Uniquely Positioned for the Future of Auto Shows

            “While the show has barely closed, we never stop looking to the future,” says 2010 Chicago Auto Show Chairman John Phelan. “And we’re positioned better than any other show for it. We are an OICA-sanctioned event and the only global auto show in North America that has the immediate ability to expand—instantly—to accommodate virtually any request from any manufacturer. We don’t need to renovate, expand or upgrade a thing to take care of any exhibitors’ needs.”
            The Chicago show currently uses 1.2 million sq ft (111,500 sq M.) of an available 2.7 million at McCormick Place. The space used is contiguous—all on the same floor—so there’s no “upstairs, downstairs, basement, etc.” for Chicago exhibitors. When the Chinese, Indian or any other manufacturer decides to display and sell their products in the United States, only Chicago has the immediate ability to give them as much Class A space as they desire on the same level, directly adjoined to every other of the world’s major manufacturers. The McCormick Place complex is the envy of every show producer in North America, not only for its size and ability to give exhibitors anything they want, but at a more competitive rate and with a dedicated labor force that’s unequalled by any other show.
            “Ours is not a building in need of anything,” said Phelan. “Additionally, the infrastructure of the City of Chicago for any major show is unparalleled. We have almost 69,000 hotel rooms within a 15 minute drive of McCormick Place. Plus other aspects Chicago offers such as restaurants, museums, central location for travel puts us at the top of the list.
            “So when manufacturers and media ask how Chicago is positioned for the future,” Phelan said, “the answer is, ‘Better than any other show. Period.’”
            “The raw economics of shows will be a factor and manufacturers will have to make decisions of where to display best. Where can they make an impact to both media and consumers alike,” he said. “Because we offer the biggest show with the best attendance and the undisputed best convention center,
Chicago should be an obvious choice. And when you remove the emotional aspect of where shows are produced, it’s counter-intuitive to consider anywhere else, frankly.”
            “Having said that, we would like to see every city have a strong auto show. It’s just good for our manufacturers, dealers, customers and the economy overall—and that’s what auto shows are for.”

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