FAQ

FAQ Categories

General

Ticket & Admission

Parking & Shuttle Services

Disability Services

Hotel Accommodations

Food & Beverages

First Look for Charity

Media Preview

Exhibits

Interactive Test Tracks

Special Events & Appearances

Employment Inquiries

Questions & Answers

General

What are 2018 Chicago Auto Show’s dates and hours?

The 2018 Chicago Auto Show is open to the public February 10-19, 2018.

Show hours:
February 10-18: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
February 19: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

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Is photography/videography permitted on the show floor?

Photography and videography is not only permitted, it is encouraged!

Please feel free to take photos/videos of displays.

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When is the ribbon-cutting ceremony that signifies the show’s opening?

The ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for 9:45 a.m. Saturday, February 10 at the Grand Concourse entrance of McCormick Place.

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Which days are typically the least crowded?

The Chicago Auto Show is the nation’s largest with more than 1 million square feet of exhibit space. Weekends traditionally tend to be the most crowded; however, there is plenty of room to comfortably explore the show floor.

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Will there be coat or luggage checks available?

Yes, there are several coat and luggage checks available for your convenience.

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Are there designated smoking areas at the show?

The Chicago ordinance bans smoking inside all buildings as well as 15 feet within any building’s perimeters. If attendees wish to smoke, they must exit McCormick Place to find designated smoking areas located 15 feet away from the building.

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Are the restrooms at McCormick Place equipped with baby changing stations?

Yes, the majority of restrooms inside McCormick Place are equipped with changing stations.

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This is our first Chicago Auto Show. Am I able to sit inside the vehicles?

Most every production vehicle on the floor is unlocked for attendees to comb through. One-of-a-kind concepts are for viewing only, and a few of the displays for high-end cars give unfettered access to select patrons.

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I heard there's a DMV location at the show for purchasing replacement driver's licenses. Is this true?

Yes, the Illinois Secretary of State's office does have a booth where attendees can renew or replace their driver's licenses and license plates. Look for the booth this year in the show's South hall.

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Are backpacks permitted into the Chicago Auto Show?

Certainly; however, all bags are subject to search at the entrances to the Chicago Auto Show.

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What is the Chicago Auto Show's average attendance?

The Chicago Auto Show is the nation's largest auto show. However, show management does not announce exact attendance figures. 

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Is there a “Lost and Found” area at the Chicago Auto Show?

If any of your belongings are lost during your visit to the Chicago Auto Show, please check with McCormick Place security at (312) 791-6060.

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Are cars on display at the Chicago Auto Show available for purchase?

No, the Chicago Auto Show is an exhibition only. However, product specialists are available to answer any questions you have regarding the vehicles on display. If you are interested in purchasing a new vehicle, representatives can help direct you to a dealer that is within a convenient location from your home or office.

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In what year did the Chicago Automobile Trade Association start producing the Auto Show?

The Chicago Auto Show premiered in 1901. The Chicago Automobile Trade Association has owned and produced the show since 1935.

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Will the manufactures give out rebates on vehicles at the Chicago Auto Show?

Many of the manufacturers do offer special show pricing, typically through the end of February. Please check with your local dealership for more details.

Additionally, you can identify all area franchised, new-car dealers at DriveChicago.com.

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Is free WiFi available?

Yes! Free WiFi is available for show attendees.

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Are there any indoor test tracks or outdoor test drives?

Yes, right now we are schedule to have three indoor test tracks and up to six outdoor test drives. We will update this with current information as soon as it becomes available. 

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Is there a gift shop?

There are merchandise stands in the lobby of McCormick Place that will have Chicago Auto Show memorabila for sale. 

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How long does it take to see the show?

There is no perfect answer for this because it depends on how much you want to see at the show, what your intentions are (if you are shopping or just looking or want to find one specific vehicle, etc.), and if you want to paricipate in other activities at the show such as the indoor tracks, interactive displays, or outdoor test drives. But the average attendee spends about 4 hours at the show. 

