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Technology is augmenting face-to-face meetings rather than replacing it.

Conventions and meetings bring business travelers to cities and create an economic impact.

For the past three years, Orlando and Chicago have vied for the number one position as the top U.S. city for meetings, with Las Vegas closing in. Also, it has been the same 20 cities in the top 20 in the same period with Texas boasting the most cities — Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio for a single state.

Cvent pulled data from its platform that caters to hotels, tourism boards, and convention and visitor’s bureaus (CVBs) to evaluate more than 5,000 U.S. cities from July 2014 to June 2015. The criteria included unique request of proposals received, total room nights, awarded request for proposals, awarded room nights, among others.

Austin advanced the most out of all cities and climbed three places from twentieth to seventeenth while New Orleans fell three places to twelfth place, same rank in 2013. Although hotels increased by 15 percent increase in this group, 2015, nine out of twenty cities didn’t do enough to even out the supply and demand for meetings and events at venues with lodging.

The largest convention centers in America by square footage based on Statista’s 2014 data are in the top three cities McCormick Place, Chicago at 2.6 million square feet; Orange County Convention Center, Orlando at 2.1 million square feet; and Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas at 1.94 million square feet. However, this capacity doesn’t necessarily contribute to dollars for hotels, local businesses, and cities.

According to the last Convention Industry Council report, 85 percent of meetings in the U.S. are hosted at venues with lodging that generated more than 275 million room nights annually.

The Top 20 U.S. Destinations for Meetings

Ranking City Name Change from 2014 Total Number of Hotels
1 Orlando, FL 1 450
2 Las Vegas, NV 1 167
3 Chicago, IL -2 149
4 San Diego, CA 1 206
5 Atlanta, GA -1 173
6 Washington, D.C. 2 117
7 New York, NY -1 446
8 Dallas, TX -1 614
9 Nashville, TN 1 130
10 Phoenix, AZ 1 129
11 Miami, FL 2 116
12 New Orleans, LA -3 125
13 Denver, CO 1 99
14 San Francisco, CA -2 174
15 San Antonio, TX 0 271
16 Boston, MA 1 77
17 Austin, TX 3 161
18 Scottsdale, AZ -2 74
19 Houston, TX -1 362
20 Los Angeles, CA -1 134

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Tags: cvent, meetings, meetings and events

Photo credit: Cvent Connect convention for hotels, tourism boards and meeting planners at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Cvent

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