Somehow, in the midst of 100-hour weeks, I missed the announcement that National Manufacturing Week was moving from McCormick to Rosemont.
The reason is plain and simple: cost (pdf - check out the exhibitor quotes at the end).
One of my own clients was planning on moving their largest show to Chicago because they've been venue bound in Orlando for the past two years. But they couldn't get the concessions necessary to make the move work for exhibitors. So they're headed back to Orlando. Better to be venue bound than to have customers rioting over huge labor cost increases.
NMW is not an insignificant piece of business. I'm actually surprised it can fit in Rosemont, since its two major events, National Design and National Plant, alone comprise 400,000 nsf and Rosemont is only 840,000 gross.
Will other shows follow NMW's example?
I'd guess some might, if they find dates. But let's face it, Rosemont isn't Chicago. Sure, there's a Morton's nearby. But half the reason for attendees to go to Chicago is to enjoy Chicago. So whether attendees are really going to be interested in visiting Rosemont is a bit of a gamble.
Granted, something like 60%-70% of NMW attendees are within a couple hours drive. But will those other 30%-40% who aren't still find the show as compelling when it's located in a vanilla suburb? What's more important to attendees, being 5 minutes from the airport or actually enjoying themselves at night?
And if indeed some portion of those 30%-40% stay away, will exhibitors be happy trading off cost savings for fewer non-Chicagoland leads?
If you're thinking of bolting McCormick for another venue or know any shows that are, let's hear from you.