The bare essentials of NPE 2000
NPE 2000 is a rare opportunity to network and explore new technologies to improve your business. But 85,000 other visitors are jamming the aisles of McCormick Place with the same objective. Here are a...
NPE 2000 is a rare opportunity to network and explore new technologies to improve your business. But 85,000 other visitors are jamming the aisles of McCormick Place with the same objective. Here are a few ideas to make the most of your time at NPE:
Explore the NPE web site, www.npe.org. It has a search engine to identify exhibiting companies by product category and a three-dimensional, interactive floor plan for locating exhibits. These two tools should help you locate the companies you must see, and plot out the most efficient route.
Peruse the trade journals. Pre-NPE coverage will highlight materials and equipment innovations, and put them in context with other developments in the field.
Take advantage of the NPE 2000 Conference. Stay a little longer in Chicago and participate in the seminars organized by the Society of Plastics Engineers. The Conference is free to paid attendees of the show, and is located in the East Building. Each half-day theme will include several presentations of about 45 minutes each. There is no pre-registration for the seminars; just drop in to the ones that interest you.
Business centres located in each building of McCormick Place will let you stay in touch while at the show. They provide copying, faxing, shipping, Internet access (America Online or Compuserve), computer rentals (U.S.$20/hr), business cards and conference room rentals. For emergencies, there’s a 24-hour Convenience Centre across from the South Building Business Centre with self-service copying, an ATM machine, vending machines, change machine, self-service faxing, stamp machines and an Internet access kiosk.
For your non-show hours, here are some long-time favorite hangouts suggested by show veterans.
Impress friends and clients by treating them to the latest dining fad–eating in the kitchen. Smith & Wollensky (318 N State St., 312/670-9900), an upscale steak house with a riverside location, has a table for 12 situated in the kitchen, so you can watch the chefs at work. “It was phenomenal. We had a great time watching the kitchen activity,” says one Chicago veteran, who cannot be named to lest all his clients demand this special treatment. Reserve early–this experience is only up for grabs once a night.
This same media-shy veteran says the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place (2233 S. Martin Luther King Dr., 312/567-1234) serves an excellent lunch.
Another option for evening dining with clients is the Chicago Chop House (60 W. Ontario St., 312/787-7100) suggests Brian Otterbein, Extrusion Systems. Ron of Japan (230 E. Ontario St., 312/644-6500) is a favorite entertaining spot of Bill Wybenga’s. Wybenga, of Brampton Engineering, also suggests Carson’s The Place for Ribs (612 N. Wells St., 312/280-9200) and Ruth’s Chris Steak House (431 N. Dearborn, 312/321-2725).
Although Wybenga professes to have no free time during the show, he turns to Blue Chicago (736 N. Clark St., 312/642-6261) to relax and listen to the blues. P.J. Clarke’s (1204 N. State Parkway, 312/664-1650) is one of Otterbein’s favorite places to relax and have a few drinks.
GETTING TO AND FROM O’HARE
To take the subway from O’Hare to downtown, follow the “Trains To City” signs (between terminals 2 and 3 on lower levels). Trains leave every 5 to 10 minutes during the day and evenings.
Returning to the airport, pick up the blue line in subway stations at Jackson/ Dearborn, Monroe/Dearborn, Washington/Dearborn, and Clark/Lake. Expect a 40 minute ride.
A more private option is Continental’s Airport Express, a van service between O’Hare International Airport and all downtown hotels and the North Shore and Oak Brook suburbs. Ticket counters are located across from baggage claim areas. A one way ticket from O’Hare to downtown Chicago (the Loop) is US$16 or US$29 round trip. Vans depart as frequently as every 5 minutes.
Taxis are available from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. from the lower level of each terminal. A ride from O’Hare to downtown takes approximately 30 minutes and cost between US$25 and US$30. Various limousine services are also available.
GETTING TO MCCORMICK
Shuttle buses will operate all day between McCormick Place and the downtown hotels. Buses serve all three buildings approximately every 10 minutes at the beginning and end of the day, and every half-hour around midday.
To use public transit, from “The Loop” area, take CTA buses 3 or 4 south on Michigan. Buses stop on Martin Luther King Dr. at the west entrance to the complex.
McCormick Place is also accessible from the Loop area by Chicago’s commuter rail line. The Metra Electric Train has two underground stations in Grant Park (Randolph and Van Buren), near the Michigan Ave. downtown hotel strip. Take the train south to 23rd/McCormick Place Station, located in the South Building. Trains run about twice per hour morning and evening rush hours, and once per hour during the day. Call the Travel Information Centre at 312/836-7000 for more information.
Taxi fare from McCormick to downtown hotels can range from US$5 to US$15.
June 19 to 23: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
McCormick Place, Chicago