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Are there any children's activities?

Children are more than welcome at the show and there are plenty of activities and fun displays they can play with at various booths. However, there is a specific Family Day on Monday, February 12 and there will be additional family fun activities to participate in on that day. 

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Ticket & Admission

What is the discount/information if you bring in canned goods on particular days?

$6 off an adult's $13 admission is granted when you bring three canned goods to the show on Wednesday, Feb. 14, Thursday, Feb. 15 and Friday, Feb. 16. Discount is NOT eligable for ONLINE tickets. Must buy ticket at the show for discount redemption. Please limit your donation to canned goods only. All goods will be donated to http://www.asafehaven.org/. If you bring canned goods on another day, you'll receive heartfelt thanks from the auto show but no discount.

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If I purchase a ticket online is my credit card information secure?

Yes, all credit card information is protected through VeriSign, an e-commerce leader for processing payments securely. VeriSign uses SSL encryption to transmit data safely.

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Do I need a physical ticket to get into the show?

If you purchased your ticket online, please print and bring that ticket for entry. Also, find details on this website for details on how to download our all-new mobile app.

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Can American Express gift cards be used at the Chicago Auto Show box offices?

Yes, the box offices are equipped to accept American Express, Visa and MasterCard payments.

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How do the Employee Appreciation tickets work?

The special Employee Appreciation Day ticket, produced by the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, admits only the holder and is valid on weekdays.

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On "Food Drive" days, is everyone eligible for a $6 discount if they bring three cans of food each?

The "Food Drive" discount is $6 off a regular $13 adult admission, not simply $6 off all tickets. Seniors and children receive a discount every day. 

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Is my ticket good for more than one day of the show?

Tickets are valid for one entry into the show. Once they are scanned, they are no longer valid. However, you may re-enter any time that day. If you chose to leave and come back, that is permitted (just make sure to get your hand stamped). If you would like to come back multiple days there are many discounts offered that many benefit you.

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What are the discounts for the show?

There are several ways to obtain discounted entry into the Chicago Auto Show. Most are listed on our Weekday Discounts page. 

Personnel who currently serve in the active duty, National Guard or Reserves and hold valid military ID are admitted free to the show. However, non-active personnel and any family and friends who may accompany you must purchase a ticket.

The Chicago Automobile Trade Association offers discounted tickets to the 2018 Chicago Auto Show for schools and groups. Groups of 20 or more will receive a discounted rate of $7 per ticket. These tickets may be used on one of the following days: Monday, Feb.12 through Friday, Feb. 16 and Monday, Feb. 19.. Chaperones for the students will be given complimentary tickets; the ratio that we use is 1:10.

Click here to download school and group ticket order forms.

Discount offers for admission to the Chicago Auto Show cannot be combined. There is only one discount offered per admission.

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What is the 2018 Chicago Auto Show ticket price?

Admission prices are as follows:

  • $13 for adults
  • $7 for seniors ages 62 and older
  • $7 for children ages 7-12
  • Free admission for children 6 and younger when they accompany a paying adult (family members only)
  • Weekday discount coupons ($6 off the regular adult admission) available at various area new-car dealerships.

To avoid lines, you can purchase tickets in advance at ChicagoAutoShow.com. Tickets are available for online purchase starting in November. You can also purchase tickets on-site at the box offices located at the entrances to the show (cash and credit cards will be accepted). All Ticket Sales are Final.

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Parking & Shuttle Services

What are my parking options closest to the Chicago Auto Show/McCormick Place/other options?

McCormick Place offers on-site parking. There are three main McCormick Place lots: A, B & C.

  • Lot A: $23 (or $30 after 16 hours) 
  • Lot B: $15
  • Lot C: $23

*After 6 p.m. during Chicago Auto Show dates, the parking rate is reduced to $10 at all three lots.

Attendants at any of the Standard Parking lots surrounding McCormick Place open at 5 a.m. daily. The Chicago Auto Show opens at 10 a.m. each day.

