Establishing an identity beyond a building
In 2015, Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA) embarked on a multi-year construction project to expand their current campus to add more lodging, entertainment and event space. Hawthorne Strategy Group is MPEA’s agency of record, and saw this construction project as an enormous opportunity to enhance its perception and understanding of the campus.
As the largest convention center in North America, McCormick Place has hosted countless events and welcomed world leaders for important meetings, making
its mark as America’s premiere convention, event and meeting space. Since opening its doors in 1960, McCormick Place has continued to grow and expand its local footprint. Public impressions often focused only on McCormick Place and not the surrounding area. With hotel options, dining, a state-of-the-art rooftop garden, and the additional construction underway, it’s more than a convention center, but a campus. Our challenge was to rebrand McCormick Square’s surrounding campus, and use the opportunity to turn what was perceived as just a convention center into a destination.