Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Governor Pat Quinn today announced that Reed Exhibitions will bring three shows to Chicago, the first major signings after a new union agreement that will make Chicago a much more attractive destination for trade shows and conventions. This is the latest in a series of advancements as part of an ongoing effort to address issues surrounding work rules at McCormick Place and Navy Pier.
"We are pleased to welcome Reed back to Chicago in a major way," said Mayor Emanuel. "Our efforts to create labor agreements at McCormick Place and Navy Pier will create jobs and make Chicago more competitive for trade shows. The attraction of these shows will create jobs and have a large economic impact on the city, and is directly attributable to our advances on the labor front."
"Our historic reforms have laid the foundation for a new era of growth at McCormick Place," Governor Quinn said. "Today's agreement means more shows in Illinois, and more jobs for the hundreds of thousands employed in our hospitality and tourism sectors."
The first show is AIBTM: American Incentive & Business Travel Market. This show is confirmed for Chicago in June 2013, 2015, and 2017, alternating with Orlando. This event will bring 1,500 meeting planner "hosted buyers" to Chicago for three days. It has approximately 7,000 room nights total, with estimated direct expenditures of $10 million over the three years.
The second show is Book Expo America confirmed for May 12-14, 2016. 30,000 attendees are expected; 24,000 room nights. It is returning to Chicago after a long absence, with estimated direct expenditures of $45.6 million.
Reed Exhibitions' C2E2: Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo held annually in Chicago in April has doubled in size since its inception in 2010. The event realized its successful third year in Chicago with a 21% increase in attendance over 2011. The show delivers estimated direct expenditures of $37 million each year and will remain in Chicago through at least 2014.
"Labor reform has resulted in positive results for our annual customers and continues to resonate well with current and potential customers," said Don Welsh, Choose Chicago President and CEO. "Reed's return to Chicago is a perfect example of a major global customer returning to Chicago as a direct result of these reforms. While we are on an upward swing, we continue to aggressively pursue all potential customers, who will benefit from the significant cost savings resulting from these historic changes."
The historic agreement is between McCormick Place, Navy Pier, MPEA, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 134, and International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Local 2. This agreement allows IATSE stagehands to complete a type of work previously completed by IBEW electricians, by allowing IATSE members to install, operate, and remove the audio/visual, sound, and lighting equipment in certain areas used for presentations and performances, and to plug in the equipment to permanent outlets or temporary electrical services provided by electricians. This would also include lighting and sound equipment which is suspended from the ceilings of the facilities. Electricians will continue to complete all of the work they have historically completed in Exhibit Booths and other areas not used for presentations or performances.
"We appreciate the changes made in Chicago that enhances the experience and value for our customers and makes it a more attractive destination for them," said Nancy Walsh, Executive Vice President, Reed Exhibitions. "The city is fantastic; centrally located, great restaurants, shopping and cultural attractions. C2E2 is going into it's fourth year and has doubled in size. Book Expo America is coming back in 2016 and AIBTM will be rotating between Chicago and Orlando starting in 2013. We have a wonderful relationship with the team at Choose Chicago and McCormick Place. We love Chicago and we want more and more of our customers to love it too."
The dual announcements Tuesday were heralded by union leadership in Chicago.
"Today's announcement demonstrates how labor's partnership with city, state and MPEA leadership can have a direct impact on our ability to attract and retain trade shows and conventions to McCormick Place," said Jorge Ramirez, President of the Chicago Federation of Labor. "The working men and women in the convention and tourism industry are committed to making Chicago a top destination and to bringing additional jobs and revenue to the city, state and region."