See how our process works at MEC. From initial sketches to renders, to models, to final build!


Time it Out! – An Exhibitors Timeline for Your Next Show

Wondering when you should start planning for your next show? Below we have outlined where you should be in your planning process and what to look forward to in the months to come. 12 Months Out – Decide on the approach, such as the amount of space needed, type of exhibit, etc. – Initiate contact with show management – Reserve Space – Choose contractors – Plan budget – Make hotel/travel reservations (or at least decide where your team will stay) – Reserve special indoor/outdoor advertising spaces 9 Months Out – Design the exhibit structure – Obtain show management approval of…


Kawaii – Trends and Designs of 2019 Series

Japanese culture has been on the rise in popularity here in the United Stated for many reasons and in many forms, one of them being “kawaii.” The Japanese word is best translated to English as “cuteness” and has grown recently into a national phenomenon and trend. When you think “Kawaii,” you should be thinking bright, colorful, and of course, cute. Anime cartoons and characters are best for exemplifying the “kawaii” movement with their facial expressions, clothing styles and general features. Think of how cute most Pokemon characters and creatures are. Take Pikachu for example; bright yellow, red and black features…


Trends and Designs of 2019 Series – Yesterday’s Tomorrow

Trends and designs can be monitored by reviewing “Shutterstock,” and here is what the New York based company predicts will be hot in 2019. Imagine the 1982 movie “Tron,” what do you picture? Do futuristic vehicles, sleek outfits, heavy blue synth-wave color patterns or maybe even light bikes come to mind? If so, then you are imagining a world called “Yesterday’s Tomorrow.” “Yesterday’s Tomorrow”  is a style defined by futurism cohesively blending with today’s digital technology. In this trend, the use of the duo-tone blue and purple gradients heavily saturate the background as a foundation for everything else. Synth-wave landscapes…


Creative Tips to Increase Booth Foot Traffic

When attendees and visitors take their first step onto the trade show floor, they are instantly hit with an enormous amount of visual and informational stimulation. Take the Chicago Auto Show for example, which is taking place this year from February 9th through the 18th. Car manufacturers from around the globe come together for the 10 day event to show off their latest and greatest automobile and technological creations. But what sets their booths apart from others? Take Jeep for example; every year, Jeep hosts one of the most interactive sets by allowing attendees to be passengers in a wide…


Drone Marketing – Do’s and Dont’s

We were just as excited as everyone else when the temperature here in Chicago had risen from negative 20 degrees to positive 10 degrees, which felt like a summer heatwave. So, naturally, we wanted to spend a little time outside enjoying the beautiful weather, and what better way to do so than by knocking of something that’s been on our marketing initiative list for a long time now; video drone marketing. There is no denying the rising popularity of drone usage in the recent years, as they are quite multifaceted; delivering your online orders, capturing cinematic footage once considered unattainable…


Trends and Designs of 2019 Series – 80’s Opulence

Trends and designs can be monitored by reviewing “Shutterstock,” and here is what the New York based company predicts will be hot in 2019. The 80’s were a time everyone remembers for one reason or another. Whether it was the slap bracelet, an After School Special, perhaps the original Teddy Ruxpin or maybe it was just jammin’ out while listening to your walkman, there is no denying the 80’s was a magical time. From the music to the fashion, the 80’s stands apart from the rest. Remember those vibrant animal prints? Clashing color patterns mixed with gold details and accessories?…


Trends and Designs of 2019 Series – Zine

Trends are monitored by MEC’s designers regularly by reviewing “Shutterstock,” and here is what the New York based company predicts will be hot in 2019. “Zine” is one of the many styles artists and designers should keep in mind when creating their next piece. “Zine” combines multiple layers in technicolor with cutout textures to give a photocopy-crop artwork design. These unique features help raw images and patterns stand out more distinctly among its digital age, more sleek opponents. Cat heads on people’s bodies – what could possibly turn more heads than this? For a full list of trends listed by…


McCormick Place Series: Wintrust Arena

  Want to take some time off after walking around the trade show floor all day? Maybe you have a night to spare and you don’t feel like going out to drink or a sit-down restaurant… Check out the Wintrust Arena, home to the Chicago Sky, DePaul Blue Demons Men and Women’s Basketball teams, as well as special events. Wintrust is in the heart of the action, right in the middle of McCormick Square. This makes it accessible for anyone going to a trade show at McCormick Place. The Wintrust was opened October 14th, 2017. Making this stadium still relatively…


Making & Saving History

  Where do you stay when you visit McCormick Place for a tradeshow? Do you stay at the Marriott Marquis? Have you ever heard of The American Book Company? In 1912, the five-story brick factory was built to hold the offices, distribution center and the warehouse to the established New York company, The American Book Company. As the years went by, the company grew, bringing in more revenue for the city. Printing and publishing became a big player in the cities’ manufacturing and it is still a big factor in our history today. Printing became a successful industry for Chicago…


Not Just Another Blog About McCormick Place

If you are reading this, you more than likely know about what McCormick Place is and you probably know where it is…so we’re not going to talk about that AGAIN. However, perhaps you haven’t been there in a while. In this blog we are going to introduce you to the “what to do and where to go” when traveling to McCormick Place for a convention / tradeshow. McCormick Place is home to two hotels…and soon to be home to another… Hyatt Regency McCormick Place Marriott Marquis Chicago Hilton (The Hilton is set to open at the end of 2018) Why…


McCormick Place Everyday Ale

The votes are in and MEC did a beer tasting for McCormick’s new ale: McCormick Place Everyday Ale. Recently, the convention center launched their beverage with a partnership with BrickStone Brewery. They established an “Everyday Ale” using ingredients around the Chicagoland area. Currently, the line was released into the local liquor stores around the Chicagoland area. So fear no more if you weren’t able to try the brew at the Auto Show! Now you can go into select Jewel Osco’s, Binny’s and Berkot’s. Here’s what the team decided… The taste was very Estery. For most of you beer rookies like…


Tradeshow Safety & Preparation: Booth Safety

Follow the fire codes and regulations of the convention hall! We all want the glitz and glam at tradeshows, our booth to stand out above everyone else’s. But with great exhibits comes great responsibility. Ensuring safety for both the staff as well as the attendees visiting the exhibit. Make sure: 1. Power cords are neatly tucked away because they are tripping hazards. Try keeping the chords at the back of the booth or underneath tables. 2.  Provide a first aid kit. This gives your guests as well as employees the access to gaze, Band-Aids, gloves and much more. Accidents happen…


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