Las Vegas slips behind Orlando, Chicago for hosting trade shows, according to new ranking

Las Vegas has long prided itself as the top convention destination in the country, checking in at No. 1 on Trade Show Week’s rankings every year for the past 22 years.

But a Virginia-based event management company that ranks convention destinations worldwide and has nearly 16,000 customers says Las Vegas has fallen to No. 3 behind Orlando and Chicago for hosting shows.

Cvent Inc., which monitors 218,000 hotels, resorts and special events venues in 175 countries worldwide with its Cvent Supplier Network database, said Las Vegas slid one place from last year’s rankings.

Cvent announced its meetings destinations rankings Tuesday. Atlanta; San Diego; New York; Washington D.C.; Dallas; Nashville, Tennessee; and New Orleans trail the top three.

Internationally, Cvent ranks London, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Paris and Berlin as the top five in Europe with Singapore; Sydney, Australia; Kuala Lumpur; Bangkok and Hong Kong as the top five in Asia and Australia.

The new ranking is based on data gathered from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2015.

The ranking is based on the number of unique requests for proposals received from Cvent customers, total room nights available from host cities, awarded requests for proposals from Cvent clients, awarded room nights, percentage of qualified meeting venues and the number of profile views by Cvent clients.

“There’s been a lot of shuffling among the top three spots in the last few years,” said Kevin Fliess, vice president of marketing for Tysons Corner, Virginia-based Cvent.

“It speaks to the level of competitiveness among the top markets,” Fliess said. “Sometimes, it’s just how and where planners are scheduling their meetings. Sometimes it’s cyclical, sometimes it’s a matter of room availability. Sometimes, it’s the price of the room.”

Fliess said Orlando, Chicago and Las Vegas consistently jockey for the top position in the rankings and Orlando often comes out on top by marketing a family vacation to the theme-park mecca as a potential after-meeting activity for conventioneers.

Fliess said Las Vegas could improve its stock with additional hotel rooms and improvements in the city’s transportation grid, although having the airport so close to convention and meeting facilities already serves the city well, he said.

A spokesman for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority said he isn’t worried about the ranking because it’s centered completely on Cvent customers and the city fares well among all meetings sales representatives. He also said Cvent has signed contracts with Orlando and Chicago, steering more business its way.

Jeremy Handel said Las Vegas will continue to hold the Trade Show Weekly ranking in high esteem because it considers square footage sold for shows as a top metric.

While Las Vegas may have been No. 3 in the ranking, Cvent has planned its corporate gathering in Las Vegas for the third straight year next month, giving customers the opportunity to experience the city and its amenities for themselves.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Find him on Twitter: @RickVelotta

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