Northstar Meetings Group today launched the NMG Convention Cities Index (CCi), a first-in-class study that names the best destinations for the world’s largest meetings and events. The CCi rankings reveal the top 25 global convention cities, as well as the top 25 U.S. cities.

According to the CCi, the top five convention cities in the world include: 1) Las Vegas, 2) Frankfurt, Germany, 3) Shenzhen, China, 4) Orlando, and 5) Atlanta. The top five U.S. convention cities include: 1) Las Vegas, 2) Orlando, 3) Atlanta, 4) San Antonio, and 5) Indianapolis.

“The CCi is a valuable, marketplace-first resource for meetings and event planners and, as such, a valuable opportunity for suppliers to assert their destination’s place among the world’s best,” said David Blansfield, Executive Vice President, Northstar Meetings Group. “Of note is the inclusion of risk scores in the index, which fluctuate based on circumstances, in addition to cost, capacity and accessibility considerations.”

Northstar Meetings Group developed the in-depth, proprietary ranking system for the CCi with each city’s convention center district evaluated across five weighted categories: 1) total exhibit space, 2) number of hotel rooms within a 15-minute walk, 3) average hotel cost, 4) travel time to the nearest international airport, and 5) the city’s risk level for travelers as of Jan. 3, 2020.

The complete 2020 CCi rankings – with all 25 top-ranked cities in the global and U.S. index, for a total of 50 destinations – is available now in the March 2020 issue of Meetings & Conventions and online. The comprehensive digital reference guide includes findings by category and profiles of the leading destinations.

CCi Methodology
To determine the rankings, Northstar Meetings Group conducted research based on the following sources:

  • Exhibit space based on published figures from convention venues and/or convention and visitor bureaus
  • Number of hotel rooms near the convention center, determined by using Google maps to identify hotels within a 15-minute walk (as estimated by Google Directions); followed by Northstar Meetings Group research on the current number of guest rooms in each qualifying hotel
  • Average travel time to the nearest international airport, based on Google Maps’ estimates times of normal traffic, without delays
  • Average hotel cost, from Business Travel News’ 2019 Corporate Travel Index; The Corporate Travel Index uses aggregated data on hotel costs, taxes and fees from Advito, DVI and Prime Numbers to calculate the average hotel rate (the country average was used for a few cities not included in the Index)
  • STR data and information from local convention and visitor bureaus to get the average hotel cost for a few domestic cities not included in the Business Travel News’ 2019 Corporate Travel Index (including Atlantic City, Reno and Rosemont)
  • Risk scores, also based on BTN’s Corporate Travel Index, provided by GeoSure, a travel safety app, which synthesizes data from sources such as the United Nations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization; Risk scores take into account a number of factors, including water quality, access to medical care, risk to personal safety, probability of property theft, specific incidents of violence against women and LGBTQ people, and political tensions

The CCi is a much-needed, valuable time-saver for meeting planners, noted Kevin Iwamoto, chief strategy officer for Bizly Inc. “This resource also removes the bias barriers that sometimes confront planners when their managers or stakeholders question the integrity of a destination analysis research,” said Iwamoto. “The fact that the analysis was scientifically based using weighted averages, accurate updated destination information and conducted by a trusted third party, Northstar Meetings Group, reinforces the integrity of the planner’s recommendation.”

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