Thanks to a wealth of meeting facilities in so-called “second-tier” markets  – convention cities with a population 300,000-1 million – bringing together like-minded professionals can be quite cost-effective. Meeting facilities and accommodations in second-tier cities are usually more affordable than in larger markets. (Convention organizers and guests are also likely to find lower tax rates.)

Here’s three more reason to choose a second-tier (or third-, fourth-, or fifth-tier) city for your next convention.

— WARMER WELCOME: Convention and Visitors Bureaus (CVBs) in second-tier cities may be more helpful than CVBs in larger markets that are mostly interested in the large convention planners.

— CONVENIENCE: Ease of travel is important to convention attendees. If you’re hosting a regional convention, choosing a second-tier city can minimize travel times and hassles because these days, carpooling is often more efficient than flying.

— MANY HAVE FIRST-CLASS VENUES: Second-tier cities like Columbus, Salt Lake CityPittsburgh, Indianapolis and Tampa boast state-of-the-art convention centers and an impressive stock of hotels. Convention-goers accustomed to first-tier destinations will be duly impressed – and may well appreciate the change of scenery.

Check out these so-called ‘Second-Tier’ convention cities!