear from a variety of food industry leaders on why the food and beverage sector in Chicago is thriving and the exciting trends they are seeing as the sector continues to grow.”

This news also follows other recent events celebrating Chicago’s growing food industry, including Chicago hosting the James Beard Foundations Awards for the fifth year in a row on Monday and joint press conference with Governor JB Pritzker celebrating office expansion plans by Chicago-founded, Home Chef and food-centric tech company, 84.51°.