Chicago Will Be ‘City of the Year’ Next Year Too
May 23, 2008
Chicago is a city known for culture, skyscrapers, great restaurants, lively nightlife, and a lakeshore beach in the heart of town. Barack Obama lives there and Hillary Clinton grew up in one of its suburbs. It’s the hometown of the Bears, the Bulls, the Cubs, the Blackhawks, the White Sox—and NPE. Chicago is surpassed in size by New York and Los Angeles, but—in 2008, at least—it is “U.S. City of the Year” according to Fast Company magazine.
NPE2009 will be the 19th edition of the show to take place in Chicago, and for many veterans of past NPEs, the accolade from Fast Company will come as no surprise. More than a few people from other countries have told me they look forward to attending NPE because—sorry, SPI!—it means spending time in Chicago.
The magazine named Chicago U.S. City of the Year as part of its annual listing of what it calls Fast Cities. “Fast Cities are worldwide centers of creativity that embody economic innovation and opportunity,” says Fast Company editor and managing director Bob Safian. “These cities attract the best and brightest and are great places to work and live. They are bursting with diversity—in race, in culture, and in business.”
The Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau says that Chicago hosts 35,000 trade shows, conventions, and conferences each year. It has 2.9 million residents; 16% of the U.S. population lies within a 300-mile (480-km) radius.
Getting to NPE2009 will be easy: The city is at the intersection of the U.S. highway system, and its airports, O’Hare and Midway, handle more flights per day than any other U.S. city. O’Hare is the chief hub for domestic air traffic and is served by direct flights to and from Europe, Asia, and South America.
Here’s my advice: Plan on coming to NPE2009. Try Chicago’s steaks and pizza or have a simple, outstanding French dinner at my favorite spot, Bistrot Zinc. Take in a Cubs game. See Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks at the Art Institute. But only after show hours!