This Just In

McCormick Place Completes Wi-Fi Upgrades for Official Launch on March 31


Chicago, IL – The upgrade of the Internet and Wi-Fi service at Chicago’s McCormick Place has been completed, and still includes basic wireless service at no charge to show organizers.

McCormick Place unveiled a new price list in January that includes complimentary basic Wi-Fi service and various levels of upgraded service for large and small events, which will be fully available to customers as of March 31.

“The new pricing includes improved wired services that in some cases reflects a 40% savings over previous pricing,” said Anthony Lopez, assistant general manager of operations. “Show managers will really appreciate the cost savings and the ease with which they can order services.”

The new wireless infrastructure underwent pre-launch testing last year and was well received by users, Lopez said. The upgrades included new hardware capable of supporting 45,000 concurrent users connected to 800 permanent access points. The building also has a stockpile of temporary access gear that can address last-minute high-density demand.

The new network also makes planning easier for show managers and for the technology staff at McCormick Place. With the equipment in place, show managers will no longer have to start from scratch when mapping out their Wi-Fi coverage. They can provide McCormick Place with an attendee count, a list of areas where demand will be high and then select the level of service they require.

“At our most recent show, PRINT 13, in September, all of the routers had been replaced or upgraded with current and robust routers and technology both inside and outside the exhibit halls,” said Chris Price, vice president of Graphic Arts Show Company. “ There was a substantial improvement In connectivity.”

Price added that the complimentary WiFi was “great for emailing and browsing, but we do not suggest exhibitors rely on this for stronger bandwidth needed for important consistent connections and presentations.”

Shows that have already nailed down their Wi-Fi and Internet requirements for upcoming shows have the option of keeping those plans in place rather than re-configuring them to the new network.

Reach Anthony Lopez at (312) 791-7000 or

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