Chicago Auto Show is On For July

Judy Williams, Editor
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chicago auto show returns
The return of the annual Chicago Auto Show is one of many major trade shows returning to the show floor throughout the U.S., a clear sign that the road “back to normal” is well underway.

In July, the Chicago Auto Show will wheel into McCormick Place, the first convention to gather there since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the news, predicting that this is the start of a “new beginning,” with many more gatherings expected to take place this summer with necessary safety precautions. For the first time since 1901, the show will be held both indoors and outdoors.

“On behalf of the retail auto industry in Chicago and Illinois, we’re thrilled for the opportunity to reopen McCormick Place with a special edition of the Chicago Auto Show,” David Sloan, Chicago Auto Show General Manager, said. “This special edition show, to be held July 15-19, marks McCormick Place’s first large convention to take place in Illinois since the onset of the pandemic, hopefully setting the stage for the months to come.”

Following last week’s announcement of Expanded Phase 4 regulations, the City’s Bridge to Phase 5 of reopening, and the ongoing downward trend in COVID-19 cases, the state and city have united to provide guidance for events returning later this summer.

“We have seen steady progress in recent weeks with a downward trend in our leading COVID metrics and more and more people stepping up to get vaccinated, which is so important in getting us out of this pandemic,” Dr. Allison Arwady, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said. “That has made this exciting day possible.”

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Working closely with health and tourism officials, McCormick Place and the Chicago Auto Show have developed mitigation strategies to safeguard every attendee, beginning with a lower overall capacity for attendees. Other safety measures include:

  • a move to Hall F in West Building with 470,000 square feet of indoor space and 100,000 square feet of outdoor space;
  • timed entrance windows and staggered entry to prevent congestion on the show floor and at arrival;
  • requirement to wear face masks at all times;
  • sanitization stations throughout the venue;
  • contactless delivery for tickets;
  • temperatures will be scanned, and a medical questionnaire must be filled out before entry is allowed into the event.

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“We stand committed to providing a safe environment for all involved and will carefully adhere to the health and safety protocols and guidelines set forth by city and state officials. McCormick Place is an important economic engine for our city and state, and we take very seriously the responsibility that comes with helping to get it running again,” the Chicago Auto Show’s Sloan said.

McCormick Place holds GBAC STAR accreditation, the gold standard for health and safety in the industry, and in January, Choose Chicago and McCormick Place launched Healthy Meetings Chicago, an interactive, digital platform to illustrate the attendee experience when arriving for a meeting, convention, or event in 2021 at McCormick Place and to emphasize the facility’s health and safety measures.

Reach David Sloan at dsloan@drivechicago.com or (630) 424-6055