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Business looking up for Chicago

According to this article in the Chicago Tribune, trade shows and conventions boosted the city’s bottom line in 2003.

"The city hosted 40 major events, drawing about 1,070,000 visitors, better than in 2002 and 2001, but still shy of the 1.2 million attendees drawn in the banner year of 2000, according to the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau.

"Adding in smaller meetings booked through the bureau, 2003 shines more brightly, with 2.18 million hotel rooms booked through the bureau, compared with 2.15 million in 2000."

But, the article added, "The outlook for Chicago's meeting business in 2004 is a little cloudier, in part because certain shows and conventions rotate between Chicago and other cities in a pattern that leads to weaker even-numbered years…But observers expect an uptick in other sorts of meeting business to pick up some slack. New regulations on corporate governance and audit procedures, for instance, likely will trigger more corporate board committee meetings and extended auditing sessions, said Ted Mandigo, owner of TR Mandigo & Co., an Elmhurst-based hotel consultancy."

Hmmm, and with all those lovely room nights come lots of lovely dollars, especially since, according to, Chicago is the second most expensive city for business travelers (only New York was more expensive).

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