Home & Housewares Trade Show Considers Change of Venue

The show draws 60,000 visitors annually.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    flikr/mateofiero
    A shot of McCormick center.

    Yet another trade show is rumored to be ready to bolt from Chicago, continuing an alarming trend.

    The International Home & Housewares Show, which has been promoting new wares in this city since 1939 will reassess its commitment to McCormick Place.

    The show is committed to Chicago through 2012, but if changes aren’t made to the trade show cost structure it may go to Las Vegas or Orlando after than.

    "Our board members represent our exhibitors, who are critically concerned about the costs relating to labor, food and the operational aspects involved in exhibiting or attending our show at McCormick Place,"  Phil Brandl, the association’s president told the Chicago Tribune.

    "It Could be a Slow and Painful Death"

    [CHI] "It Could be a Slow and Painful Death"
    McPier Head Juan Ochoa says the city has to act fast to fix the financial problems at McCormick place.

    The head of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority said he's not surprised that the IHA would be shopping around, but said McPier would "pull out all the stops" in order to keep them as a customer.

    Juan Ochoa concedes that Chicago "has always been more expensive," but says the Windy City offers the best facilities, the best airport and "the best city that people want to visit."

    Ochoa says he's hopeful that new legislation pending in Springfield will allow McPier to achieve more transparency in its business operations.  He is also looking for the state to allow McCormick Place to resturcture its construction debt. 

    "There's only two choices.  Either we fix it and we become, yet again, the convention center of the country, or it'll be a slow and painful death," Ochoa said.

    State leaders are schedule to take up the McPier legislation as early as February.

    The Home & Housewares show draws 60,000 attendees each year and generates around $75 million for the local economy.