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CHICAGO — GLM today announced its commitment to host the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition (IRCE), the largest and most successful e-commerce trade show in the world, 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.
“This is exciting news in a critical and growing field,” said Mayor Emanuel. “I am working every day to ensure that technology companies are growing and prospering in Chicago. 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. I look forward to hosting IRCE and their guests, and the strong economic impact that the show brings.”
IRCE 2013, which will conclude today, has experienced its largest year ever with over 9500 attendees and nearly 600 exhibitors, marking a 12% increase in both categories from the prior year. In all, this year’s conference occupied a record 250,000 square feet of space at McCormick Place West, with some of the world’s most well-known companies exhibiting, including Facebook, eBay, Authorized.net, and Adobe.
“In the last few years, Chicago has evolved into a hub of technology, with some of the largest tech companies in the world located in this city,” said Craig Dooley, Senior Vice President, 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. Officials from Choose Chicago, McCormick Place and the city of Chicago have made it clear that they not only value the IRCE conference and trade show business, but also appreciate our attendees and exhibitors, by providing us with a world-class, state of the art facility. Chicago is where our customers want to be, and it is the ideal location for this show to remain.”
IRCE has indicated that it will discuss with the city the potential to use the new events center being constructed as part of Elevate Chicago, once that facility is constructed. That events center is of the size that lends itself perfectly to small- or mid-sized shows of this type. Elevate Chicago is 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.
”We are thrilled that IRCE experienced such terrific results in Chicago,” said Don Welsh, Choose Chicago President and CEO. “Its return to Chicago for a six-year commitment is a solid testament that Chicago provides the critical elements for a successful event — central location, skilled labor, diverse hotel inventory, and unmatched dining, culture and entertainment.”
IRCE has a track record of providing second to none educational programming and has attracted some of the brightest minds and most well-known speakers in the world to present, with this year’s show including 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.
IRCE began in 2005 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago with approximately 45 exhibitors and 1100 attendees. Since that time the conference has taken place in New York, San Diego and Boston. The show returned to Chicago in 2012.
Over the next year, the IR Events Group will be bringing key aspects of IRCE to new markets through smaller, satellite conferences in Orlando, FL, and New York, NY, with plans to ultimately expand the brand globally to Asia and Europe. IRCE, as the largest conference and now anchored in Chicago every June, continues as the must attend event for all e-commerce professionals globally.
IRCE has been recognized as a “Fastest Growing Show” and as one of the “Top 250 Trade Shows” in the world by TSNN. The show was purchased in November 2012 by leading tradeshow producer, GLM.