This Just In
  • SMG has been acquired by private equity firm Onex Corporation for an undisclosed sum. Onex says its acquisition of
  • SMG Holdings Inc. will close in early 2018. SMG manages 240 venues, including many of the major convention centers in the U.S.
  • Halifax Convention Centre in Nova Scotia, Canada, to debut Dec. 15 with first client event scheduled for Jan. 20, 2018. …
  • Three other events — Brides 2018, the Halifax Business Awards and the Franchise Expo —
  • also are booked for early 2018. … In all, the new facility already has 90 events on the books for 2018
  • Dan Lincoln will retire as President and CEO of the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau at the end of the year. He spent 11 years on
  • the job. COO Mike Laatsch will be interim CEO while a nationwide search for Lincoln’s successor takes place.
  • Shepard has acquired McCune Audio-Video-Lighting in a move to bolster Shepard’s presence in the western U.S. market. McCune has California
  • operations in Anaheim, Monterey and San Francisco and will be absorbed by Shepard’s AV department.

McCormick Expansion to Open Early

Trade Show Executive
January 25, 2006
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Chicago - Chicago’s Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA) has announced that the expansion underway at McCormick Place will finish ahead of schedule. The new West Building is now expected to open July 2007, eight months early. The project broke ground in Spring 2004.

            This is good news for a site that has already signed 40 events, ranging in size from 5,000 to 25,000 attendees. “This early opening will allow McCormick Place to book meetings and events that could not otherwise have been accommodated,” says Leticia Peralta Davis, MPEA’s CEO, noting that the venue is already in negotiations with several potential customers.

            Groups that have signed include a number of medical associations, such as the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Microbiology. Others include The Society of the Plastics Industry, RCG Productions and Toyota Motor Sales, USA Inc.

            These meetings will take advantage of the West Building’s high percentage of meeting space. The new facility will feature 470,000 square feet of prime exhibit space and 250,000 square feet of meeting space, resulting in a ratio of exhibit to meeting space of 1.88 to 1. According to Trade Show Executive magazine’s directory of the World’s Top Convention Centers, the national average is 3.6 to 1 but the largest ten centers are more heavily weighted with exhibit space, and have a ratio of 5.4 to 1.

            The West Building will also feature 61 breakout rooms and a 100,000 square foot ballroom that can accommodate 15 different configurations. MPEA says  it is the nation’s largest.

            Reach Leticia Peralta Davis at (312) 791-7500 or

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