January 4, 2018
One hundred and sixty-three cities were compared across six convention site selection factors: Affordability, Ease of Access, Safety, Walkability, Promotional Appeal and a new measured factor, Weather.
“We had quite a few cities enter the ranking for the first time since we added weather as a key factor in convention site selection,” said John Horchner, author of the study. “Taking this into consideration, sunny destinations like Denver joined the list.”
Besides Denver, nine cities were selected for large conventions as the best places to bring groups of 10,000 or more. The three best cities in that category are Las Vegas, Miami and San Francisco. All were in the top five last year.
Seven second-tier cities were picked for mid-sized conventions using the same criteria – the top three in that category are Charlotte, Austin, TX and new comer Providence, RI.
For smaller groups of less than 1000, Tacoma, WA again appears as a top pick followed by Silicon Valley and Chattanooga, TN, along with five others.
The top cities by maximum group sizes are:
Large: Las Vegas, Miami, San Francisco, Phoenix, Denver, New York City, San Antonio, Orlando, Dallas and Boston
Medium: Charlotte, Austin, Providence, Norfolk, Cincinnati, St. Paul and Salt Lake City
Small: Tacoma, Silicon Valley, Chattanooga, El Paso, Madison, Tempe, Portland Maine and Raleigh
For details on how rankings were determined, please visit: http://meetingsource.com/site-sourcing/determined-best-convention-city-ratings/.
Horchner, who began gathering data for the survey more than a decade ago and released it as an official ranking for the first time in February of 2017, is quick to point out the shortcomings inherent in any “best of” list, especially in making a decision as complex as selecting a location suitable for thousands of people.
“While reviewing the list is a quick way to find the country’s top convention destinations based on six very important factors to both convention planners and attendees, each event has its own set of hot buttons that only planners know. There may be cities that reinforce that message naturally.”
About MeetingSource.com: Started in 1996 as one of the nation’s first online directories for meeting and convention planners, MeetingSource.com continues to provide basic convention site selection information, annual “best of” lists and most recently, a popular platform to highlight the services of local site selection professionals.