It is important for startups or established companies to “find the best fishing pond” and target the best possible options to increase traction (sales, promotion and connections) and the city where trade and industry conventions are made is of great importance. Chicago with it’s many convention centers and world renown McCormick Place should be on your list!

Chicago holding steady at No. 3 among top convention cities
Jul 26, 2018

McCormick Place remains Chicago’s largest venue for conventions and meetings.

Chicago is holding steady as the third-ranked market in Cvent’s 2018 list of the Top 10 cities for meetings and conventions in the United States that was released Thursday.

Cvent, a meetings and conventions management technology provider, has produced an annual list of top convention cities since 2012.

But the bad news for the Windy City on the convention front is that it continues to trail two much smaller (in size anyway) cities that remain powerful forces in attracting meetings and conventions.

Orlando was the No. 1 city on Cvent’s 2018 list, followed by Las Vegas in second place.

Both cities, of course, are located in parts of the nation with much more temperate climates than Chicago has. And both over the past decade have ramped up their convention marketing efforts while expanding facilities available to host sizable conventions.

Chicago also must continue to look over its shoulder at up-and-coming meeting destinations such as San Diego (ranked No. 4), Atlanta (No. 5), Dallas (No. 6) and Nashville (No. 7).

Orlando, which repeats in 2018 as Cvent’s top meetings and conventions destination, apparently isn’t content to rest on its laurels.

Noted Visit Orlando CEO George Aguel: “With new enhancements coming to our convention center and airport, as well as the addition of new venue space, attractions and exciting dining options, Orlando’s continued investment in the meetings and convention industry ensures our position as a top meetings destination.”’

Chicago, on the other hand, has responded to a downturn in large-scale conventions and meetings by focusing on attracting a larger number of smaller-scaled meetings — many of them involving professionals in various sectors of medicine. The city last fall added a more-modestly-sized Wintrust Arena to its vast McCormick Place complex to help accommodate smaller gatherings.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel hasn’t talked much in recent times about Chicago’s once-booming convention business. As he ramps up efforts to try and get re-elected for a third term, he has instead focused on splashy items like billions of dollars in airport upgrades and an underground fast-track service from the Loop business district to O’Hare International Airport that may or may not come to pass.

Still, as Cvent noted today, meeting and conventions are an economic boon to the cities that do land them, and Chicago isn’t likely to find it any easier to attract more conventions as the competition heats up.

Added Chris McAndrews, vice president of marketing for Cvent Hospitality Cloud: “With meetings representing more than 13 percent of total travel and tourism spending and generating $845 billion in sales in the United States alone, they have become a major economic driver for these markets. Because of this positive impact, destinations are pulling out all the stops to attract business, and we expect to see this healthy competition continue.”

Cvent tracked meeting activity from January 2017 through December 2017 to compile its 2018 list. The rankings are based on several criteria, including unique request for proposals received, total room nights, awarded room nights, percentage of qualified meeting venues and number of profile views.


From the Chicago Business Journal:
Jul 26, 2018, 12:13pm CDT

By Lewis Lazare
Chicago Business Journal