RSNA Has Positive Impact on Chicago Economy
Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017
The city of Chicago is happy to host RSNA 2017 attendees — for a variety of reasons.For decades, the impact of the RSNA annual meeting on the city of Chicago has been deeply felt, said Marc Anderson, executive vice president of Choose Chicago, the city's official tourism organization.
"We take great pride in hosting RSNA every year," Anderson said. "Especially considering RSNA is a hometown client."
Based in Oak Brook, IL, RSNA's long-standing partnership with Chicago directly benefits the city in numerous ways, including financially. Last year alone, the overall economic impact of RSNA 2016 to Chicago was more than $128 million.
The partnership is mutually beneficial, said Steve Drew, RSNA assistant executive director for scientific assembly and informatics.
"RSNA's annual meeting in Chicago provides attendees with an exceptional mix," Drew said. "They are here to attend the world's largest scientific assembly, offering the most innovative medical science and technology, with the added bonus of visiting a world-class city where their dining, shopping and entertainment options are endless."
RSNA, which held its first annual meeting in Chicago in 1915, has made the city the permanent home of the RSNA Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting since 1955. RSNA moved the meeting to McCormick Place in 1975, and has remained at the convention center ever since.
And in a city that hosts more professional healthcare events than any other in the U.S., RSNA is in a class of its own.
"RSNA is the largest medical meeting we host in Chicago," Anderson said.
The proof is in the numbers. RSNA has more than 54,000 members from 142 countries across the globe. Each year, the RSNA annual meeting draws more than 52,000 radiologists, other imaging professionals and exhibitors who flood the city's trains, buses, hotels, restaurants and world-class attractions.
Last year, over 52,000 meeting attendees stayed a total of 122,995 nights in Chicago hotel rooms, according to Choose Chicago. They spent more than $77 million on lodging, restaurants, taxi fares and shopping, generating an additional $51 million in economic activity.
And RSNA's impact doesn't stop there, Anderson said.
"The more than 52,000 people who travel here for the annual meeting really help keep this city working," he said. "Whether it's the room attendants at the hotel, or the restauranteurs, or the cab drivers or the people at O'Hare and Midway airports, we could not be more thankful to have RSNA attendees in our city every year."
Over the years, the growth of the RSNA annual meeting has created a need to develop Chicago's event infrastructure, which, in turn, has allowed the city to evolve into the association meetings magnet it is now.
The same is true with the hotel community. The city anticipates an expansion in hotel room inventory by 20 percent between 2014 and 2018 to meet the needs of growing organizations such as RSNA. At the same time, Chicago has experienced a dining renaissance in recent years. Not only have some of the world's top chefs opened restaurants, more dining options are available at a variety of price points.
And the RSNA/Chicago partnership is mutually beneficial in one other important way, Anderson pointed out.
"With the number of hospitals and universities in a 60-mile radius, Chicago offers so much from a scientific and medical standpoint," he said. "The work that RSNA does in the medical world is very important to all of us here in Chicago."