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2 Big Trade Shows Extend Chicago Stay

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The National Restaurant Association and International Manufacturing Technology Show have extended their agreements with McCormick Place through 2021 and 2020 respectively. Charlie Wojciechowski reports.

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Mayor Touts Economic Prowess of McCormick Place

Mayor Rahm Emanuel says extension of the National Restaurant Association and International Manufacturing Technology shows means more than $1 billion in economic activity for the city.
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Two big trade shows are sticking with Chicago.

The National Restaurant Association and International Manufacturing Technology Show have extended their agreements with McCormick Place through 2021 and 2020 respectively.

The NRA's five-year extension, from 2017-2021, will bring estimated direct expenditures of $600 million, according to Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office. IMTS' two-year extension, to 2018 and 2020, is expected to add $346 million.

The NRA said it reviewed many options before settling on Chicago, and officials for both shows cited new union agreements as the main reason to stay.

"We're delighted to continue to call Chicago home — adding to the 63 consecutive years that our landmark National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show has been held here," said National Restaurant Association President Dawn Sweeney. "The labor reforms enacted have made this agreement possible."

"The dramatic and productive changes at McCormick Place have improved the exhibitor experience and the visitor experience and we are pleased to be a part of the trade show future in Chicago," said IMTS vice president Peter Eelman.

Gov. Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced in June a deal with two major unions at McCormick Place and Navy Pier to secure Chicago's trade show future.

As part of the ongoing effort to bring "labor peace" to the two convention centers, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees can now install, operate and remove equipment used for presentations in certain areas, Emanuel said. The work was once done by International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

The deal follows an October agreement allowing two major unions at McCormick Place to perform their own work in any size booth, using their own tools.

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