Tradeshow producer GLM committed to hosting the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition (IRCE), a large e-commerce tradeshow, at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago, through 2020.
The six-year deal will further cement Chicago’s reputation as the new epicenter of technology and innovation in the Midwest.
“Chicago has evolved into a hub of technology, with some of the largest tech companies in the world,” said Craig Dooley, SVP, GLM and group show director, IR Events Group, which owns and operates IRCE. “IRCE has thrived every year it has taken place in Chicago, and we are thrilled to call this our home through the end of the decade. Chicago is where our customers want to be, and it is the ideal location for this show to remain.”
IRCE 2013, which wrapped up June 7, experienced its largest year with more than 9500 attendees and nearly 600 exhibitors, marking a 12 percent increase in both categories from the prior year.
This year’s conference occupied a record 250,000 square feet of space at McCormick Place West, with Facebook, eBay, Authorized.net, Adobe and more exhibiting. IRCE’s educational programming attracted presentations from former Vice President Al Gore; Hiroshi Mikitani, CEO and chairman of Rakuten; Mindy Grossman, CEO of HSN, Inc.; and Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comScore.
”We are thrilled that IRCE experienced terrific results in Chicago,” said Don Welsh, president and CEO, Choose Chicago, the official DMO for the city. “Its return is a solid testament that Chicago provides the critical elements for a successful event — central location, skilled labor, diverse hotel inventory, and dining, culture and entertainment.”
IRCE will discuss with the city the potential to use the new events center being constructed as part of Elevate Chicago, a $1.1 billion program that will create 10,000 construction jobs and 3,800 permanent jobs as part of the redevelopment of McCormick Place and Navy Pier.
“The fact that the largest e-commerce show in the world is locating here through 2020 is direct testament to the city’s leadership in this field,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “I look forward to hosting IRCE, its guests and the strong economic impact the show brings.”
IRCE began in 2005 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago with approximately 45 exhibitors and 1100 attendees. Returned to Chicago in 2012, IRCE was also hosted in New York, San Diego and Boston.
Over the next year, the IR Events Group will be bringing key aspects of IRCE to new markets through smaller, satellite conferences in Orlando and New York with plans to ultimately expand the brand globally to Asia and Europe.