Mendacity @ McPier

All this blogging and social media over-consumption is starting to contort my vocabulary into the more banal dialect characteristic of our modern era. So when I first read that the MPEA’s Board of Directors was getting cleared out, with the 13 bodies being replaced with 7hopefully warmer ones, my immediate reply was “OMG, that’s gr8.” No, actually, that’s not how I talk.

The MPEA is indeed going through a bit of a transition period. Legislation was just passed to oust the 13 person board that oversees Navy Pier and McCormick Place operations, and legislation has recently been proposed to change the McCormick Place “union” labour pool into public employees. The 13 member McPier board is slated to be replaced with 7 appointees selected by Mayor Daley and Governor Quinn. Hmm.

One would suspect that this action came amidst a general lack of perceived impetus at McCormick – a cursory glance at  MPEA’s press release page reveals how much has been done to respond to the losses of NRA, NPE, HIMSS, and a laundry list of other trade shows still talking about leaving the convention center by 2012. Not too much, in short, has been done. The new 7 person board is tasked with bringing back shows, and attracting new ones.

The rub is that GES, Freeman and IAEE are none too pleased, publically, at this move. They’ve released statements essentially questioning how these changes will actually improve the situation at McCormick Place. Their essential dispute: aside from governing bodies deciding that they are going to take greater control of the situation, how are these moves expected to reduce costs and make McCormick Place a more profitable popular destination for trade shows?

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