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January 7, 2015

Chicago Reaches Out to Event Planners with PCMA Convening Leaders Sponsorship

Last year, Cvent named Chicago the best city in the country for meetings and events. Next week, the city will host one of the largest conferences for conference planners as PCMA's Convening Leaders event kicks off after a 20-year hiatus. Chicago, in turn is taking steps to not only support the conference, but to show the industry attendees what Chicago and its workers can do for large-scale event planners.

According to PCMA, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Don Welsh, President and CEO of Choose Chicago, joined Chicago Federation of Labor president Jorge Ramirez and nine local Chicago unions representing the hospitality and building trades to announce a sponsorship for $105,000 for the conference. 

“Labor has been a partner in implementing the reforms that allow us to attract more conventions and tradeshows, and all of the resources that come with them, to Chicago,” Mayor Emanuel said in a statement. “This sponsorship is critical to helping us achieve our goal of reaching 55 million visitors a year by the year 2020. And when we reach this goal, tourism and conventions here in Chicago will support thousands of working families in neighborhoods throughout the city.”

Ramirez said that sponsoring Convening Leaders "is more than just a financial commitment from Labor. It shows that labor is committed to working with the Mayor and Choose Chicago to create a one-of-a-kind visitor experience that will bring more conventioneers and tourists to our world-class city." A significant portion of the $105,000 sponsorship came from the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters through the trade show promotion fund, which was created following the implementation of reforms at McCormick Place. “The trade show promotion fund is really an example of forward thinking by labor leaders,” added Ramirez. “This is the next generation of labor management relations.”

RELATED: Cvent Announces Top 50 U.S. Cities for Events; Chicago Claims Top Spot

“Chicago’s meetings and convention industry is experiencing its greatest transformation yet,” Welsh added. “Hosting Convening Leaders after a twenty-year hiatus signifies the commitment from labor and the reforms and service improvements at McCormick Place are making a significant and positive impact.  The more meetings and conventions we secure, the more jobs we create, which ultimately benefits labor and Chicago’s economy overall.”

Trade shows and conventions are crucial drivers of Chicago’s visitor industry. When Mayor Emanuel took office in 2011, the City of Chicago had approximately 40 million visitors a year. Three years later there are over 48 million visitors a year. In September 2014, Mayor Emanuel and Choose Chicago announced that that Chicago set multiple tourism records for the summer 2014 travel season and is on pace to achieve Mayor Emanuel’s goal of 55 million visitors a year by the year 2020 and create 30,000 additional jobs.

PCMA will run from January 11-14. More than 4,000 key influencers, including 2,000 meeting planners who each plan an average of 34 meetings per year will visit Chicago over these four days.

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