The convention center that’s scheduled to hold the National Sports Collectors Convention this summer will be back open for trade shows beginning in July, with health and safety protocols in place.
Officials with the Donald E. Stephens Convention and Conference Center in Rosemont say they’ll be ready to welcome the first events a few weeks ahead of the July 28-August 1 dates set aside for this year’s NSCC. The news comes just after Chicago’s mayor and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that the city would begin to open for conventions, including the annual Chicago Auto Show.
Promoters for the NSCC have indicated they would make a final decision by June 1 on whether to hold it this summer or postpone until October. Several factors will weigh into that decision but the news would seem to be a good sign that the show may go off as currently planned.
Approximately 30 trade shows and public events are tentatively scheduled between July and the end of the year.
Before the pandemic forced a shutdown last year, the center hosted around 70 trade shows and 250 meetings and social events per year. The Chicago Sports Spectacular had to cancel its show last March just as dealers were setting up their booths at the Stephens. In the months to come, only a few card shows took place across the country, most at smaller venues.
Based on Tuesday’s announcement from state and local officials about the auto show, you can expect mandatory masks and perhaps timed entry into the NSCC should the they go ahead with keeping the show’s summer date.
“The health and safety of our attendees is our highest priority,” said Convention Center Executive Director Chris Stephens. “We closely track and follow all best practices and guidance from the CDC and the Illinois Department of Public Health.”
Center officials say the facility will be accredited by the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) by the time shows resume. “GBAC accreditation is given to facilities that have established certain cleaning and disinfecting protocols that are carried out by highly trained professionals,” center officials remarked in their announcement.