McCormick Place - HOS399

McCormick Place
G. Ruger
About McCormick
• McCormick Place is a premier convention facility in North America.
It is considered an economic engine that helps power the entire
convention and tradeshow industry across, as well as helps
stimulate the Illinois economy.
• Named after Colonel Robert R. McCormick, who was a long-time
editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune.
• McCormick Place attracts close to 3 million visitors each year and
creates around $8 billion for the state of Illinois.
• Some annual trade shows include: The Chicago Boat, RV and
Outdoors Show, The Chicago Auto Show, The International House
ware's Association Home and Hardware Show, The America’s
Beauty Show, shows such as these have an annual attendance of
over 60k attendees.
McCormick Place is comprised of four state-of-the-art buildings: the North and South Buildings, the
West Building and Lakeside Center.
Alone the size and versatility of McCormick Place are impressive:
2.6 million sq. ft. of exhibit halls
1.2 million square feet all on one level
173 meeting rooms
600,000 square feet of meeting room space
4 ballrooms, 2 of which are the largest in the city
Assembly seating for 18,000 people
4,249 seat theater (Arie Crown)
3 theaters seating 300 each
Ceiling heights up to 50 feet
Easy access to 5,000 parking spaces
The hotel Hyatt-Regency McCormick Place is also attached to the convention center, which offers
around 800 rooms for conventioneers.
MPEA Management
• McCormick Place is operated by the Metropolitan Pier and
Exposition Authority (MPEA) which is a municipal
corporation created by the Illinois General Assembly. Its
Board of Directors is appointed by the Governor of Illinois
and the Mayor of Chicago.
• MPEA owns and manages the McCormick Place complex
and seeks to promote and operate conventions, fairs and
expositions in the Chicago area, in an effort to strengthen
the local economy.
• MPEA is also active in the community, and oversees a
variety of programs that positively impact the thousands
whose jobs are tied to McCormick Place and Navy Pier, as
well as the millions who visit both venues each year.
Specific McCormick Management
David Causton, General Manager
Anthony Lopez, Assistant Manager
Larita Clark, Controller
Adrienne Tiritilli, Senior Director, Convention Sales and Marketing
Eugene Hardison, Director of Event Excellence
Jene-Baptiste Prunetti, Director of Guest Services
Pat Allen, Sr. Director McCormick Place Exhibitor and Technical Services
Department & Operations
• George Rosenbrock, Sr. Director of Security and Safety
• Mary Kay Marquisos, Senior Director of Corporate Communications
• Jeanine Gillen, Director of Human Resources
Advisory Council Members
Advisory Council Members:
David Causton, General Manger, McCormick Place
Eric Dean, General Vice President, Chicago & Vicinity District Council
Anthony DeGrado III, President, Local 17, Decorators
Steve Drew, Assistant Executive Director, Radiological Society of North America
Peter Eelman, Vice President, Association for Manufacturing Technology
Peter Erickson, President, Hall Erickson, Inc.
Timothy Foley, Business Manager and Financial Secretary, Local 134, I.B.E.W.
Rob Fulton, Business Manager, Local 136, Riggers Union
Robin E. Gathman, Convention and Meeting Coordinator, Planmeca U.S.A., Inc.
Brian Hickey, Business Manager, Local 399, Operating Engineers
Francesca Lendrum, Navteq
Kevin McLaughlin, Carpenters Union, Local 10
John O'Shea, Czarnowski
John Patronski, Executive Vice President, Global Experience Specialists
Ann Pennino, CME, Exhibit Manager, Praxair, Inc.
Jim Pittas, Vice Pres., Tradeshows, Packaging Machinery & Manufacturing Institute
Chris Price, Vice President, Graphic Arts Show Company
Mia Rampersad, Vice President - Trade Show, International Housewares Association
Jim Reilly, Trustee, Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority
Tim V. Roby, President and CEO, Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau
Doug Van Ort, Senior Vice President, Freeman
Tom Villanova, President, Chicago and Cook County Building Trades
Chuck Yuska, President & CEO, Packaging Machinery & Manufacturing Institute
Who Really Runs McCormick?
