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In 2009, The Midwest Clinic moved to McCormick Place West! Those who were able to attend conferences in our new home will be familiar with the beautiful new facility. However, if you will make your first visit to McCormick Place West, you may have some questions about how to make the most of your time at the conference. Below, we answer the most frequently asked questions.

Navigating the Conference

How will I learn my way around McCormick Place West?
Along with the signs and maps provided by The Midwest Clinic and McCormick Place West, there will be a Welcome Booth near the Shuttle Center where staff can help you with your conference questions. McCormick Place West is designed to be easy to navigate. If you are taking the shuttles to the conference, you will see two sets of escalators (and nearby elevators) when you leave the Shuttle Center. These will take you to the registration area. Once there, you will see the exhibit hall to your immediate left and the main ballrooms on the right. Most band and orchestra clinics are just two floors down (on the east side of the building), and the Midwest Jazz and Chamber Center can be found on the building’s west side, on the first level.

Maps will be included in the conference Program Book. If you would like to learn your way around the new venue before the conference, you can visit our online maps at

Where can I rest during the conference?
There is seating throughout the facility, including the exhibit hall, where you can sit down and relax.

After exploring the exhibit halls, where will I store all the treasures I have picked up?
Coat and bag checks will be available throughout the conference.

My friends and I had “landmarks” to help us find one another at the Hilton. How will we meet at McCormick Place West?  Thanks to the facility’s intuitive layout and distinctive artwork, it is easy to create new landmarks. Colleagues who attended earlier conferences will be able to share some of their favorite spots with you!


I plan to stay in a downtown hotel during the conference. How will I get to McCormick Place West?
If you are staying in one of The Midwest Clinic’s room blocks at an official conference hotel, shuttle service will be convenient. Details about the shuttle service are available at the Midwest Clinic Registration Desk.

Can I take the Metra to the conference?
Yes, you can. There is a “McCormick Place” Metra station on Level 2.5 of McCormick Place’s Grand Concourse. This stop is on the Metra Electric Line, which provides service between the Chicago Loop and the South Side neighborhoods. For details, please visit the Metra website,, or call Metra Passenger Services at (312) 322-6777.

Can I take Chicago public transit to the conference?
Absolutely. Public transit users can take the #3 bus directly to McCormick Place West. This bus also stops downtown on Michigan Avenue at Randolph Street and at Van Buren Street, and continues south past McCormick Place to 95th Street, stopping frequently.

There is also a Chicago “El” stop about one-half mile from McCormick Place West. You can take the El’s Red Line to the Cermak/Chinatown stop, then catch the east-bound #21 bus, or walk east on Cermak Avenue to McCormick Place West. Maps and schedules for the bus and the El can be found on the Chicago Transit Authority website: You can also reach the Chicago Transit Authority by calling (888) YOUR-CTA.

Can I drive to the conference?
Yes, and the parking is less expensive than in downtown Chicago. McCormick Place has two main parking lots, and Lot A is highly recommended for McCormick Place West. To get to Lot A from N. Lake Shore Drive, exit at 31st Street and turn right (west). Make another right turn on Martin L. King Drive, turn left on 24th Place, and follow the signs to Lot A. There is currently a $19 fee to park for up to 16 hours, and a $30 fee to park for 16 to 24 hours. For more information about driving, please visit the McCormick Place website:

Will taxis be available?
Yes. There are almost 6,000 taxis in Chicago, and drivers know when there are events at McCormick Place! During the conference, taxis will queue at McCormick Place West’s convenient taxi pick-up point on Indiana Avenue. If you are taking a taxi to the conference, we recommend telling the driver that you wish to go to the McCormick Place West entrance at 2301 S. Indiana Avenue.

To help you save money on taxi fares, McCormick Place offers a Shared Taxi Program. This program allows up to four passengers to share a taxi for a flat fare, currently $7 per person. Each passenger can be dropped off at a different destination. The program covers hotels, restaurants, and other attractions within these downtown boundaries: Roosevelt Road on the south, North Avenue on the north, Halsted Street on the west and Lake Michigan on the east. Shared rides are available throughout the conference.

If you would like to participate, tell a McCormick Place Traffic Aide on site. The Aide will help you with arrangements.

My mobility is limited. Will the conference be accessible to me?
Yes, The Midwest Clinic will be accessible to all. If your mobility is limited and you plan to use the conference shuttles, please contact The Midwest Clinic office as soon as possible so we can make sure you are accommodated.

McCormick Place West has been designed for all visitors, with accessible entrances and restrooms. Wherever there is an escalator, you will find a nearby elevator. Accessible parking is available in Lot A, and Traffic Aides can assist people exiting taxis if necessary.


Do I need to leave McCormick Place West for meals?
While you may wish to return to your favorite Chicago restaurants or discover new ones in the surrounding neighborhoods of the South Loop, Bronzeville, or Chinatown, there are plentiful dining options within McCormick Place West itself. From full service restaurants to food courts and kiosks, they are tailored to a variety of budgets, palettes, and schedules, allowing you to linger over a meal or grab a snack between sessions. You may also wish to try the restaurants in the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, which is connected to the conference site by an indoor skyway.

How can I find a restaurant near McCormick Place West?
Please visit The Midwest Clinic’s interactive Chicago map to learn more about the neighborhoods surrounding the conference and the official conference hotels. The map can be found at

With so much to look forward to, we hope to see you in December!

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