Would you pay $600 to vacuum the carpet at your trade show booth -- just once? That's how much one exhibitor paid at a recent trade show at Chicago's McCormick Place. Remind anyone of the $345.39 that an exhibitor at NPE famously paid for four cases of Pepsi? The vacuuming charge is highlighted in a big investigative story in this week's Crain's Chicago Business (one of our sister newspapers), headlined "Contractors, trade associations squeeze convention exhibitors at McCormick Place." The story goes into detail about the cost of exhibiting at trade shows at McCormick Place. Instead of focusing on just the unions, Crain's Chicago's James Ylisela Jr. spent three months investigating all the issues -- especially the mark-ups charged by general contractors at the show, Freeman and Global Experience Specialists Inc. (GES). Vlisela also explores the roles that show organizers -- primarily trade associations -- have played in the McCormick costs debate. Today Crain's Chicago posted an interactive calculator on its web site that allows readers to see how much it would cost to exhibit at the convention center.
McCormick costs still sky-high -- who's to blame?
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