Chicago gets global solar energy conference

By Wailin Wong
Posted Nov. 19, 2010 at 3:23 p.m.

Chicago has nabbed a new piece of convention business, booking a 2013 global solar energy conference that is expected to draw more than 27,000 attendees to the city.

Solar Power International is also expected to bring in an estimated $38 million in direct expenditures, the Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau said in a Friday statement. The SPI show is billed as North America’s largest solar event and brings in members of the industry such as manufacturers, installers, architects and policymakers.

“Chicago’s convention facilities were always ideal, but the reforms enacted this past spring were a game changer and a key factor in our decision to choose the city,” Brian Tully, executive director of Solar Energy Trade Shows LLC, said in the statement. Solar Energy Trade Shows is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Solar Electric Power Association and Solar Energy Industries Association, which sponsor the convention.

A number of long-standing Chicago trade shows have signed on for future years since a new law took effect in May that aims to reduce costs and hassles for exhibitors at McCormick Place. But this is the first major new show to choose Chicago since the overhaul of convention center operations began.

Earlier this week, the National Restaurant Association announced that its trade show, one of the most important for the city, will stay in Chicago through 2016. The group said it would be closely monitoring how the changes play out in practice at the convention center. Other major groups that have recommitted to Chicago are the Biotechnology Industry Organization and the International Housewares Association.

“I am pleased that our reforms have given way to a renewed commitment and focus on growing the visitor industry which will bring more revenues, business and jobs to our great state and city,”  Gov. Pat Quinn said in a statement.


Comments are closed.