Monday, September 27, 2010

McCormick Place Adjusting to Convention Center Rules

Photo: McCormick Place,  Chicago, Illinois

It has been widely reported that cities are losing hotel and restaurant business due to strong arm tatics of their local convention center. People were being doubly and tripply charged for services from AV, staging, lighting and other technology vendors and installers. The McCormick Place was no exception. In fact the McCormick place was one of the worst violators of convention attendee rights in the country. Here is a Chicago Tribune editorial on corruption and overcharging by unions. The costs are so outrageously higher in Chicago that large conventions are fleeing in droves. It took the state of Illinois to pass new convention center rules for the convention centers to do anything about it.

Still, most work is to be performed by the unions, but with 'labor savings'. Here is what David Causton, general manager of McCormick Place said in an interview by Bill Mickey of :
On the electrical front,when you look at the labor savings and you just take the fact that we’ve reduced the cost of a straight-time hour from $103 to $79, that’s over 23 percent savings for the customer. And since most of the billing we do is in straight time, you’re going to see that 23 percent flow through to the bottom line of the exhibitor.
On the service side, we took our competitive set that includes many of the national players and also looked at regional convention centers in the Midwest and we took every price that we offered for services and if we were below those costs of the competitive set we kept those costs; if we were not, we lowered our price to the competitive set. So from the exhibitor’s point of view, what they’re paying for the service should not be different than what they’re paying for the competition—and the electrical labor is now 23 percent cheaper.
On the food front when you go to our food courts that we operate with our in-house caterer, those costs have dropped 20 percent. When you order a catering function, those menus have dropped by 10 percent. In addition to that, for a gallon of coffee for example, we’ve lowered that cost to below our competitive set. That’s what I call the ‘All-In’price, which includes the menu price, the cost of gratuity and taxes.
While I agree that this is a step in the right direction, it still isn't enough and is it too late? After all Chicago has lost millions of dollars in convention business in 2010. Locations have already been picked for shows in 2011 and some for 2012. Chicago is no longer a 'must' on the many convention planners agendas.

Other Related Reading:

When Hotels and Convention Centers Overcharge

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Friday, September 17, 2010

Green Today Expo* 2010

Green Today Expo 2010The Green Today Expo is a two-day event which features manufacturers, designers, products and services all of which are focused on being as "Green" as possible. The Green Today Expo serves as a showcase for environmentally friendly companies and attracts not only public sector buyers but also private sector buyers in the United States.

There are many things one can look forward to at this year's Green Today Expo. The event will host a lecture and an education series as well as a multitude of seminars with experts from different fields, book signings, demonstrations and even interactive sessions. The Green Today Expo is expecting over 8,000 attendees which will include everyone from homeowners and trade professionals to retailers and print and broadcast journalists.

There are many reasons one would be interested in attending the Green Today Expo 2010:
- The green Today Expo provides a unique opportunity for interaction between eco-friendly businesses.
- It is the first eco-friendly trade show which targets all aspects of the Green lifestyle.
- Motivated event locations in the northeast and southwest United States
- Companies present are selected. well established, recognized and unique.
- Limited numbers of exhibitors per category
- Highly respected speakers featured during lecture series
- Communication with the target audience in a market that is attractive to all show attendees
- 8,000+ attendees/enthusiasts expected, including architects, interior decorators, affluent homeowners, trade professionals, green consumers, retail buyers and press

The Green Today Expo 2010 will take place on October 30-31, 2010. The event will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can go online now to purchase your tickets and passes for the event to ensure that you do not miss out.

* and are not affiliated with, or in any way authorized by, the Green Today Expo 2010 or the Las Vegas Convention Center. and are independent nationwide technology rental providers and this page in no way implies exclusivity of services at the Green Today Expo 2010 or the Las Vegas Convention Center.
If you need a BenQ Projector Rental, then is the place for you. Call us today at 800-736-8772 to get your BenQ Projector Rental.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Cellular Computer Rental Network

Get the internet at your conference, convention, trade show or corporate event for less.

Going wireless on your next computer rental is easy with a Tech Travel Agent© from Just tell us what you want to do wirelessly. We will provide everything you need without all the technical jargon. 

Rent USB Air Cards for a fraction of the cost of hotel or convention center wireless internet connection rates. Or rent a cellular device called Trade Show Internet, that can network the internet to multiple computers with one connection fee. 

There is no software to install.  We deliver a Verizon USB modem and the Router to get you on the internet immediately.  Your wireless Macbook Pro, iBook or PC Laptop will see the modem as soon as you put in the password.

You can connect up to 4 computers per Router using a standard Network Cable which we provide and/or wirelessly to the Router using your computer's wireless network connection manager.

"If you are planning on using a wireless laptop rental for a computer training class, or even a business trip, and are looking for a trustworthy Laptop Rental supplier with a nationwide network, then I highly recommend calling a Tech Travel Agent from to discuss your wireless laptop rental needs." - Ian MacCausley