Chicago Prepares for Event Industry Recovery with Health Meetings
February 25, 2021
The city of Chicago is getting ready to lure back meetings and convention business in 2021 with a little help from digital technology. Launched Jan. 21 by Choose Chicago in collaboration with the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, Healthy Meetings Chicago is an interactive digital platform designed to showcase the health and safety advantages of hosting events at the McCormick Place Campus. Currently available in Phase 1 for desktop or laptop viewing, the new platform illustrates the extensive new protocols and processes put in place by the city’s convention center and hospitality industry to ensure the safety of its guests, according to CVB officials.
“Welcoming delegates and event attendees back responsibly remains at the core of our mission and client partnerships,” said Glenn Eden, board chair of Choose Chicago. “This comprehensive program is designed to provide our partners with the tools to take full advantage of the significant steps McCormick Place, Chicago’s two airports, host hotels and our industry have taken to create a safe experience.”
Designed to model the journey an attendee will experience upon arriving in the city for a future meeting or event, the interactive digital walkthrough begins at either at O'Hare International Airport or Chicago Midway International Airport. It then continues “using” the city’s many transportation options (including rideshare, taxicabs and public transit), checking into s hotel, arriving at McCormick Place and exploring the city’s attractions and dining options. Meanwhile, digital modules highlight the advanced sanitation and health measures taking place at each step along the way.
The CVB touts safety measures including UVC lights technology and HEPA air filtration systems, sanitized and cleansed airplanes on-site COVID testing and touchless check-in at the airports,.
Once on the McCormick campus, event participants can also feel reassured that the Marriott Marquis Chicago has been certified by Marriott International’s Commitment to Clean protocols, and by the presence of six on-site hygiene managers and the use of electrostatic cleaning methods at Hyatt Regency McCormick Place.
“The team at McCormick Place has been working tirelessly to ensure that we meet and exceed best practices,” explained Larita Clark, CEO of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority.
As they digitally explore McCormick Place, event planners and future attendees will learn about the facility’s use of science-based cleaning system, Kaivac, in highly trafficked areas, and that each expo hall possesses its own individual ventilation system to circulate outside air in. The facility ensures that each event is customized to group needs, focusing on simplifying registration and the event execution process while upholding health and sanitation standards.
Lastly, a final section of the digital platform provides an overview of post-meeting recreational activities, including numerous outdoor dining options and indoor attractions abiding by the CVB’s Tourism and Hospitality Forward safety measures.
“While much has changed, what has not is supporting our clients, their delegates and exhibitors leading to the successful planning and implementation of organizing and hosting a major convention, trade show or meeting,” said David Whitaker, president and CEO of Choose Chicago. “Healthy Meetings Chicago will be at the core and an initial building block of fulfilling that pledge and responsibility.”