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Visit Chicago, Please. Pretty Please?

By Joanna Miller in News on Dec 6, 2006 9:56PM


If you don’t hear much from the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau in the next couple of months, don’t be alarmed. The bureau, which drives sales for McCormick Place and Navy Pier, is on the road, trying to find work.

It will be stopping in 10 cities to try to convince corporate and association meeting planners to book their conventions here.

Why all the palm-pressing?

"Our new emphasis is back-to-the-basics, face-to-face sales and marketing," said Mark Theis, executive vice president of the bureau. "Unlike some other bureaus with much larger budgets that do ‘spray and pray’ blanket advertising in magazines, we're rolling up our sleeves and pounding the pavement."

A refreshing approach? Spin for, “We’re broke and desperate?” We’re not quite sure.

The entire trip is expected to cost about $200,000 with United and American airlines underwriting flights and local hotel representatives paying their own way. That money would barely cover one “This is winter in Kahleefornya” spot in primetime.

The Chicago bureau’s budget is ninth in the country at $14.5 million. Las Vegas is first with $227.8 million followed by Orlando with $40.8 million.

Chicago from the Shedd Aquarium via don sorsa.