Chicago secures new business with signing of Solar Power International for 2013

Solar show bolsters Chicago's standing as a leader in renewable energy

CHICAGO - Chicago announced today that it secured Solar Power International, the largest business-to-business solar energy conference and expo in North America, for 2013 at McCormick Place. This marks a critical new piece of business. With more than 27,000 attendees, the show is expected to generate $38 million in estimated direct expenditures, signaling another milestone for the city's reformed convention industry.

"Thanks to the many positive changes in our visitor industry, we are not only maintaining current business, but we are attracting new business to Chicago and Illinois," said Tim Roby, President and CEO of the Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau. "In addition to bringing millions in revenues and showcasing our great city to visitors all over the world, this show bolsters Chicago's growing solar industry."

SPI is North America's largest solar event, drawing people from all over the globe who represent all segments of the solar value chain, including manufacturers, integrators and installers, large and small customers, architects and builders, and policymakers.

"Chicago's convention facilities were always ideal, but the reforms enacted this past spring were a game changer and a key factor in our decision to choose the city," said Brian Tully, Executive Director of Solar Energy Trade Shows, LLC (SETS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) and Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the sponsors of SPI. "Chicago has been a world leader in sustainable practices and is now becoming a leader in renewable energy generation. Chicago is leading the way and helping to power a green, job creating economy. Those benefits are available to our community in such a favorable environment for our exhibitors and attendees."

"I'm very pleased Solar Power International selected Chicago for its 2013 conference and expo, and I'm especially proud that our environmental and sustainability initiatives were a deciding factor in bringing this important international event to our great city, said Mayor Richard M. Daley. "We are committed to ensuring exhibitors and visitors alike from all over the globe benefit from conducting business in our environmentally-friendly city."

"We are thrilled to host this important new customer, and we are committed to ensuring its continued success in Chicago," said Jim Reilly, Trustee of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, which owns and operates McCormick Place. "Chicago's growing focus on sustainability and green initiatives, coupled with the premier facilities McCormick Place has to offer, make us the ideal host city for the Solar convention."

As evidence of Chicago's growing green economy, Tully cited the Exelon solar facility, which
opened earlier this year in the Pullman neighborhood. It is the largest urban solar facility in the United States. In addition, Chicago was selected for its convenient location and airports offering easy access to visitors from all over the world.

"The visitor industry is a critical economic engine for Chicago and our state, and we are dedicated to ensuring its continued growth," said Governor Pat Quinn. "I am pleased that our reforms have given way to a renewed commitment and focus on growing the visitor industry which will bring more revenues, business and jobs to our great state and city."

Other shows that recently recommitted to Chicago include the National Restaurant Association (NRA), the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) and the International Housewares Association.
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The Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau is the premier sales and marketing organization that promotes Chicago's world-class assets to a global audience to ensure the economic vitality of the city and its member business community. For more information, visit our web site at

The Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority is the municipal agency that owns and operates McCormick Place, regarded as the premier convention center in North America, and seeks to promote and operate conventions, fairs and expositions in Chicago, in an effort to strengthen the local economy. The Authority is also charged with carrying out the recreational, commercial and cultural redevelopment and operation of historic Navy Pier, which has become the Midwest's most popular tourist and leisure attraction. For more information, visit our web site at

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