• The bureaucratic hoops that are found in
McCormick Place operations can be daunting. As
you can see there are many people in important
places making key decisions on a day-to-day
basis. Being such a significant part of the
economic structure of Illinois, there is much
controversy over how McCormick is actually run.
Over the past years there have been many
conspiracies, debates, and reforms made for the
betterment of operations which can be linked to
the individual desires of key political figures and
union reps of Illinois.
Recent Reform
• In May 2010, the Illinois General Assembly approves bold and historic
legislation to reform labor rules, establish exhibitor rights and realign
McCormick Place operations with its major competitors in the convention
and trade show industries. The legislation contains the core reforms
introduced in January by MPEA officials, the Governor, and Chicago Mayor
Richard M. Daley, and calls for:
– New labor work rules that reduce crew sizes, require less overtime pay and
eliminate hassles for customers.
– Expanding exhibitor rights, allowing customers to do their own work,
regardless of booth size.
– The appointment of a Trustee, former MPEA CEO Jim Reilly, to oversee
operations during an 18 month transition period and select a private manager
for McCormick Place.
– Restructuring capital debt to allow the MPEA to further lower costs to
customers and put the MPEA on sound financial footing.
– Allowing shows to select outside electrical and food service contractors.
– Auditing contracts to ensure savings are passed on to customers.
Lowering Costs
August 1, 2010, McCormick Place implemented several changes related to recently passed
legislation aimed at lowering prices and improving service for exhibitors and show management.
These changes will dramatically lower prices for our customers and allow exhibitors and show
management to complete work that previously required the hiring of union labor.
The changes fall into the following major areas: Standardized Straight Time, Overtime, and Double
Time Provisions for all show work completed by workers represented by the following labor unions:
Expanded Exhibitor Rights which will allow exhibitors or their full-time employees to complete a
wide range of tasks which were previously prohibited. The rights will be extended to all exhibitors
regardless of the size of their booth.
Significant changes to Focus One operations including a new name (Exhibitor and Technical
Services) and changes to pricing and service delivery.
New pricing plans for banquet services, and cash sales provided by Chicago Restaurant Partners.
A new Automobile and Small Utility Vehicle policy that will allow exhibitors to deliver, unload, and
reload certain exhibits, equipment, and materials without paid assistance.
Privatized Management
On October 21, 2010, David Causton, General Manager of McCormick Place announced several initiatives undertaken by the Metropolitan
Pier and Exposition Authority as Phase II of the implementation of recent legislative reforms. These changes are aimed at lowering costs and
improving service for customers of McCormick Place. Following is a summary of the changes:
The list of recognized holidays which require payment of holiday rates for union show labor has been finalized.
The Authority has issued $1.1 billion Series 2010 MPEA Expansion Bonds to
Generate $200 million in project funds primarily to fund hotel expansion
Restructure existing MPEA debts service
Position MPEA debt to provide additional flexibility in raising capital in future years
The Authority has retained TVS design to prepare bridging documents for development of the expanded hotel, plans to issue an RFP in
Summer 2011, begin construction in early 2012, complete construction in December 2014.
An advisory council has been established to provide continuing dialogue between stakeholders with an interest in ensuring exhibitor
satisfaction at McCormick Place. The first meeting will be held on October 27th, 2010. The council includes representatives from the following
Show Organizers
Official Service Contractors
Exhibitor Appointed Contractors
MPEA and McCormick Place Management
An RFP has been issued to solicit a private management company to manage day to day operations at McCormick Place. The target date to
have a company on site is July 1, 2011.
McCormick Place announced the process for allowing contractors to compete to provide electrical services for events.
A new personal consumption policy has been instituted to allow exhibitors to bring food into McCormick Place for their own consumption.
Effective October 21, 2010, McCormick Place is the largest convention center in the United States to offer free WiFi service in all areas of the
facility including common areas, exhibit halls, and meeting rooms.
In an effort to provide value-priced parking, the cost of parking in the Lot B surface parking area will be lowered from $19 to $14.