News Column

Who's Who of Business to Descend on Chicago

March 5, 2013

Gregory Karp

A national economic outlook conference, expected to draw some 250 chief executives and other top executives from major corporations, will be held in Chicago in November, a chance to remind influential decision-makers across the country about what the city has to offer, Chicago city officials said.

Bloomberg, the financial information services company and publisher of Bloomberg Businessweek magazine, will host the Bloomberg Business Summit Nov. 20 and 21. The planned gathering, to be announced Tuesday, is meant to attract corporate CEOs, leaders in finance and others "to engage in forward-looking conversations about disruptive technologies, newly emerging markets and trends to watch."

Norman Pearlstine, Bloomberg's chief content officer, said in an interview that Chicago was chosen because it has a strong corporate presence and business leaders who identify with the city, along with "a business community that is acutely aware of the changes that are going on in business and are adjusting well to it."

"We just think it's the perfect place, not only to launch this event, but we hope it's a place where we'll be able to build and continue in the years to come," he said.

It's the first new conference Bloomberg has created since acquiring Businessweek magazine from McGraw-Hill in 2009 and will showcase different aspects of Bloomberg, Pearlstine said. "We've never done anything of this magnitude or this ambitious," he said.

Such a conference can be good for Chicago, said Chicago Deputy Mayor Steven Koch.

"I think any time you get a large collection of decision-makers -- of chief executive officers of major corporations and major institutions -- together ... it's a great opportunity to showcase a city," he said. "It's an opportunity to talk to them about what they ought to be doing in Chicago, how Chicago ought to figure in their plans."

The significance isn't the direct economic impact, such as filling a few hundred hotel rooms, Koch said. "This is interesting by the nature of who attends it," he said. "It's one of those good opportunities for us to use it to advance the interests of the city."

Bloomberg organizers, due to be in Chicago on Tuesday, have not yet chosen a venue for the conference. Speakers and an agenda have not yet been announced.



Source: (c)2013 the Chicago Tribune Distributed by MCT Information Services


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