Orlando overtakes Chicago as nation's top meeting destination

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April 2, 2019

Orlando overtakes Chicago as nation's top meeting destination


Orlando was named the country’s top meeting destination between July 2014 and June, according to Cvent, Inc., a cloud-based event management company.

The Central Florida destination reclaimed the No.1 spot, a position it last held in 2013. Chicago took the top ranking in last year’s survey with Orlando ranked second.

“To see the rankings is really a pure exercise of just how much folks chose Orlando,” said George Aguel, president of Visit Orlando, the region’s tourism authority.

The list ranks the top 50 convention destinations based on total room nights available, number of profile views, awarded room nights, percentage of qualified meeting venues, awarded requests for proposals and unique request for proposals received. Cvent evaluated more than 5,000 cities as part of the network to compile the fourth-annual list.

“Competition for meetings and conventions business continues to be very heated between destinations … to boost their local economies,” said Bharet Malhotra, Cvent Supplier Network’s senior vice president of sales, in a release.

Orlando, home to the Orange County Convention Center, wasn’t the only Central Florida city to make the list. Kissimmee ranked No. 24, holding the same spot as last year’s list.

“This year we witnessed several cities jockeying for a position in the top-50 list, with significant movement within the ranks,” Malhotra said.

Aguel said Orlando, Las Vegas and Chicago, rounding out the top three, respectively, typically compete against each other for convention traffic. The Orange County Convention Center is the second-largest convention center in the country. It trails Chicago’s McCormick Place, which offers 2.6 million square feet of exhibit space. Aguel said this ranking carries more weight than other top-10 lists because it’s measured with definable, concrete categories such as bookings and inquiries. “We’re promoting it,” he said. “We’ll talk about it all year.”

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