Juan Ochoa, CEO of the agency that runs McCormick Place and Navy Pier, announced his resignation today, and more big trade shows are threatening to leave Chicago. Yes, the convention business in Chicago remains in a state of flux that started back on Nov. 17 -- when the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. announced that it was moving the 2012 and 2015 NPE shows to Orlando, Fla. The latest news comes today from Craig Hinz's blog on ChicagoBusiness.com. Ochoa is getting out before reform-minded legislators in the state capital remove him. Hinz reported that the other news development today -- the new threat by more trade shows to leave Chicago -- also has a Springfield connection.
In an e-mail to lawmakers signed by officials from the National Restaurant Show, the American College of Surgeons and others, the trade officials said they "adamantly oppose" a clause in the proposed legislation that would give the new McPier the authority to have one firm as the exclusive show manager at McCormick Place. The e-mail says that the trade-show officials met via conference call to review the draft legislation and concluded that giving one contractor exclusive rights at McCormick Place would undermine the goal of lowering prices. "This clause must be removed, otherwise it negates all potential reform in other sections of the legislation," it says. Making the change "will save McCormick Place a great deal of business."Interesting how the trade shows feel like they have bargaining power on issues related to McCormick Place. Would they have made the same threat prior to SPI moving NPE?