Parking fees can be paid by cash or credit card; VISA, MasterCard and American Express are accepted. Parking lots are open throughout event hours. Overnight parking is not available, and there are no in-and-out privileges.

Other Options: On weekends show-goers can park offsite at either Millennium Park Garage or East Monroe Garage. The Chicago Auto Show runs a free shuttle service on the weekends (Saturdays and Sundays only) for those who park in the Millennium or East Monroe Garages. The free weekend shuttles stop in 10-15 minute intervals near Columbus/Lower Randolph and at Gate 3 at McCormick Place.

The automobile entrance for the Millennium Garage is on South Columbus Drive between Monroe Street (from the south, heading north) and Randolph Street (from the north, heading south).

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If I were to park in the Soldier Field lot, is there a free shuttle to the show?

Yes, you can park in the Soldier Field lot. The Chicago Auto Show does not operate that lot or set rates. However, we will provide a free shuttle from the Soldier Field lot every day. Buses run between the Center Aisle at 18th Street in the stadium lot and Gate 27 at McCormick Place. Be sure to return to Gate 27 for the return trip!

Shuttles operate each day beginning at 9 a.m. The last departure from McCormick Place is 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 10 and 11; 10:30 p.m. Monday-Friday (Feb. 12-16); 11 p.m. Saturday, Feb 17; and 9 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 18.

*Shuttles can accommodate children's lightweight umbrella strollers  

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Is there valet parking service offered at McCormick Place?

Valet parking is offered by the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, which adjoins the convention center, but spots are limited for those not staying at the hotel.

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Are the shuttle buses from Millennium Park free? If not, what is the fee?

Yes, the shuttles are free, and the parking cost is less than at the lots surrounding McCormick Place. But remember, those shuttles operate on WEEKENDS ONLY.

Free shuttles also operate daily from McCormick Place's 31st Street lot (Lot B) and from the Soldier Field lots.

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What time are the free shuttles on weekend?

The shuttle service coincides with the auto show hours, so expect to see the first buses about 10 a.m. at Millennium Park on weekend mornings -- Feb. 10-11, 17-18 -- and until about 10:30 p.m. 

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Will there be any shuttle services from the train stations to McCormick Place?

Yes, there will be Auto Show buses (regular CTA rates) that operate in between Ogilvie Transportation Center/Union Station and McCormick Place throughout the day for the length of the show. 

These buses will either have "Auto Show Bus" or "Metra Stations/Via Downtown" in their destination signs depending on the direction of travel. 

Click here for more specific shuttle information. 

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Disability Services

Are wheelchairs and motorized scooters available for rent at the Chicago Auto Show?

Wheelchairs and motorized scooters are available to rent at the McCormick Place. To make a reservation, please contact Scootaround's toll-free hotline at (888) 441-7575. Motorized scooters are $50 a day; wheelchairs are $20. For more details, visit ScootAround.com. Scootaround is located at Gate 4 of McCormick Place (at the west end of the Grand Concourse).
 

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Where is there handicapped parking available at McCormick Place?

All McCormick Place parking lots include a number of stalls reserved for handicapped parkers.

*However, Lot A is closest in distance to the show floor. Lot A’s entrance is at I-55 and Martin Luther King Drive.

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Are personal motorized scooters or wheelchairs allowed into the Chicago Auto Show?

Yes, you are welcome to bring your own motorized scooter or wheelchair to the Chicago Auto Show. 

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Who do I contact for handicap assistance in the parking lot?

American Sightseeing Chicago operates the trolley shuttles for McCormick Place lots: the 31st Street lot (Lot B in McCormick-speak) and the Soldier Field lots. To secure a shuttle with chairlift capacity, call American Sightseeing at (800) 621-4153 when you park, and the company will dispatch one to you.

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Are assistance pets permitted at the Chicago Auto Show?

Yes, assistance pets are permitted in the Chicago Auto Show.

