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It's nearly 100 degrees in Chicago, and things are heating up inside the McCormick Place Convention Center, as we get ready to unveil Revolution cloud based portfolio management software to over 1000 attendees at Morningstar's annual conference. The keynotes kick off at 3:00 pm and the show floor opens at 5:30, so if you're at Morningstar, you can catch a first glimpse of Revolution in action at Booth 161, front-and-center in the exhibit hall.

And since Revolution is all about giving great access to better information for more portfolio managers and their clients, we thought we'd share a bit of insider information that we've learned since hitting the ground running here in Chi-town yesterday. Here's our hot tips for surviving the heat and making the most of your Morningstar days:

1) Be a winner. The schwag bags are great, but there are lots of ways to get a chance at some cool take-home prizes at the conference. We downloaded the Morningstar 2011 mobile app for iPhone and it's a very cool app; smartly designed and easy to use and just by downloading it, we're in the running for an iPad 2. Of course, great minds think alike. We're also offering an iPad 2 to a lucky winner that we'll announce tomorrow at 4:00, just before we head over to the cocktail reception we're sponsoring at the show. So stop by our booth (#161) for your chance to win and have a chat with our Revolution team while you're there. The stools are comfy, and that show floor is hard.

2) Venture out of your comfort zone. As we all know, good food fuels the brain, and it's worth a short cab ride from the South Loop (the McCormick Place neighborhood) into downtown Chicago to take advantage of some great restaurants. We sampled the nouveau Midwestern fare at Sable Kitchen and Bar last night (fried Wisconsin cheddar cheese curds with spicy housemade ketchup, anyone?) and we were glad we made the trek. Similarly, the exhibitors and presenters at Morningstar aim to push your knowledge envelop. So consider sitting down for 10 minutes for a demo at the StatPro booth, and check out what's on offer in the breakout sessions. We're intrigued by the session on sustainable investing -- who knew it isn't "just for hippies" anymore?

3) Get some perspective. A short walk through the maze of the McCormick complex takes you from the confines of conference space and into the green space along miles of Lake Michigan known as the Chicago Lakefront Trail.

4) Get to know the baristas. McCormick Place may be a terrific convention space, but you won't find another Starbucks within blocks -- and if you're an early riser, you want to know when you can get that first fix. So we recommend cozying up to the staff at the 'Bucks just outside the registration area and exhibit hall. Their hours match the conference's.

5) Stay hydrated. In this heat, it's important to drink lots of fluids. We'll be doing our part to ensure you take in all the hydration you need tomorrow evening at 5:30, when we'll be hosting the Morningstar cocktail reception. We hope you'll join us for drinks, appetizers and great conversation at the end of the day. We aim to make the reception a great opportunity to network, share ideas, discuss industry issues and catch up on the events of the world outside the Morningstar bubble. Will the Bruins win the Stanley Cup? Did that kid Scotty really deserve the American Idol win? Will Dodd-Frank ever really grow teethe, and if it does how hard will it bite the industry? All discussions welcome...

If you’re in Chicago this week, stop by booth #161 for more detail – we’ll be in Revolution Red uniform and ready to talk about what the technology means for the industry. And be sure to follow us on Twitter at#RevolutionMorningstar to get daily updates on the battle for better portfolio management technologies.

See you around McCormick Place!

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