What You Need to Know to Plan an Event at McCormick Place in Chicago

When McCormick Place opened in Chicago, IL in 1960, it had a special status as one of the first purpose-built convention centers in the country. Now, after 4 expansions between 1986 and 2017, it holds the title of the largest convention center in North America. With over 2.6 million square feet of exhibition space, McCormick Place also boasts 2 theaters, dozens of meeting rooms, several ballrooms, and over 600,000 square feet of meeting space.

McCormick Place hosts many conventions, trade shows, and meetings every year. Among the regulars are the Chicago Auto Show, the International Home and Housewares Show, and the National Restaurant Association Annual Show.

Location and Contact Information

McCormick Place is located on S King Drive in Chicago.

Street Address: 2301 S King Drive, Chicago, 60616

Web Contact: https://www.mccormickplace.com/about/contact-us/

Sales: sales@mccormickplace.com

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Booking Information

As North America’s largest convention center, McCormick Place Chicago, has a vast array of options for meetings, conferences, and other events. Even so, earlier is always better when it comes to booking event space. Aim to start the process at least 18 months in advance of your planned event date to make sure you can secure the space you need.

To submit an RFP: https://www.mccormickplace.com/book-event/

Rooms and Spaces

For comprehensive information, including room sizes and dimensions, and an interactive virtual tour, click here.

McCormick Place West Building

  • 470,000 square feet of exhibit space
  • 61 meeting rooms, totaling 250,000 square feet
  • Skyline Ballroom – Chicago’s biggest ballroom at over 100,000 square feet, plus extensive pre-function space
  • Rooftop gardens – Over 10,000 square feet, including covered and uncovered outdoor spaces

McCormick Place South Building

  • 840,000 square feet of exhibit space
  • 43 meeting rooms, for a total of 156,000 square feet of space
  • Two ballrooms – The Grand Ballroom (33,740 sq ft) and the Vista Ballroom (21,365 sq ft)
  • Skybridge to Lakeside (east) building

McCormick Place North Building

  • Two exhibit halls totaling 705,500 square feet of exhibit space
  • 29 meeting rooms
  • Grand Concourse Lobby, with 35,836 square feet of flexible space
  • Skybridge to Lakeside (east) building

McCormick Place Lakeside Center (East Building)

  • Two exhibit halls totaling 580,00 square feet of exhibit space
  • 40 meeting rooms, totaling 141,000 square feet
  • Lakeside Ballroom – 44,754-square-foot ballroom, which can be subdivided into two rooms
  • Aerie Crown Theater – 4,188 seats
  • Landscaped outdoor deck with views of Lake Michigan
  • Skybridge to south and north buildings

Wintrust Arena

  • Sporting arena (the McCormick Place Events Center) with seating capacity for 10,387
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Event Types at McCormick Place

The event calendar for this Chicago venue is always brimming because it can accommodate virtually any kind of event, thanks to its large and diverse array of spaces. The four separate buildings are designed to function independently and also to complement one another. Each single building can comfortably accommodate a mid-sized event, while larger events can spread across multiple buildings.

Exclusive and Preferred Vendors and Services

Food and Beverage

Telecommunications, Internet, Networking, and Cable TV Services

Electrical Services

  • Some services are provided in-house by McCormick Place.
  • Event planners can choose from a list of approved service providers for some electrical services.
mccormick place chicago

Amenities

Amenities available at this event venue include:

  • Food courts: Along with brands such as Starbucks and McDonalds, McCormick Place offers a range of in-house catered cafés and restaurants.
  • Information desks: Located in the south, west, and east buildings
  • FedEx Office business center: Printing, document finishing, postage and shipping services, plus computer rentals and laptop docking stations
  • First aid: Each building has a first aid station, staffed by licensed medical professionals. All stations are fully equipped, including automated external defibrillators.
  • Lactation suites: Private areas for nursing mothers, located in the east and west buildings. Free Mamava app download required.
  • 24-hour amenities: Vending machines and ATMs are available 24/7 in the west and south buildings.

Other amenities include gift shops, shoeshine service, and free basic Wi-Fi in public areas.

Nearby Accommodations

Chicago’s McCormick Place is attached to several hotels, and there are over 2,400 hotel rooms directly connected to the venue. Hotels near McCormick Place include:

  • Hyatt Regency® McCormick Place
  • Marriott Marquis Chicago
  • Hilton Garden Inn™ Chicago McCormick Place
  • Hampton Inn Chicago McCormick Place
  • Home2 Suites by Hilton® Chicago McCormick Place
  • Jaslin Hotel
  • Wyndham® Chicago South Loop

Accessibility at McCormick Place

The Chicago venue complies with all ADA-required permanent accommodations.

  • All buildings have a designated drop-off point with ramped curbs and automatic entry doors.
  • With few exceptions, all rooms and theaters are wheelchair accessible. (A small number of limited-use rooms are not wheelchair-accessible.)
  • Restrooms, elevators, first aid stations, and restaurants are accessible.
  • Trained service animals are welcome at McCormick Place.
  • McCormick Place has an in-house provider of wheelchair and scooter rentals, Scootaround.

For more information about ADA accessibility at McCormick Place, click here.

