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Be Part of The Midwest Clinic

Chicago’s McCormick Place West is a superb new conference facility, which serves as a perfect venue for The Midwest Clinic.  Among the many benefits, it provides a state-of-the-art exhibit area with significantly more floor space than the exhibit halls at our previous location.  The exhibit hall offers clear sightlines, high ceilings, and a simple layout—making it easy for attendees to explore various exhibits in a short period of time.

Along with the improved and expanded exhibit hall, attendees can now enjoy concerts in the elegant Skyline Ballrooms with excellent acoustics, and clinic sessions in comfortable, professional meeting spaces.  The Midwest Clinic is pleased to make all of this available to our attendees in a world-class conference center.

Why did The Midwest Clinic move?
McCormick Place West allows us to offer a more comprehensive and pleasant environment for our attendees.  In recent years, the annual conference has grown causing our former headquarters at the Hilton Chicago to become very crowded.  For example, events at the 2008 conference were spread among six different sites, with participants traveling from building to building often by foot and experiencing long lines and crowded spaces.  The move into McCormick Place West enabled us to offer all of our events under one roof, allowing attendees to attend more clinics and concerts in greater comfort.  It also provides us an opportunity to add new features and create more exciting programs to better serve music educators—all while preserving the truly special character and spirit of The Midwest Clinic.

Can you tell me more about McCormick Place West?
Chicago's new conference center is “the preeminent meeting facility in the country.”  The $800 million addition to the McCormick Place complex is located at Cermak Road and Martin Luther King Drive just south of Chicago’s loop.  It provides superior quality meeting space to host the entire conference and allows additional room for long-term growth.  The entire facility was designed with attendees’ comfort in mind, featuring abundant natural light, a simple layout, and bright, open spaces.  The clinic rooms, performance halls, exhibit halls, registration area, restaurants and food court are all located in proximity to each other.  There are also comfortable lounge areas throughout the building.  An open central concourse enables attendees to view all levels, so that they never feel cut off from the rest of the venue.  A covered transportation center and a centralized taxi drop-off area are located right in the center of the action.  An indoor 1500-space parking garage is also incorporated within the structure.  The Midwest Clinic reserves the entire building during our annual conference.

How did the move benefit exhibitors?
In the past, exhibits were split among separate five separate exhibit halls on two different levels.  At MPW, all exhibits are housed in a single hall on one level, located directly across the main concourse from the largest performance venues.  The exhibit hall accommodates up to 50% more booths than our former spaces combined.  Because of the extra space, any returning exhibitor who wants to reserve additional booths can do so.  All booths are 20 square feet larger than at the Chicago Hilton (10’x10’ instead of 8’x10’), and all aisles are two feet wider.  The exhibit hall has a 40 foot ceiling and features its own food court so that exhibitors and attendees can have lunch or a snack without leaving the exhibit hall.  We've also incorporated a large participant's lounge with comfortable seating and refreshments just outside the entrance to the exhibit hall.  All of these upgrades enable attendees to visit with more exhibitors in less time.

What did the move mean for my costs?

Most of the rental, service rates and costs have remained the same or even decreased, due in large part to how much more efficiently service personnel can operate at MPW (thanks to such features as multiple loading docks, more service elevators and on-site storage facilities).  Detailed cost information is available with the exhibit contracts.

What are the union regulations at McCormick Place?
The union regulations are the same at McCormick Place as with other important meeting spaces in Chicago.

Has the conference schedule or exhibit hours changed?
The conference schedule and exhibit hours are based on the conference offerings each year, including exhibitor setup, tear-down, and display hours.  The Midwest Clinic also offers dedicated exhibit time throughout the conference.

How are booths assigned?

Exhibit space is assigned at the sole discretion of The Midwest Clinic with consideration given to booth configuration, seniority, classification, date of contract submission, and the perceived educational value of the exhibit to our conference attendees.

Where do exhibitors stay?
Exhibitors can stay at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place connected to MPW by two indoor walkways.  Exhibitors can reserve rooms at the same time they order exhibit space.  Because we are not opening the Hyatt to general attendees, we can keep this reservation period open longer than in the past.  Exhibitors who wish to stay at other hotels can make reservations directly with the official conference hotels open to attendees, or elsewhere.

Where do attendees stay and how do they get to McCormick Place West?
In addition to the Chicago Hilton, many other excellent quality hotels offer Midwest Clinic room blocks.  Please consult the “Housing for the Midwest Clinic” tab on our website for more information.   Complimentary shuttles run from our official conference hotels for those attendees who book their rooms in the Midwest Clinic room block.  Guests staying at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place will not receive a complimentary shuttle pass.  In the future, several additional hotels are expected to open near MPW and will become available to our attendees.

Is there anything else I should know?

The Midwest Clinic Board of Directors recognizes the special connection that the clinic shares with its devoted attendees with the deepest respect for that connection and for the tradition and history of this event.  Just as, the move to the Sherman House Hotel in 1947, and the Chicago Hilton in 1973 expanded the prospects of the Midwest Clinic, the move to McCormick Place West in 2009, created unprecedented possibilities.  We are excited that you can join us for our annual conference and are grateful for your support.