Before we know it, we’ll find ourselves amongst the hustle and bustle of the International Home and Housewares Show in Chicago. From March 10th through the 13th, 2018, more than 2,200 exhibitors will be showcasing thousands of new products at McCormick Place.
With various displays, expos, and events, there is so much to explore. To help you take on this action packed venue, we have compiled a list of tips and tricks for the 2018 Home and Housewares Show from our seasoned show “veterans,” Dan and Rachel.
Go for the Hotel with the Quiet Vibe
Since downtime is a rare resource during IH+HS, we recommend selecting a hotel with a relaxing atmosphere and slightly away from the maddening crowd. Our suggestion is the Double Tree by Hilton on Magnificent Mile. While you are here, ask for “Cookie,” she works the front desk and will go above and beyond to assist you. If you are looking for more of an upscale experience, try the Raddison Blu Aqua Hotel.
Weathering the Windy City
Make sure to check the weather prior to the show and pack with weather changes in mind. The weather in Chicago can be unpredictable, so it’s always good to have a few options to keep you warm or cool – and don’t forget an umbrella.
Pack Your Bags
Everyone has their own travel essentials, however, we have some you may not have thought of. Bring your own FedEx labels, already filled out, as the one FedEx location in McCormick can be quite a mess. This will make shipping so much faster and easier. Portable chargers are also key to keeping your devices running all day and night. Staying hydrated is vital- be sure to stock up on water bottles in your hotel room and take some with you for the day.
The cab lines outside of the McCormick Place can be unbearable. As an alternative, order an Uber. Make sure to have the Uber driver pick you up in front of the Hyatt or on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, to avoid the cab line traffic. Be sure to find out what side of the road your Uber is on if you plan on being picked up on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
Research, Research, Research
There will be a plethora of educational and networking opportunities throughout the four days of the show. It is essential to research and plan for these in advance. Topics can range anywhere from color trends to supply chain to digital marketing. On days where you are caught up in the show, you may want to assign someone to attend one of the especially relevant events for your business.
Be sure to make reservations for each night in case a business opportunity arises. You can find fine dining at restaurants like Sepia, Girl + the Goat, Spiaggia, Cindy’s Rooftop, and Alinea, and if you are vegetarian or vegan, definitely check out Bad Hunter.
Do a Little Shopping
Take time to make store visits to see how your brand is being merchandised. This is also a great opportunity to check in on how your competitors are displayed. Close to McCormick Place, you will find stores like Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Williams Sonoma.
See the City
If you have even a small amount of free time, take advantage of it by exploring Chicago! There is so much to see, from the famous Cloud Gate statue to Navy Pier. Experience the city from one of the top tours in town, The Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise. On this cruise you will be able to learn how Chicago went from a small community to one of the world’s biggest cities. Prefer to stay on land? Take a ride up to the 103rd story Skydeck at the iconic Willis Tower; if you are looking for truly panoramic city views, stop by the 1,000 feet high observation deck at the John Hancock Center. If you are tight on time, be sure to at least take a stroll through Millennium Park.
We hope that this has helped prepare you for the upcoming International Home + Housewares Show. Have any more questions regarding the show? Feel free to reach out any time: contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.