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VectorDisplays.com at McCormick Place Chicago
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Tradeshow Exhibits, Tradeshow Displays, Tradeshow Booths, Chicago, IL

Chicago is a great convention city and one of our favorite places, too. It's the heart of industry and commerce in middle-America, an international city with the Merchandise Mart, the Mercantile Exchange, a thriving business district, and the largest single-building convention center in the United States, the world-famous www.mccormickplace.com. Major conventions and trade shows are also held at the Donald E. Stephen Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois and at the Schaumburg Convention Center, located with the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel.

Frequently asked questions about visiting Chicago for a trade show or convention:

Q: What do first time conventioneers need to know about visiting Chicago?
A: Chicago attracts visitors and conventioneers from around the globe. Be sure to schedule time to explore the city. Chicago is home to the Blues, "da Bears" of the National Football League, the BlackHawks of the National Hockey League, and baseball's Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs. You may also want to visit other major Chicago attractions, like:

Chicago is also home to another "biggest" record holder. The largest commercial office building in the world is the www.merchandisemart.com. With over 4 million square feet of showrooms, offices, a U.S. Post Office (with its own zip code), a CTA "L" train-stop, a currency exchange, and retail shopping space, "The Mart," is a landmark and monument to commercial trade that is alive with activity daily.

Chicago's McCormick Place is a municipal-owned facility that is operated by the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA). More than 3 million visitors and show attendees visited McCormick Place in 2008. McCormick Place is really three buildings, the South Hall, the North Building, and the Lakeside Center. The complex contains over 100 meeting rooms, the largest ballroom in Chicago, and three theaters. When combined, it contains a total of 2.2 million square feet of exhibit space is at your disposal.

The entire McCormick Place complex is linked by a pedestrian promenade, containing retail shops and food and beverage options. Show attendees at McCormick Place are about 10 minutes from downtown Chicago, most major museums, and the famous Navy Pier. With one of the largest public transit hubs just two blocks away, exploring the city is a breeze for tourists.

Your convention or exposition may also be located at the Donald E. Stephen Convention Center in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, Illinois. The Stephen Center has 840 thousand square feet of exhibition space, paid parking for 8,000 cars, and loading docks to accommodate your exhibit deliveries.

Visitors can use a sky bridge to reach parking and three hotels. This is also the home for the Donald E. Stephens Museum of Hummels, a world famous display of a thousand M. I. Hummel figurines, the largest of which is nearly eight feet tall.

The Schaumburg Convention Center is located with the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel in Schaumburg Illinois, another major Chicago suburb. This is a mixed-use, flexible convention center and exhibition facility. This space combines a ballroom and variable size meeting spaces connected to a 500-room Renaissance Hotel. The Schaumburg Convention Center is big enough to host small and mid-size groups up to 4,000 attendees. The amenities and staff support can be amazing because it is managed as a resort by Renaissance Hotels and is the only full-size convention center in the United States that is managed by a resort hotel chain.

Q: What do visitors need to know about transportation in and around Chicago?

A: Air transportation into Chicago is easy, and the airports contain convenient connections to the McCormick Place Convention Center. Chicago's two airports are Chicago-O'Hare International Airport (ORD) [link O'Hare airport ] and Chicago-Midway International Airport (MDW). Both airports connect to McCormick Place. O'Hare International is on the Blue subway Line; Midway International is on the Orange subway Line. Both trains are part of the famous Chicago "L" line. The trains run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Trains operate every few minutes during the day and every 15-30 minutes at night. Terminal 2 is the major Chicago Transit Authority hub and is just steps from your convention exhibit inside McCormick Place.

The Donald E. Stephen Convention Center is located in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, Illinois and is just three miles from Chicago O'Hare Airport. If you are arriving by car or truck, it's located four blocks off the Kennedy Expressway and near a Tri-State toll way exit.

Bring comfortable shoes to Chicago because you will want to see it all. Chicago is made for walking, with choices to connect you to different parts of town quickly. The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is a convenient, easy-to-use bus, subway, and elevated train network, including the well known "L" or "the loop." It's easy to hail a taxi to get from place to place, just like any major city, but Chicago has local options. When it's warm and the weather is nice, look for the water taxis which run along the Chicago River and the lake shore.

Chicago was also voted the best bicycling city in the U.S. The city's on-going Bike Program provides comprehensive information about city biking routes, with information, maps, parking, and more.

Here's one last insider tip that even some locals don't use. Downtown Chicago has a "PedWay," a pedestrian walkway system of underground tunnels and overhead bridges that link over 40 city blocks in the city center. It's a convenient way to travel the Central Business District and quickly link to specific buildings and CTA stations. If you are downtown in inclement weather, the PedWay is a great walking alternative.


Vector Displays is a trade show exhibit company that provides fabrication for trade show displays, trade show exhibits, and trade show exhibit stands to major shows in Atlanta, GA and around the world. To obtain a quote for your next show, contact John Monteith, johnm@VectorDisplays.com, or call us toll-free at 888-299-3119.
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