I guess because of the industry I love being in, not only do I attend a lot of conventions and conferences; I execute a great deal more. I am also fortunate to attend many local events in my home city as well as in lots of events in other cities as well. I have to say I do enjoy going back to cities time after time as it affords me the opportunity to experience and learn more with each visit. For instance I love visiting San Diego and discovering more and more each and every time I am there. Really you will never hear me say San Diego again ugh because, in my opinion, there never can be to many times when it comes to beautiful San Diego. I truly love working there. San Diego is a city chocked full of venues, attractions and so many other companies that work within and benefit the hospitality industry. And another thing that attracts me is the San Diego Convention Center. The first time I worked there I fell in love and the appeal has only grown over the years.
Best Convention Cities in the Good Old USA – Location, Location, Location!
The venue a convention or event is hosted in definitely counts but equally important is the city. When short listing cities to hold that future conference, meeting planners and organizers do their leg work. And in addition to wanting and searching for a city that can provide a stress free experience they also ensure the city can accommodate as many of their convention requirements as possible. They consider; delegates and the convention size, location and venues, budget friendly and affordability, activities and service companies and a whole lot more.
Some conventions and conferences are smaller city friendly while others need the larger locales to be successful. But first things first without attendance and your target audience there really is no reason for the gathering. So the city becomes a significant factor when it comes to attracting delegates and ensuring the city is easily accessible and very affordable too.
Best Convention Cities in the Good Old USA – Let the Countdown Begin!
In the last eleven years conference attendance has fallen 1.7% while convention center exhibit space has nationally expanded by 35% per Heywood Sanders, a convention center expert and professor of public administration at the University of Texas at San Antonio. In the recent small survey, Development Counsellors International asked 187 meeting planners what their “favorite meeting spots” were and the results are in:
#1 – Chicago (20.8%) – Home to the McCormick Place, number one when it comes to square footage, and located only mere minutes from the heart of downtown. Chicago is easy to get to and provides endless amounts of dining, shopping, nightlife, cultural experiences and so much more. One of the things that truly makes Chicago so special is there is so much to see and do and the city is so accommodating for everyone; adults, kids and families alike.
#2 – San Diego (18.5%) – With one of the premier meeting and conference facilities, the San Diego Convention Center is located by the harbor in sunny downtown San Diego. Recognized for its blissful weather, beaches and family friendly atmosphere there really is so much see and do! And with a collection of incredible attractions, restaurants, nightlife and don’t forget about the water sports, arts and culture San Diego is a great locale to host a convention.
#3 – San Francisco (18%) – The Moscone Center is easy to get to and located in the heart of urban San Francisco’s downtown area. Any time spent in this beautiful city is time well spent. The city is filled with 49 miles of culture and beauty that ultimately equals happiness. Take the time to explore some of the finest museums, galleries, attractions and dining and don’t forget about the famous cable cars and checking out the Golden Gate Bridge!
#4 – Las Vegas (16.3%) – The Las Vegas Convention Center, number three when it comes to square footage, is located in downtown historic and exciting Las Vegas. Well known as world class facilities and home to some of the largest tradeshows and conventions worldwide. Las Vegas where people meet offers an easy to get to city that literally has everything. If you can name it you can find it here in viva Las Vegas. And don’t forget “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”!
#5 – New York (14%) – Known for accommodating top special events, tradeshows and conventions and committed to outstanding experiences. It has been said that “There is no better world stage then the Javits Center”. As the saying goes New York is so special they named it twice. And nothing measures up to this city. Whether it’s the first time or the tenth time, New York is a city worth discovering. Filled with the best of everything, it is a city second to none.
The USA is filled with lots of great cities with outstanding convention centers to choose from and all unique in their own way. Location and venue selection is based on individual planners and delegates needs and wants. Providing exceptional experiences and practices is the first step to success. Hit the comment button and let us know what your favorites are.