A special meet-and-greet in Chicago

Publish Date: 
Jan 13, 2014
By Tracy Harris

IN EARLY DECEMBER a group of dealers, manufacturers and affiliated powersports companies joined us for a special Meet and Greet and a tour of Dealer Expo’s new home at McCormick Place in downtown Chicago.

Arriving Monday evening, the first stop for our guests was a reception in The Big Bar (yes, it’s really big) at the Hyatt Regency on Wacker Drive in downtown Chicago.  Then we were off to chow down on some really great pizza at Pizano’s Pizza & Pasta. We'll let the photo at right tell the story!

Tuesday morning, our guests boarded a dedicated shuttle line from the Hyatt Regency downtown to McCormick Place — the same type of shuttle that will deliver attendees to the show next December. And despite some snow the night before in Chicago, we can attest that it was still a quick, 7-10 minute run — barely enough time to finish the coffee most people grabbed on their way out of the hotel. And the shuttles dropped off everyone inside the building.

Once at McCormick, we settled into one of the many meeting rooms for a light breakfast and a presentation on the whys and wherefores of the new Dealer Expo. It included a presentation from Choose Chicago on what our new home town has to offer business visitors and a Q&A with Chicago labor representatives and leaders who came over to welcome everyone to the city.  One interesting bit we learned was that the Chicago labor pool is now so top-notch and so affordable that other cities ask them to help with their events.  

Everyone had a chance to ask questions, interact and have their concerns addressed.  

Next, the Choose Chicago contingent, led by Darrel Baker, gave our group a complete tour of McCormick Place West, which included:

  • The atrium lobby where Registration will be placed right next to the exhibit hall entrance
  • The massive exhibit hall, which will be wide open to the atrium lobby, offering a spectacular first look of the show and the New Product Showcase entryway
  • A wonderful elevated dining area, standing right above the center of the show floor, offering a 360-degree panorama of Dealer Expo, and where everyone will go to grab a bite and do some people-watching!
  • The docks – offering lots of easy access for exhibitors’ semis and their smaller vans and trucks
  • The Education and other meeting rooms just off the show lobby

After the tour, we hosted a buffet lunch — I could say “salad and sandwiches,” but it wouldn’t do justice to the beautiful presentation and quality offered by the Hyatt Regency McCormick, which is connected via a skywalk to Dealer Expo. The Hyatt offered suite and room tours afterward to anyone who was interested (and many were).

If you’re interested in a copy of the presentation and/or hearing more from the people who attended, please let us know — and we will connect you with them. Happy New Year!