ORLANDO, Fla. — Chicago leaped ahead of Orlando last year to become the nation’s second-largest host of major trade shows by amount of exhibit space occupied. Chicago’s McCormick Place added 37% of space last year to give it more than 8.7 million square feet of exhibit space, trailing only Las Vegas.
“Nearly every trade show over the past two years has seen an increase in attendance or exhibit sales if not both,” Tim Roby, president and CEO of the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau, told Meeting News magazine. “Those figures show that, among other things, trade shows that are held in Chicago grow and prosper.”
Chicago hotels also had a record year with 76% occupancy.
The area has a new McCormick West building that offers 470,000 square feet of exhibit space and 250,000 square feet of meeting space. So far, 67 meetings have been scheduled for the facility that does not open until August.
Another 3,000 hotel rooms are also set to be built in Chicago over the next three years. They include the 330-room Trump International Hotel & Tower and the first US Shangri-La Hotel.