McCormick Place wrote quite the success story in 2015 with numerous conventions and expos enjoying record-breaking attendance.

Chicago's premier convention space and the largest convention center in North America makes an impact with leading-edge technology and a convenient address within a five-mile radius of more than 33,000 downtown Chicago hotel rooms.


Breaking Records at McCormick Place

The following 2015 events enjoyed record-breaking attendance and participation:

ESPA or Event Service Professional Association met in January with 265 in attendance, a 40 percent increase over their 2014 conference in Boston. Their 27th annual conference included keynote addresses, networking environments and leading meeting planners sharing inside tips.

Five Chicago records were shattered by the successful 2015 International Air Conditioning, Heating Refrigerating Exposition, including 61,674 total registered attendees and 42,400 visitors. The event saw 2,118 exhibiting companies and never-before-hit international company participation numbers: 593 international companies from 35 countries exhibited. McCormick Place's expansive exhibition space welcomed new product showcases and industry trend presentations.

The Chicago Comic & Entertainment (C2E2) Expo took place April 24-26, 2015 with an impressive record fan attendance of 71,000 and a contract to return in 2016 and 2017. More than 450 companies attended along with 1,500 press members covering the latest and greatest from the worlds of comics, movies, television, toys, anime, manga and video games.


Advanstar's Automechanika Chicago's first-time McCormick Place event was held April 24-26, 2015 and drew nearly 6,000 attendees. The leading international brand of automotive trade shows joined forces with UBM Advanstar, the largest U.S. tradeshow organizer, to create this popular event. Shop owners and technicians from around the country gathered for product demos and interactive features on McCormick's show floor. Automechanika will return to Chicago July 26-28, 2017.

Microsoft Ignite, Microsoft Corporation's maiden Chicago event, was extremely successful with 22,000 attendees May 4-9, 2015. The unified enterprise technology conference brought together tech education, vision and guidance through hundreds of sessions, technical training, hands-on labs and opportunities for certification. For six days, McCormick Place was home to hundreds of Microsoft engineers and executives. Ignite will return to Chicago in 2016 and 2017.

More than 63,000 attendees came to the National Restaurant Association's National Restaurant Hotel-Motel Show May 16-19, 2015. A record 637,000 square feet of exhibit space sold, breaking a previous record set in 2000, and the event saw a three percent increase in registration in the key buyer category of restaurant and food service operators. The National Restaurant Hotel-Motel Show is booked at McCormick Place annually through 2020.

Boasting sold-out exhibit space with a waiting list, the National Confectioners Association's Sweets & Snacks Expo saw unprecedented attendance May 19-21, 2015. The expo is booked at McCormick Place annually through 2022. This year's event will feature a new hall with 20 percent exhibitor growth, four acres of candy and snack products and 750 exhibiting companies from around the globe.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology's ASCO 2015 Annual Meeting May 29-June 2, 2015 enjoyed record attendance with 37,300 oncology care and research experts gathering at McCormick Place for five days of learning. The meeting saw sold out exhibit space and is booked at McCormick annually through 2020.

Chicago continues to be a hot spot for the Water Environment Federation's annual conference. WEFTEC 2015, held September 26-30, celebrated its highest attendance numbers - 25,043 - since their 2013 meeting in Chicago, which saw 22,660 attendees. The group also broke records with its number of exhibiting companies and net square feet. WEFTEC is booked at McCormick Place every odd year until 2027.

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers' FABTECH 2015 saw an astounding 43,836 attendees from over 90 countries November 9-12, 2015. More than 1,700 exhibiting companies took up residence at McCormick Place for North America's largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing event. FABTECH is held in Chicago every other year through 2019.

Held November 18-19, 2015, Rockwell Automation's Automation Fair saw an astonishing 53 percent increase over 2014 with 15,345 attending, compared to 10,010 the previous year in Anaheim, Cali. Guests attended industry forums, user group meetings, hands-on labs, technical sessions and demonstrations and had access to over 150 exhibits. The fair will return to Chicago in 2019.

pcma 2015


Additional 2015 McCormick Place Meeting Highlights

The PCMA (Professional Convention Management Association) Convening Leaders 2015 conference saw record-breaking attendance and housing pickup in January 2015.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. Americas Kickoff 2015 meeting, held February 23-25, 2015, saw a record 2,400 attendees.

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society HIMSS 2015 Annual Conference & Exhibition on April 12-16, 2015 enjoyed record attendance.

The American Society of Landscape Architects' 2015 ASLA Annual Meeting & Expo on November 6-9, 2015 saw its largest attendance since their San Francisco meeting in 2007. Nearly 6,300 guests were in attendance.

The Muslim American Society met last December with record-breaking attendance numbers. The group is now booked at McCormick Place annually through 2017.


On the Horizon at McCormick Place 

Haven't visited McCormick Place in awhile? There's a 10,000-seat event facility being built, an adjacent 1,200-room Marriott Marquis hotel, a AAA Four-Diamond Hyatt Regency McCormick Place with a fully renovated 25,000-square-foot conference center and four on-site dining options; a healthy options café and much more. See all of the latest McCormick Place happenings.


Photos from top: courtesy McCormick Place, C2E2, PCMA