by Kaylee Hultgren | April 28, 2010

The International Converting Exhibition, which recently purchased the Converting Machinery/Materials Conference Exhibition, an event that had exhibited in Chicago for several years, has chosen the Orange Convention Center in Orlando as the site of its first two ICE USA shows, in 2011 and 2013. This is the third major show to choose Orlando over Chicago in recent months, following similar moves by the Plastics Industry Trade Association and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. Former CMM exhibitors overwhelmingly approved the change because of Chicago's higher labor, electricity and Internet costs, which are particularly expensive for machinery-heavy events, according to Bob Chiricosta, director of sales and marketing for U.K.-based Mack Brooks, which owns ICE USA. "But it's not just the union issues that are the problem," he added. "It's the hotels, meals, rental cars and even taxi costs, too." More than 300 exhibitors and 5,000 attendees are expected to attend ICE USA in 2011. In other Orlando news, according to the Orlando Sentinel, the city's hotels have reported increased occupancy for the month of March, up 9 percent vs. last year.