If I were to practice what I preach here on Spend Matters, I should have probably packed up my bags and left Chicago — not to mention Illinois — a long time ago. After all, this is the epicenter of middle-corrupt-spending-America, a place where handouts, graft, and politics go hand in hand. Consider, as I wrote in the past, the $444 per hour it costs to have forklift drivers set up booths and move equipment around at the city’s convention facilities. But it gets even worse than this when it comes to the total cost of conventions in Chicago relative to other major conference cities. As a result, companies and convention organizers are beginning to take their money elsewhere because the costs of doing business here, as you’ll see in a minute, are truly something you can swallow only when marketing spend does not matter.
According to the above-linked Chicago Tribune article, “Chicago’s well-oiled but expensive system, run by political appointees and weighed down by costly union work rules, has become a much tougher sell” to potential conference organizers and the companies coming along for the ride.