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City Loses Another Convention

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Nov 17, 2009 6:40PM

Photo by fatalysis
Just a week after the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society announced it was moving its 2012 convention from Chicago to Las Vegas, another major convention is also bolting the Windy City for a warmer climate. Today the Society of the Plastics Industry announced they would be moving their next two conventions to Orlando, Florida. The convention, held every three years, was last in Chicago this June but will be relocating for at least its 2012 and 2015 conventions. The reason? Cost. According to CBS 2:

"At the end of the day, when I talked to the folks in Chicago, it really came down to one major issue… and that's the cost," [SPI President and CEO Bill Carteaux] said. Plastics Showcase officials the organization may save $20 million by moving to Orlando.

Bills for workers at McCormick Place are far higher than those in Orlando, since McCormick Place workers are unionized, while workers at the Orlando's Orange County Convention Center are not.

According to the Tribune, 2009's convention generated spending of $95.3 million, down from $154.7 million in 2006, largely due to a 28 percent drop in attendance. The SPI showcase had held every convention since 1971 in Chicago.