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Are there handicap-accessible restroom facilities and elevator access at McCormick Place?

Yes, there are handicap accessible restrooms for guests at the Chicago Auto Show in McCormick Place. There is one restroom on the building's fourth floor, near Room S400, that accommodates one customer at a time if needed.

Elevators are accessible for use at the show. The elevators operate during the entirety of the Chicago Auto Show.

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Where are food services available with handicap accessibility?

There are two elevated food courts on the show floor in the South Hall and another large food court on the show floor in the North Hall.

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Can guests with handicap disabilities be dropped off near the entrance of the McCormick Place?

Yes, handicapped individuals can be dropped off at the horseshoe-shaped taxi stand that is accessible at Martin Luther King Drive and what essentially is 23rd Street. Just show your handicap placard to police directing traffic, if the vehicle's license plate doesn't include the symbol, and the police will give you access to the taxi area.

King Drive runs north/south, separating the McCormick Place North/South and McCormick Place West facilities, and the taxi stand is about equidistant between Cermak Road (22nd Street) and the Stevenson Expressway.

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Hotel Accommodations

What are the Chicago Auto Show’s official hotels?

The Chicago Auto Show is proud to announce its official hotel partners for 2018: the Hyatt Regecy McCormick Place and the Waldorf Astoria Chicago. Tentative rates include:

  • Hyatt Regecy McCormick Place: begnning at $189 for a standard guest room.
  • Waldorf Astoria Chicago: beginning at $295 for a Superior King guestroom.

More information is available on our Official Hotels page.

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Food & Beverages

Do the food vendors on the show floor accept credit cards?

Food and beverage vendors on the show floor accept cash, and are unlikely to accept credit cards for payment. Restaurants in McCormick Place near the show floor do accept credit cards for payment.
 

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Are alcoholic beverages available for purchase at the Chicago Auto Show?

Yes, alcoholic beverages are available for purchase at the Chicago Auto Show. Due to regulations at McCormick Place, outside alcohol is cannot be brought into the show.

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Am I allowed to bring bottled water or snacks into the show?

Yes, that is permitted. Food and beverages are also available for purchase on-site.

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First Look for Charity

When is First Look for Charity held and what are the event hours?

The benevolent 2018 First Look for Charity black-tie gala will take place this year 7:00-11:00 p.m. Friday, February 9.

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What is the appropriate dress code for the First Look for Charity gala?

First Look for Charity requires a strict black-tie dress code. Males are required to wear a tuxedo and females should wear an elegant dress or gown.

Should you forget your tuxedo, we will conveniently have a rental company on-site.

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Where can I purchase First Look for Charity tickets?

To purchase your ticket and to find additional details regarding the event, please visit FirstLookForCharity.org.

For packages of 25 or more tickets, please call the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, producer of the Chicago Auto Show, at (630) 495-2282.

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Will attendees have the opportunity to win a free car during the First Look for Charity event?

Yes, two lucky attendees will have the chance to win the event's grand prizes: a 2018 Ford Mustang or a 2018 Ford Expedition.

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Are children allowed to attend the First Look Charity Event?

Children are more than welcome to attend First Look for Charity. However, the ticket price remains the same amount despite their age. Additionally, all attendees must wear black-tie clothing (a tuxedo for males; an appropriate dress or gown for females).

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What portion of the ticket price donation is tax deductible?

Updated 2018 information will be posted.

For the 2018 First Look for Charity Gala, $223 of each $275 ticket is deductible as a charitable expense, for tax purposes.

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How does one become a participating charity in the First Look for Charity event?

You may send a letter indicating a desire for consideration to:
 
First Look for Charity
18W200 Butterfield Rd.
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

Please explain the reason you’d like to be considered along with your charity’s cause. If admitted, a charity can participate in the event up to nine years. Please understand that many area organizations have appealed for consideration, so the wait to join is long.

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Is valet parking available?

Unfortunately not, unless you’re staying at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place hotel.