Transportation and Parking

Parking: There are three parking lots at the venue, all of which include ADA-accessible parking areas. Some overnight parking is available, and a limited number of guaranteed parking spots can be purchased online. In total there are 5,800 parking spaces available within walking distance of the venue.

Click here for more information about on-site parking.

Train: The Metra Electric Line and South Shore Line both stop at McCormick Place. The venue is also served by the Cermak-McCormick Place Green Line public transit.

Bus: McCormick Place is served by the McCormick busway, which connects the venue to hotels and other services in downtown Chicago.

Divvy Bike Program: McCormick Place participates in the Chicago Divvy Bike Program, which provides 24-hour passes to rent bikes at designated locations around the city.

Click here for more information about public transportation options.

mccormick place chicago

Public Safety & Security

McCormick Place’s own security service patrols public areas of the buildings. Some events may require additional security services, and event planners are responsible for hiring any they need. When extra event security is required, the McCormick Place Security Department will work with the event planner to ensure the event’s security.

There are so many fantastic events in Chicago, IL. Will you choose Chicago for yours? If so, we can help make sure it’s unforgettable for your attendees. Contact ProGlobalEvents today!

Jack Connolly

Executive Creative Director

As an experiential creative director, Jack prefers to draw outside the lines. He tells stories with original content and impactful design to ignite meaningful conversation.

 

Jack brings 20 years of event industry knowledge to ProGlobalEvents. He specializes in building live & virtual platforms for audiences to connect, engage and immerse themselves in the power of a shared experience. His skills range from ideation and concept development to defining an attendee journey through storytelling and design.

Jack understands the creative process is not linear, but a collaborative process between agency and client. He manages teams of designers and technology developers to pioneer impactful brand experiences. His diverse skillset and leadership ensure for award-winning results and memorable impressions.

 

In 2019, BizBash named Jack one of the top event designers in North America. SXSW awarded his work the “People’s Choice in Innovation” in 2021.

Jerome Nadel

Chief Marketing Officer

Jerome Nadel is Internationally experienced design-led marketing executive (CMO and GM) with a track record of improved market position, revenue growth, and M&A. He is an advance degreed psychologist and user experience product/service design expert, board member and advisor.

 

Prior to joining ProGlobalEvents |ProExhibits |XtendLive, he has had a variety of chief marketing officer and chief user experience officer roles at companies including Rambus, BrainChip, Human Factors International, SLP InfoWare, Gemplus, and Sagem. He started his career in the IBM Human Factors Labs.

 

He is also an avid cyclist with National and multiple California State Champion titles.

Ivan Fujihara

Chief Financial Officer

Ivan brings 25+ years in senior level management experience from a variety of technology industries.  His background includes accounting management, analytics and audit management for technology companies.  He has worked with companies such as THX, Ltd, Recruitology , Double Click, Creative Labs and more.  Ivan has also served on the board of Lincoln Families, a non-profit that supports East Bay children with the objective of disrupting the cycle of trauma and poverty.

Matt Rulis

Vice President of Sales

Matt is a marketing professional and has been managing marketing strategies, campaigns and environments for a diverse client base for over 15 years. From a service perspective, Matt and his team of Account Executives focus on fostering relationships to uphold a greater than 99% customer satisfaction rating year-over-year. Additionally, with extensive experience on the client-side of the industry, he understands that alignment between expectation and budget is paramount to a successful project. As a result, ProGlobalEvents' clients can expect a competitive advantage paired with top quality products and services. Matt is an avid fly-fisherman, enjoys most outdoor activities and is a true college football fanatic.

Tom Foley

VP of Operations

Heading the fabrication side of ProGlobalEvents is exhibit and event industry veteran, Tom Foley. For over 35 years he has been responsible for building amazing exhibits and environments for clients. Tom started out in the production area and has broad experience in project and operations management. He currently oversees production, warehouse, graphics and project management departments. Tom studied machine tool technology and welding before entering the industry. As a true "builder" he also enjoys restoring and modifying classic American cars.

Dick Wheeler

President

Dick serves as President of ProGlobalEvents and President of ProExhibits and is a board member of CEMA (Corporate Event Marketing Association). At ProExhibits he has been nationally recognized as an innovator and driving force in the fast-growing trade show exhibit and event industry. Under his leadership in 1997, the firm received INC magazine’s INC 500 award as one of America’s fastest-growing companies. His informative articles on developments and innovations in the trade show exhibit and event industry have appeared in national trade publications. Dick has a B.S. degree from Wittemore School of Business & Economics at the University of New Hampshire and has completed the Entrepreneurial Executive Leadership Program sponsored by MIT, YEO and INC. He is actively involved in Vistage, an interactive group of over 20,000 CEO’s and presidents worldwide and is a member of CEMA and EDPA.

Jody Tatro

Chief Executive Officer

In addition to being CEO of ProGlobalEvents, Jody is also the CEO of ProExhibits. With Jody at the helm, the company has been recognized repeatedly as one of the Top 50 Women Owned Businesses in Silicon Valley. She has set the outstanding client service standards for which the firm’s account management team is noted. Jody is a recipient of the YWCA’s Tribute to Women Award, the Junior League Community Volunteer Award and is listed in Who’s Who of Women in Business. Following her graduation from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Jody held various sales positions in several technology companies.