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Chicago Convention Center - What the Chicago Convention Center has to Offer

facilities event booking requirements event planning services and amenities

The city of Chicago has the distinction of being the third largest city in the USA with a population of approximately 3 million people. Located in Illinois, Chicago is about 230 square miles and is a popular destination for visitors and tourists worldwide. Chicago is a world leader in many respects and the city boasts the largest convention facility globally. It is also the premier convention center in North America, attracting about 3 million visitors annually.

Known as McCormick Place, the Chicago Convention Center is located along the shores of Lake Michigan and within a few minutes of downtown Chicago. It comprises of 2.6 million square feet of exhibition space, 50 percent of which are located on one level. It also consists of four buildings, namely the North, South and West Buildings and the Lakeside Center, which are all state-of-the-art facilities and there are also retail stores, restaurants, cafés and amenities for visitors. The Chicago Convention Center was first opened in 1960, and was later rebuilt in 1971, following a fire in 1967, and the facilities have been expanded over the years.


The main convention center in Chicago is a popular venue for large meetings, special functions, conferences and tradeshows. McCormick Place offers 11 exhibition halls, about 170 meeting rooms and 600,000 square feet of meeting space with seating for up to 18,000 people. Facilities at the convention complex include 4 ballrooms, a main theatre with over 4,200 seats and 3 smaller ones, each seating 300 people. There is easy access and ample parking with up to 5,000 spaces at the two major parking lots and a daily parking fee is applicable. However, overnight parking is not available.

Participants, booth holders and attendees at the Chicago Convention Center can take advantage of 800 sleeping rooms at the hotel, which is also a part of the McCormick Place campus and within walking distance. The hotel also offers conference facilities as well as banquet space.

Event Booking Requirements

When planning an event for the Chicago Convention Center, you should give yourself at least 18 months lead time to reserve the space, especially for large functions. Depending on the type of event and your requirements, there are different venues available as well as different booking prerequisites. For functions requiring

•large sleeping room blocks, you should contact the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau, which manages the marketing for McCormick Place, especially when the city’s main resources are involved.

•considerable banqueting space and for public tradeshows with 50 or more booths or a minimum of 10,000 square feet of exhibit space, you should contact McCormick Place and request a RFP.

•smaller meeting room spaces and sleeping rooms, the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place hotel can accommodate your event.

•over 1,000 seats and no additional meeting space, the Arie Crown Theater, which is located at the Lakeside Center building is ideal for your concerts, speaking events or stage shows.

•additional information on the facilities you should contact the Chicago Convention Center.

Event Planning Services and Amenities

Having been the recipient of many industry and professional awards, including the Excellence in Convention Facilities Award by Meeting News Magazine on several occasions, the McCormick Place Chicago is indeed a world class center with its many amenities. Visitors, attendees, event planners and exhibitors are treated to a wide range of quality services to help make their experience and special functions successful, comfortable and convenient. Some of these include,

•Business center with photocopying, document preparation and presentation services as well as computer rentals, package delivery services, U.S. mailboxes and postage for sale.

•Internet and networking services as well as WIFI access in restaurants.

•Information desks and visitor information center.

•ATM machines in each building, 24-hour convenience centers with vending machines and three gifts shops.

•First Aid station and wheel chair accessibility in all the buildings as well as disability services and infant nursing area.

•Relaxation stations offering upper-body massages as well as coat check and shoe shine services.

What the Chicago Convention Center has to offer is more than size. It also provides modern, well-equipped and integrated facilities along with customer service and useful and accessible amenities to make it the top of the line convention facility in North America.

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