The NMMA announced the Discover Boating Chicago Boat Show is moving from McCormick Place to the Donald E. Stephens Convention & Conference Center in 2025.

NMMA said the move of Chicagoland’s largest boating event is the result of thorough market analysis, exhibitor demand and boater feedback, and positions the show for growth to meet the needs of the boating industry and attendees throughout the region. The Discover Boating Chicago Boat Show will take place in its new space, January 8-12, 2025. 

“After consulting with stakeholders and in-depth analysis, the best path forward is producing the Discover Boating Chicago Boat Show at the DES Convention Center,” said Darren Envall, Vice President of Midwest Boat & Sportshows for NMMA. “The more centralized Rosemont, IL location positions the show for growth, accommodating the expanding boating population across a broader Chicagoland region, from the city and surrounding neighborhoods to the suburbs and exurbs of Chicago, and surrounding states.”

The DES Convention Center will host both large and small boats and exhibitors from a multi-state area spanning Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Centrally located in the Village of Rosemont, 15 miles northwest of downtown Chicago, the DES Convention Center provides 840,000 square feet of exhibition space, is near a multitude of restaurants, hotels, shops and entertainment, and within close access to a number of major highways and public transportation offerings. The Discover Boating Chicago Boat Show joins other shows in the outdoor industry in making Rosemont its home, including the Chicago RV & Camping Show, Chicago Golf Show, and Travel & Adventure Show.

“The Chicagoland area is a hub for tourism and events, and the Village of Rosemont is no exception with its convenient location, close parking, and great amenities,” said Christopher Stephens, Executive Director of the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. “On behalf of Rosemont and the DES Convention Center, we are pleased and honored to welcome the Discover Boating Chicago Boat Show to its new home and show exhibitors and both current and future boaters all that Rosemont has to offer. We look forward to carrying on this Chicago tradition and are invested in continuing this partnership with the NMMA.”

“We look forward to hosting the Discover Boating Chicago Boat Show at the DES Convention Center, providing critical business to the recreational boating industry and continuing as the best event for consumers to see and shop the region’s largest selection of boats,” said Envall.

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