Chicago is tops for business meetings

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   Chicago has won the top spot among the country's objective to which the company and association meetings and event planning, according to Cvent, a technology company that connects event planners with tens of thousands of places. 

Looking at the booking data from July 2013 to June 2014, the company discovered that Chicago has edged into first place compared to the previous year, overtaking Orlando, who is now second, followed by Las Vegas. 

"This is quite significant, '" said Eric Eden, vice president of marketing Cvent, noting that it is usually difficult for other USA cities over Orlando and Las Vegas, which has a large convention center and hotel that they themselves have millions of feet meeting space. 

But Chicago has seen extensive investments in the hotel, including a major renovation of the Hyatt Regency Chicago and The Langham, he said. The fact that Chicago and other Midwestern cities more centrally located is also interesting because they may be more convenient and affordable for participants traveling from different cities. 

"Chicago is very attractive especially for association meetings as they try to draw their membership from across the country, '" Eden said. "It's not just hotel rates that may be more competitive than some other locations. But because it is located, plane ticket and the total cost for people to attend lower than if the person had to fly from one coast to the other. '"

Awareness of these costs shows that while meeting and event activity has bounced back after falling significantly during the recession, businesses and organizations will still keep their pursestrings, occasionally hold meetings in hotels near the airport or in the suburbs to curb spending. 

"This meeting is how to get business done, so that the organization should continue to have 'their', Eden said." But there is a lot of focus on financially responsible. '' '

Chicago is not the only Midwestern, or more centrally located, the city grew more popular in the past year. Dallas moved to No. 7, and Nashville jumped four sports to 10. 

"A lot of goals were not as great as investing in a way that is interesting and do a lot of marketing to attract business, '" Eden said. "Nashville is a good example. . . It is attractive to many planners because you have a new nature, there is a new experience and the convention center is not as expensive as other, larger goals. '"

Convention centers, hotels and visitor bureau properties vying to buff up, increasing entertainment options and offer incentives to event planners as host meetings or corporate events can be vital to the city treasury and hotel. 

"For most hotels, meetings and events about a third of their business, and overall, meetings and events is a huge economic driver for many cities," said Eden. 

Meetings can be more profitable for individual travelers rather than hotels because the tab accrued from catering and audio-visual aid along with other services. 

For the cities, "it is not only hotel revenues, '" Eden said. "It's revenue that goes to restaurants, shopping and entertainment. '"

Tourism generates nearly $ 5 billion per year for the Nashville-area economy, and 40% of the revenue derived from meetings and events, said Heather Middleton, spokeswoman for the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation. 

"This is an easy city to host the meeting, '" he said. "And having the cultural .''...

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