Housewares Show to Look at Options Outside Chicago

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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Chicago, IL – The organizers of the International Home + Housewares Show are looking at potential new locations for their event, which has been held in Chicago since 1939.

The board of directors of the International Housewares Association (IHA) voted to explore its options in the event adequate reforms to the labor environment at McCormick Place are not in place by the time they have to sign a contract for their 2012 show.

“Our board members represent our exhibitors, who are critically concerned about the costs relating to labor, food and the other operational aspects involved in exhibiting or attending our show at McCormick Place,” IHA President Phil Brandl said in a written statement.

If the IHA, which is headquartered in Rosemont, decides the show would be better served in another city, it would be the third major trade show to pull up stakes in recent months and leave its long-time home at McCormick Place. The International Home + Housewares Show ranked 20th in the 2009 Trade Show Executive Gold 100 directory, with 775,000 net square feet (nsf) of exhibit space. The IHA said the March 2009 edition had nearly 675,815 nsf and 55,000 attendees.

The deadline for the board’s decision was not revealed, nor were the potential new venues. The Chicago Tribune reported January 20 that Las Vegas and Orlando were under consideration.

Brandl said the association preferred to remain in Chicago and was encouraged that the city and the state recognized the need to reduce the costs at McCormick Place. “We encourage all stakeholders involved in the McCormick Place business model to participate in reducing costs so that Chicago can become competitive with other viable convention centers,” Brandl said.

Reach Phil Brandl at (847) 692-0103 or pbrandl@housewares.org