Chicago's McCormick Place announces return of shows, conventions in July

CHICAGO -- Chicago's McCormick Place is bringing back big conventions and events like the NBA Draft Combine starting next month.

"Everyone at MPEA could not be any more excited to be back in business," said Larita Clark, CEO, Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority.

The owner of McCormick Place announced Wednesday that starting in July, there are 122 events scheduled through 2022.

"We are confident about coming, we are confident because we have followed the science," said David Causton, general manager, McCormick Place. "We are confident because we know our health officials at the city and state have steered us in the right direction."

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Part of the reopening includes a new studio at Arie Crown Theatre, which will allow virtual connections and worldwide streaming so conventions can have a hybrid option.

Peter Eelman
International Manufacturing Technology Show

"We are excited to make use of this great studio," said Peter Eelman, International Manufacturing Technology Show. "We broadcast live from IMTS and we have for the last 14 years, so this takes it to another level."

Some organizations say the hybrid model will be able to accommodate more for their members, like the first convention that will bring healthcare providers together around the state for Illinois Health and Hospitals' Health Equity Action Day.

"This is very exciting to be the first event coming out of the COVID phase," said Brenda Battle, Community Health Transformation S.V.P., UChicago Medicine.

The return of events is expected to bring back hundreds of employees and have a big economic impact on the city estimated to be $2 billion.