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Media Preview

What are the Media Preview dates and schedules?

The 2018 Media Preview of the Chicago Auto Show will be on Thursday, Feb. 8 and Friday, Feb. 9.

Schedule will be found here. Details will be posted closer to the event. 

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How can I obtain credentials for the Media Preview?

To apply for media credentials, please click here. Please allow at least 48 hours for us to confirm your request.

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Where can I find the schedule for the Media Preview?

These details will be posted here closer to the show.

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Exhibits

Where can I find a list of exhibitors for the 2018 Chicago Auto Show?

The full map of exhibitors will be avaialble on the Chicago Auto Show website in late January. These details will be posted here.

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Do the cars on exhibit change throughout the show or remain the same?

Every vehicle that enters the building during move-in remains at the show until its conclusion.

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Will manufacturer representatives within exhibits try to push me to purchase a new car?

No selling is permitted on the show floor – that is the beauty of the Chicago Auto Show! Product specialists will be on-site to help answer all of your questions regarding the cars on display. Should you be interested in purchasing a vehicle, representatives can direct you to your closest dealership so you can initiate that process.

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Will there be any classic and/or antique cars at the Chicago Auto Show?

Yes, vintage automobiles will be displayed by several car clubs at the show.

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Will the Secretary of State be present at the Chicago Auto Show?

Yes, the Illinois Secretary of State will have a booth at the Chicago Auto Show.  Visitors to the booth can renew their driver’s license (vision screening only) and ID card. Additional services provided include vehicle transfers, vehicle sticker sales, passenger and B-Truck license plates, specialty license plates, vehicle title and registration, parking placards for persons with disabilities, and pick-a-plate. The public also can register to be organ/tissue donors.

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Interactive Test Tracks

Can we actually ride in the vehicles?

Yes, all show attendees can ride as passengers with the professional drivers on the designated tracks on the show floor. In addition, there are outdoor test drive opportunities where attendees can get behind the wheel and drive.

There is no age limit to ride along on the track, but guests must be at least 42 inches tall.

*There is no additional fee to participate!

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What is the age limit for guests for the ride-alongs on the test track?

There is no designated age limit, but guests must be at least 42 inches tall in order to ride in the vehicles on the test track.

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Special Events & Appearances

Where can I find the special guest appearances schedule?

The special guest appearance schedule is posted here and is updated as we are notified, so please be sure to check back fom time to time.

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Are you offering any special or themed days?

 We sure are, and some even have special admission pricing available.

  • Monday, February 12: Family Day.
  • Wednesday, February 14: Women's Day. Women are admitted for $7. Manufacturers will present special women-oriented programs on the purchase and lease of cars and maintenance.
  • Wednesday, February 14 through Friday, February 16: Chicago Auto Show Food Drive. Show patrons who bring three cans of food will receive a coupon for $7 admission. All food will be donated to A Safe Haven Foundation.
  • Friday, February 16: Hispanic Heritage Day. For more information, visit http://www.telemundochicago.com.

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Employment Inquiries

Who can I contact regarding employment during the Chicago Auto Show?

The Chicago Auto Show management does not hire individuals. Rather, it retains firms that provide ushers and security. For such work, contact AF Services, (630) 279-0500. Many other workers in the building are employees of McCormick Place, (312) 791-7000.

People who set up and dismantle the displays are arranged for by the show's general contractor, GES Exposition Services, (773) 767-2237 or chicago@ges.com.

As for the people who work in the various exhibits, they are hired by the vehicle manufacturers, like Ford, Chevrolet and Dodge. For those opportunities, suggest you turn to the websites of the vehicle manufacturers and search the sites either for Employment or Contact Us.

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Who can I contact for information about promotional modeling at the show?

Chicago Auto Show management does not hire models; they are retained by the exhibitors themselves. The automakers turn primarily to three Detroit-area agencies and hire models months before the auto show in order to train them. You can inquire about modeling on the auto show circuit by contacting the modeling agencies:

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