No matter your business, Chicago is the ideal city to host your next trade show. As a major hub for companies specializing in thriving industries of all varieties, Chicago offers you and your exhibitors a built-in attendee base.


Centrally located, Chicago provides easy access to the world. The city has 2,900 daily direct flight departures, including 166 daily international departures to 55 international destinations, and serves as a hub for all six Class-One North American railroads, as well as six major U.S. Interstates. Additionally, more than 20% of the U.S. population lives within a 300-mile radius of Chicago. 


Not only is Chicago’s accessibility unrivaled, but the city is  also has one of the world’s largest and most diversified economies, with nearly 4.3 million employees and a gross regional product (GRP) of $500 billion. Boasting two global exchanges and headquarters for 27 Fortune 500 companies, the Chicago area is home to Boeing, Kraft Foods, McDonald’s, Motorola, Walgreens, as well as  newer trendsetters such as Groupon.  

Chicago was rated #1 Large U.S. Metro for Economic Diversity by Moody’s Investor Services and serves as a key player in both mature (manufacturing and transportation/distribution) and emerging (info-tech, R&D and green energy) industries. In fact, Chicago is home to:

  • More than 250+ corporate R&D facilities
  • Three federally-funded research centers 
  • Six medical schools and nearly 50 teaching hospitals
  • The densest concentration of medical research centers in the U.S.
  • More than 52,000 biotech employees in agricultural biotech, industrial biotech, medical devices, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals and research


As the third largest city in the United States, Chicago offers access to an expansive and densely populated base of potential customers.

  • A population of 2.7 million people in the city limits
  • Close to ten million people in the greater metropolitan area


When looking at our intellectual capital, you’ll find that it’s as diversified as our economy. And this is thanks to Chicago’s esteemed educational resources and the talent attracted to this great city. More than 4 million people make up the city’s highly skilled and diversified workforce. Of this working population, 2.4 million are within a 50-minute commute of downtown. 

  • 33% have Bachelor Degrees – more than twice  the national average
  • 31% have Graduate Degrees – more than  three times the national average
  • More than 130 higher education institutions
  • Two of America’s top business schools: Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business
  • Renowned fine arts institutions, including the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Kendall Culinary Arts School


Chicago has long been a hub of international business activity. The city is home to more than  1,500 foreign-based companies. And with more than $40 billion in foreign direct investment, the city has been recognized as having a Top Foreign Direct Investment Strategy among major cities around the world.

Chicago’s robust international business resources include:

  • 79 Consulates/Consuls General
  • 40+ international/ethnic Chambers of Commerce
  • 90+ foreign trade and investment organizations
  • 28 international sister cities programs that strengthen international relations

For more information on Chicago’s global business infrastructure, visit World Business Chicago.