The top three cities remained the same but switched places in Cvent Inc.’s annual rankings of the top 50 meeting cities. Basing its rankings on more than $8 billion in sourcing through its marketplace in 2014−15, the cloud-based event management platform has Orlando No. 1 after a one-year absence from the top spot.
“Meetings like to come to Orlando because we merge facilities with general entertainment,” says George Aguel, president and CEO of Visit Orlando. “They’re attendees and tourists at the same time.”
Las Vegas moved up to No. 2, jump frogging No. 3 Chicago, which had been ranked No. 1 last year based on 2013−14 figures. More than 5,000 U.S. cities that are featured on the Cvent Supplier Network were evaluated for the report, which tracked activity from July 2014 to June 2015.
Here are the top 10 cities based on data collected by Cvent:
2. Las Vegas
4. San Diego
6. Washington, D.C.
7. New York City
The rankings were compiled from Cvent’s predetermined criteria consisting of: unique request for proposals received; total room nights; awarded request for proposals; awarded room nights; percentage of qualified meeting venues; number of profile views.
Among the cities breaking into the Top 50 this year are Pittsburgh, Jacksonville, Florida, Tucson, Arizona, and Charleston, South Carolina. Charlotte, which moved up nine positions to No. 25, represents a few trends among meeting cities, according to Kevin Fliess, vice president of marketing for Cvent Supplier Network.
“Planners are looking for value and differentiation,” Fliess said. “Charlotte is a very modern city. All the cities that moved up continue to make investments in infrastructure, including airports and hotels.”
Fliess stressed that “attendees want experiences─they don’t just want content.” Planners are responding by selecting cities that may be world renowned travel destinations, but haven’t always been considered top-tier meeting cities.
“They are popular destinations that resonate with leisure travelers and attendees are coming early or staying a few days after meetings,” Fliess said.
For example, Austin, Texas moved up three spots to No. 17, while Tampa, Florida, climbed four notches to No. 26.
To see the complete list of the Top 50 meeting cities based on Cvent’s rankings, click here.