HR Conferences In Chicago? You Might As Well Shoot Me Now

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Apr 7, 2016
This article is part of a series called Classic TLNT.

Editor’s Note: As I wind down my time as Editor of TLNT — I’m leaving in a few weeks— I wanted to share some of my favorite TLNT posts. Here’s one from June 2013.  

I cringed when I heard that SHRM’s 2013 Annual Conference and Exhibition (from June 16-19) was going to be held in Chicago.

Yes, I have a love/hate relationship with the Windy City. I love the people, the restaurants, the vibrancy, the Bears, but I hate the weather, the airport, the convention center, and most of all, how Chicago seems to enjoy funding its civic excesses by sticking it to out-of-town visitors.

I griped about all of this last fall when the HR Technology conference was held in Chicago one last time (before heading to Vegas for the foreseeable future) in a post titled HR Tech 2012: Why I’m Glad It’s Finally Moving Out of Chicago

My main gripes were about the hotel room rates that seem to be approaching New York levels, and the highest tax burden on visitors of ANY city in the country, but it’s more than that.

Why I hate conferences in Chicago

  • McCormick Place, the city’s convention center, is a hulking, cavernous building that seems to swallow up events. More importantly, it’s not near anything and a pain to get to. There’s only one hotel by the convention center (the Hyatt McCormick Place), so just about no one stays near the conference, meaning attendees get a lot of rides in buses or cabs. Cities with more functional convention centers (like San Diego or Atlanta) have enough lodging nearby so that savvy conference goers can stay within walking distance of the event. Unless you have a death wish, this is not an option in Chicag
This article is part of a series called Classic TLNT.
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