Last week, Crain’s Chicago Business reported that “McCormick Place events, attendance rise in 2011.” You may as well read the whole thing.
McCormick Place hosted more events and visitors last year than in 2010, according to new data from the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau.
The convention center had 103 events in 2011, a 12 percent jump over 2010, and overall attendance increased 2 percent to nearly 2.1 million.
The numbers are the best results in several years but still short of McCormick Place’s historic highs. McCormick Place booked its most events in 2007, with 112 meetings and trade shows. Its highest attendance, more than 3 million people, came in 2001, the earliest year for which data is available.
Overall, the amount of exhibit space used last year declined by 14 percent to 6.5 million square feet from 7.6 million in 2010.
Of the 103 events last year, 52 were trade shows or conventions — events sponsored by professional organizations and open only to professionals. Another 39 were meetings, which do not include exhibitor booths, and 12 were open-to-the-public events like the Chicago Auto Show.
Attendance at the trade shows and conventions totaled 768,685, down nearly 10 percent from 2010. But attendance at public events rose more than 9 percent to more than 1.2 million. Attendance at the meetings, which are far smaller, rose to 59,328, a spike of nearly 50 percent.
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