Healthy Meetings Information
Welcome to the McCormick Place healthy meetings resource page. As the world continuously battles the pandemic, below, you will find the ongoing measures McCormick Place is taking to ensure the health of everyone who enters our facilities.
McCormick Place is Open for Business
The number one priority of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA) has always been and continues to be the health of our employees, clients, and guests. McCormick Place has worked closely with public health officials during the pandemic and follows all guidance regarding meetings and events. Now that McCormick Place is again hosting events on campus, our team continues to actively update our practices following federal, state, and local guidelines.
Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority Partnered with Choose Chicago in Launching the Healthy Meetings Chicago Online Portal
The McCormick Place team has worked diligently to ensure healthy meetings for everyone. In addition, the staff has established and maintained a cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention program to minimize risks associated with contagious agents, such as coronavirus, influenza, and the common cold. This interactive, digital platform showcases what an attendee will experience when arriving for a meeting, convention, or event in 2021 at McCormick Place and highlights the campus’s health measures.
McCormick Place Healthy Meeting Efforts
McCormick Place examined all the buildings on campus and implemented changes to enhance public health to ensure a healthy experience.
While McCormick Place was closed during the pandemic, our team upgraded our entire campus and achieved Global Biorisk Advisory Council’s GBAC STAR Accreditation — considered the gold standard in the industry. Only 70 convention centers in the United States have received this accreditation.
In addition, McCormick Place:
- Added new technology, such as increasing the number of touch-free, automatic doors and allowing non-automatic doors to be propped open to minimize touches by guests and staff
- Incorporated new signage and processes for elevators and escalators
- Ensured the highest possible air quality by utilizing our team of building engineers who regularly verify compliance within McCormick Place and the Wintrust Arena with ASHRAE standards. This engineering team also works with Hyatt and Marriott personnel in the hotels to maintain consistent standards across McCormick Square
Cleaning of Common Areas
McCormick Place has increased the cleaning of common areas and restrooms. In addition, high-touch areas such as doors, escalator rails, elevator buttons, and elevator interiors are cleaned regularly throughout each day.
All cleaning and disinfecting are performed according to CDC guidelines with materials approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency for use in public areas. This process includes technology such as ozone or hydroxyl generators, electrostatic mist cleaning, and foggers.
Each event is planned carefully to ensure the health of our guests. McCormick Place follows all given state and local health protocols; the campus also offers unique alternative event styles to help cater to every size. Here are some of the ways McCormick Place has adapted to the new landscape of the convention industry:
- Increased utilization of hybrid event capabilities, including video conferences, prerecorded panels, and virtual attendance
- Use of audiovisual technology to screen a single meeting in multiple rooms
- Encouragement of social distancing, including assigned seats and organization of event halls
- Planned cleaning and disinfecting timing within an event day to allow adequate cleaning between room turnovers and deeper cleaning overnight.
MPEA Hotel Operating Standard
As global brands, the two campus hotels both operate according to the standards established by Marriott International and the Hyatt Corporation. These standards have been carefully reviewed and approved by MPEA. Each hotel has invested in public health equipment, such as air purifiers and UV lighting, and common areas have been rearranged to allow for social distancing. To further ensure the health of our guests, all hotel employees have undergone rigorous public health training.
Parking and Transportation
There are new procedures and policies for guest arrival. For those guests who arrive via car, there are changes to processes and protocols for onsite parking, including:
- Increasing the availability of non-touch payment methods for guests parking in campus self-park facilities and pre-payment services
- Increasing cleaning of equipment and space, such as ticket machines
- There will be dedicated transportation gates at each building for guests arriving via shuttle bus, taxi, or rideshare. Drop-off areas will be stationed sufficiently apart to all for crowd distribution.
Are face masks required for guests?
As the city of Chicago has reintroduced its indoor mask mandate, masks will be required for all guests at indoor events. McCormick Place will closely follow local guidelines, and should the mask mandate be lifted, mask requirement will be at the discretion of event organizers.
Will attendees be required to be vaccinated to attend?
Beginning on January 3, 2022:
- At this time, all visitors are required by the City of Chicago Public Health Department to wear a face covering while inside at McCormick Place.
- In designated food areas inside McCormick Place, visitors over the age of 5 are required to show proof of vaccination.
What will the capacity be?
Unless event organizers request reduced capacity, McCormick Place hosts events at 100% capacity.
What has McCormick Place done to increase public health?
McCormick Place has received GBAC STAR™ Accreditation. This accomplishment means that we have established and maintained a cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention program to minimize risks associated with infectious agents like the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), the proper cleaning protocols, disinfection techniques, and work practices in place to combat biohazards and infectious disease, and we have highly skilled cleaning professionals who are trained for outbreak and infectious disease preparation and response. Only 60 convention centers in the United States have received this accreditation.
What happens if the COVID case numbers get increase?
Our number one priority has been ensuring the health of everyone on our campus, and that will continue. We will follow public health guidance if the situation changes dramatically.
Are all of the McCormick Place/Hyatt/Marriott employees vaccinated?
In the fall of 2021 the MPEA mandated employees must comply with employment vaccination requirements.
Do you have any medical staff on campus?
We have a campus medical director and utilize experts on infectious disease that we consult with regarding COVID-19 and other public health issues. The medical director works closely with the other first responders on campus, including EMTs, paramedics, and security, to ensure our team is prepared for medical emergencies on campus, including infectious diseases.
If an event is canceled, how will guests be notified?
The event organizer will handle the decision to cancel an event and all subsequent communications. We will help in whatever way we can.