• Commercial Real Estate
  • McCormick Place loses 2 more events

    The National School Boards Association canceled an April conference at the convention center, and tech giant Salesforce will make a May event virtual.

    Eric Allix Rogers/Flickr

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    March 12 update: 79彩票注册网址Salesforce followed suit Thursday. The tech giant announced its Salesforce Connections conference, slated for May 4-6 at McCormick Place, will be held virtually instead.

    The meeting was expected to draw 8,000 attendees and account for more than 11,000 hotel room nights, according to MPEA. It's the first cancellation at the convention center for an event scheduled in May.

    79彩票注册网址The move brings the total estimated attendance of canceled events to about 123,000 and the number of canceled room nights to around 140,000.

    EARLIER:

    79彩票注册网址The coronavirus outbreak has canceled another upcoming conference at McCormick Place, the convention center's fifth event called off in the past nine days.

    The National School Boards Association said in a statement it has canceled its 2020 annual conference, which was slated to be held at the Near South Side venue April 4-6.

    "Given the circumstances of the evolving coronavirus and the disease it causes (COVID-19), which has been classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization, we are unable to hold the meeting this year," the NSBA posted on its website. "The association’s most important priority and commitment is to protect the health, well-being, and safety of all our annual conference attendees and participants, and the communities served by NSBA’s members."

    The Alexandria, Va.-based NSBA was expected to host nearly 8,500 attendees at its event and generate nearly 23,000 hotel room night stays, according to the Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority, the agency that owns and operates McCormick Place. The cancellation adds to decisions79彩票注册网址 last week and earlier this week by four other companies and associations that would have brought more than 100,000 people to the convention center and generated tens of thousands of hotel room nights.

    The run of nixed events is delivering a big setback to the convention center and the downtown hospitality market. Major events at McCormick Place in the three months ending in May were projected to generate $460 million in local economic impact, according to tourism bureau Choose Chicago. A significant portion of that has now eroded as groups continue to call off meetings and conferences because of the outbreak.

    Another upcoming meeting held by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics—expected to draw 10,000 attendees April 1-4—is also in question. The Reston, Va.-based trade group said in a March 11 statement on its website that it "will continue to monitor the situation" and is in contact with McCormick Place officials "to help ensure the health and safety of all conference attendees."

    Other events slated to be held in large downtown hotels and at Navy Pier in the days ahead have also been canceled.

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