Top 25 U.S Cities for Conventions

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The 2024 Convention Cities Index (CCi), by Northstar Meetings Group, reveals that major cities nationwide have expanded their convention centers, increased hotel room inventories, and added new flights to attract large meetings and events. *The link will take you to the full report, but below is a list of only the U.S. cities.*

Here are the top 25 U.S cities for conventions:

1. Chicago

Chicago’s central location, abundant direct flights (35,000+ monthly), and the nation’s largest convention center have made it a top destination. Hotel rates have decreased from $281 to $238, while airlift has increased by 15%.

2. Atlanta

Atlanta, home to the busiest airport in the U.S., has seen a 7% rise in monthly flights (30,000). It offers two centrally located convention centers with a combined 2 million square feet of exhibit space and nearly 113,000 hotel rooms at an average rate of $195.

3. Dallas

Dallas boasts nearly 100,000 hotel rooms at an average rate of $201 per night. Airlift is up 10%, and safety has improved by 6%. The new Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center is set to begin construction this year and open in 2029, adjacent to the current 1 million square feet of exhibit space.

4. Orlando

Orlando offers more than 2 million square feet of exhibit space at the Orange County Convention Center, just a 12-minute drive from the airport. With nearly 140,000 hotel rooms and a safety score of 76, Orlando is higher than the U.S. CCi average.

5. Houston

Houston’s average daily room rate of $178 is 22% lower than the U.S. average. The city has over 106,000 hotel rooms and two major convention venues with a combined 1.9 million square feet of exhibit space. Monthly flights are up 7%.

6. Las Vegas

Las Vegas is undergoing significant renovations at its convention facilities. Mandalay Bay completed a $100 million remodel, while the Venetian and the Las Vegas Convention Center are also undergoing upgrades. Monthly flights are slightly up, and the city’s safety score is 76, but room rates average $252 per night.

7. Rosemont, Ill.

Rosemont is just a three-minute drive from O’Hare International Airport to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. Hotel rates are down 10% to $194 per night, and airlift is up 18%, making it an attractive meetings destination.

8. Denver

Denver’s room rates have decreased by 17% to $204 per night, and flights are up 4%. The expanded Colorado Convention Center now features the state’s largest ballroom and a rooftop terrace. The city’s safety score is 79, 8% above the U.S. CCi average.

9. Phoenix

Phoenix, with an average of 300 sunny days per year, has the highest safety score of all U.S. CCi cities at 84. Nearly 18,000 flights arrive monthly, and it’s a short five-minute drive from the airport to the Phoenix Convention Center.

10. Los Angeles

Los Angeles offers over 116,000 hotel rooms and nearly 17,000 direct flights per month. Room rates have decreased slightly to $245 per night, and the city’s safety score is 77. An automated people-mover will open at LAX next year, and the city is preparing to host the 2028 Olympics.

11. San Diego

San Diego’s downtown waterfront location of its convention center, just a short drive from the airport, is a major draw. The city boasts a strong safety score, which has increased by 5% over the past six months. Room rates are below the national average at $226 per night.

12. New York

New York City offers 850,000 square feet of exhibit space at the Javits Center and over 121,000 hotel rooms. With nearly 25,000 direct flights per month, airlift is not a concern, but room rates are high, averaging $441 per night, nearly double the U.S. average.

13. Philadelphia

Philadelphia’s safety score is higher than the national average, and monthly flights have increased by 24%. Hotel rooms average $234 per night. The convention center’s downtown location is conveniently close to Reading Terminal Market and the airport.

14. New Orleans

New Orleans, home to one of the nation’s largest convention centers, is enhancing its Riverfront District with new attractions. Monthly flights are up 4%, and the city’s safety score has increased by 8% to 70. The city will host the Super Bowl in 2025 for the 11th time.

15. Anaheim

Anaheim offers over 1 million square feet of exhibit space at its convention center and nearly 19,000 flights per month. It is the third-safest U.S. destination with a score of 80. A $1.9 billion expansion of Disneyland will add more attractions for meeting planners.

16. Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City features affordable room rates at $182 per night, 20% below the U.S. average. The Salt Palace Convention Center is a quick eight-minute drive from the airport, which is undergoing a $5.1 billion redevelopment. The city’s safety score is strong, and flight options are expanding.

17. Indianapolis

Indianapolis offers the lowest domestic room rates at $166 per night and 750,000 square feet of exhibit space at the Indiana Convention Center & Lucas Oil Stadium. The airport is less than 15 minutes away, and monthly flights have increased by 14%.

18. Boston

Boston’s rise in direct flights (16%) and a drop in hotel rates (19% to $303) have improved its ranking. The city’s safety score is 76, and the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center is just five minutes from the airport.

19. Detroit

Detroit has seen a significant improvement, moving up three spots. The city offers over 700,000 square feet of exhibit space at the LEED Gold-certified Huntington Place. Room rates average $203 per night, below the U.S. average, and airlift is up 13%.

20. Louisville

Louisville’s Kentucky Exposition Center is adjacent to the airport, making travel convenient. Hotel costs are down 5% to $184 per night, and monthly flights are up 21%. The city successfully hosted the 2024 Kentucky Derby with over 150,000 attendees.

21. San Antonio

San Antonio offers low room rates at $191 per night and a safety score of 77. The Henry B. González Convention Center is centrally located downtown, near the River Walk and the Alamo. The city’s travel time to the airport is minimal.

22. Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C., offers over 700,000 square feet of exhibit space and 113,000 hotel rooms. Room rates are down 5% to $264, and monthly flights have increased by 9% to over 12,000. The city now features 25 Michelin-starred restaurants.

23. St. Louis

St. Louis boasts affordable hotel rates at $180 per night and has seen a 7% increase in airlift. The city’s safety score has improved by 8%. A multimillion-dollar expansion at America’s Center Convention Complex is underway and expected to debut in 2025.

24. Miami Beach

Miami Beach combines business with leisure, offering a LEED Silver-certified convention center near the beach. Monthly flights to the city total nearly 10,000, and room rates average $237. The safety score has risen to 72.

25. Atlantic City

Atlantic City joined the index this year due to a drop in room rates (down 13% to $201) and a rise in safety (up 9% to 75). Renovations at many casinos and a $26 million boardwalk repair project are underway, enhancing the city’s appeal.

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