McCormick Place welcomes return of in-person events

The Advertising Specialty Institute staged the first trade show at McCormick Place, Chicago, USA, since the start of the pandemic 

Tim Andrews, Advertising Specialty Institute CEO, said that vaccinated, attendees at the 13 July show had not had to wear face masks. “We were following the CDC guidelines, and we’re suggesting social distancing,” he said. 

At ASI’s last show in 2019, before the pandemic, 4,000 people had attended turnout had by 20% and Andrews said: “We came in thinking we’d be down about 50%, so I think had a very successful time, and people couldn’t be happier about being back.” 

Rich Carollo, owner of speciality printer, Lion Circle, said, like others in the industry, he’s been “waiting for this for a good year and a half now… And the people that are here, they want to do business – which is the best part about it.”

McCormick Place followed up this event by hosting the Chicago Auto Show, 15-19 July.  The absence of events at McCormick Place for the last 15 months has cost USD$3bn in economic impact losses, according to US media, to the return of the city’s leading trade fair venue is a welcome boost.