Feb 1, 2017

Another successful NAIAS in Cobo Center puts more than 3,500 people to work

The increasing number of major events in Cobo Center means jobs for Metro Detroit

DETROIT February 1, 2017 -- Claude Molinari, general manager of SMG/Cobo Center, today announced that more than 3,500 people were employed during the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Cobo Center.

Included in that total are all of the union employees that come into Cobo Center to work during major events for security, janitorial, food and beverage and the construction of the exhibits and displays.

“We have doubled the annual number of stagehands hired to set up theatrical displays in event exhibits,” said Molinari. “And I had a representative from another union tell me rather recently that for the first time in many years, none of their members had to file for unemployment during the summer because of the work available in Cobo.”

Increasing demands for WiFi and Internet services also required an increase in workforce during the 2017 NAIAS. The first Press Preview day realized peak capacity for the show at near 600MB, nowhere near the 10G Internet capacity possible in Cobo Center. Technology crews were brought in from various local companies to increase support for the more than 50,000 unique clients enjoying the free WiFi during NAIAS, moving almost 9Terabytes of data traffic without interruption. According to records, this is a 22% increase on technology requirements for the show over last year.

Part of the mission of the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority, the governing body of Cobo Center, is to “maximize positive economic impact, creating region-wide jobs and expanding business opportunities for the benefit of business stakeholders and the local community.”

“Cobo Center is an economic engine for the Metro Detroit region, and we take our mission to provide local jobs by booking more events very seriously,” said Molinari, “every department has set goals to accomplish just that. More events in Cobo means more employment for the region and an improved quality of life for the workers.”

NAIAS and the Cobo Center executive team are currently negotiating a second, long term contract to keep the auto show in the center. The first five-year contract signed in 2012 ended this year.  Additionally, SAE International just signed a seven-year contract that will keep the SAE World Congress Experience in the facility through 2025.

“SAE International is proud to continue being a part of the transformations taking place at Cobo Center and in Detroit.  We view our relationship with Cobo as a partnership that is integral to the success of WCX - The World Congress Experience.  It’s not a coincidence that our event is evolving in much the same way as both Cobo Center and the city have evolved – utilizing unique technologies and professionalism, built around an atmosphere of networking and hard work - to attract the best from around the world,” said James Forlenza, group director of SAE Events.  “We look forward to working closely with the Cobo team for years to come.”


About Cobo Center: With 723,000 square feet of exhibit space, Cobo Center boasts one of the largest contiguous exhibit floor spaces in North America and is the 17th largest convention center in the country.  Visit online at www.cobocenter.com

About SMG: Founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to 233 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theaters, performing arts centers, equestrian facilities, science centers and a variety of other venues. With facilities across the globe, SMG manages more than 15 million square feet of exhibition space and more than 1.5 million sports and entertainment seats. SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming, construction and design consulting, and pre-opening service. . For more information visit www.smgworld.com.

About the DRCFA: On 9/15/09, operational control of Cobo Center transferred to the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority, under a collaborative agreement by the Michigan State Legislature, the City of Detroit, and Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. Each of these entities has an appointed member on the DRCFA Board. Larry Alexander is Chairman the Board as the member appointed by the Governor of the State of Michigan. For more information visit: http://www.drcfa.org/