Commitments continue, strong 2011 for once-beleaguered industry

CHICAGO - Chicago convention leaders traveled to Las Vegas for the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) meeting last week and returned with two new pieces of business - the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) annual meeting for 2015, and the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) for 2016.

"We are blazing a new trail for Chicago's convention industry, and we are finding opportunities for business at every step along the way," said Bruce V. Rauner, Board Chairman of the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau. "Shows once considered Chicago with a degree of trepidation. Now the reforms are reaping results, and people want to be back here."

Jim Reilly, Trustee of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, spoke at this year's PCMA convention, along with David Causton, General Manager of McCormick Place. The pair highlighted the extraordinary changes taking place in Chicago and were on hand when PCMA leaders announced that Chicago would host its 2015 show. PCMA is the industry's premier gathering for meeting and event professionals.

"It is fitting that PCMA announced this year that it will return to Chicago," Reilly said. "This conference is all about keeping a pulse on the convention industry. The pulse of the industry beats in Chicago right now and we want to make sure it stays that way."

PCMA was last held in Chicago in 1994. The association's annual meeting will take place January 10 -15 and represents 3,600 attendees and $6.3 million in estimated direct expenditures.
ASA is returning to Chicago in October 2016 after placing the top bid on an auction package that included a future convention at McCormick Place. Proceeds from the auction help PCMA continue to deliver premier education and innovative research to advance the meetings and convention industry and further support its members.

ASA last held its convention in Chicago in 2006 and will be returning to the city in October for its 2011 show. It attracts 17,000 attendees and is expected to generate $42 million in estimated direct expenditures.

"Chicago is at the forefront of the healthcare industry and we are confident ASA has chosen the best host city to conduct their important business," said David Causton, McCormick Place General Manager. "We are pleased to see another top medical show commit to Chicago, and we are confident that ASA and all of our customers will be successful at McCormick Place."

On January 10, 2011, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) announced it would return to Chicago in 2015 and 2019 after being the first show to cancel a 2012 commitment due to rising costs. That announcement came on the heels of other major show signings, including the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), International Housewares Association, International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) and the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show (NRA).

"This is the latest trade show to see that Illinois is a great place to do business, from our state-of-the-art facilities and elegant lodging to world-class cuisine and endless other activities," said Governor Pat Quinn. "Conventions like this help boost our economy by bringing in tourism dollars and supporting job growth, and we will continue doing everything we can to attract trade shows and conventions to our great state."

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