WITH AN ABUNDANCE OF FLOOR AREA, plenty of separate meeting rooms and hotels rooms, convention centers are ideal for large groups in need of space to sprawl. There are many standouts across the nation, but this list from meetingsource.com takes a look at the best in the business. These 25 convention centers have the most convention visits, according to a report from the Travel Industry Association of America, the National Business Travel Association and the Institute of Business Travel Management. Looking for an exciting venue in a busy city? Check out these options.
1. MCCORMICK PLACE // Chicago, Illinois
Nestled close to Lake Michigan, this convention center boasts nearly 3 million visitors each year.
2. LAS VEGAS CONVENTION CENTER // Las Vegas, Nevada
The Las Vegas Convention Center features more than 3.2 million square feet and state-of- the-art amenities. A conference here gives guests space and time to gamble.
3. WASHINGTON CONVENTION CENTER // Washington, D.C.
With a plethora of tourist attractions and national treasures, Washington, D.C. (and its new convention center) tops the list at No. 3.
4. ORANGE COUNTY CONVENTION CENTER // Orlando, Florida
Located in the city’s bustling tourism district, the Orange County Convention Center boasts 7 million square feet, which includes 2.1 million square feet of green space.
5. GEORGIA WORLD CONGRESS CENTER // Atlanta, Georgia
This Atlanta-based convention center also features the 71,250-capacity Georgia Dome and the 21-acre Centennial Olympic Park, making it an especially enticing venue for attendees.
6. KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON CONVENTION CENTER // Dallas, Texas
Nobody does it bigger than Texas, and this convention center is no exception featuring more than 2 million square feet and a number of different breakout areas.
7. THE MOSCONE CENTER // San Francisco, California
Transportation to this convention center is a breeze with access to the subway and light rail in the middle of downtown.
8. NASHVILLE CONVENTION CENTER // Nashville, Tennessee
Close to the Nashville International Airport and three interstates, the Nashville Convention Center features more than 118,000 square feet of floor space and 25 meeting rooms.
9. SAN DIEGO CONVENTION CENTER // San Diego, California
Sitting on downtown San Diego’s glistening harbor, the convention center here is a boon for meeting planners with 2.6 million square feet.
10. ERNEST N. MORIAL CONVENTION CENTER // New Orleans, Louisiana
Recently renovated, the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center makes a huge impact on the New Orleans community. The sixth largest convention center in the U.S. has 1.1 million square feet.
11. COLORADO CONVENTION CENTER // Denver, Colorado
Guests of this convention center never forget the big blue bear peeping into the facility but the main attraction is the 63 meeting rooms, which host 250-plus events every year.
12. HENRY B. GONZALEZ CONVENTION CENTER // San Antonio, Texas
Located on the east bank of San Antonio’s gorgeous River Walk, this facility sees 750,000 convention visitors from around the world every year.
13. PHOENIX CONVENTION CENTER // Phoenix, Arizona
Boasting a recent expansion, this facility now has 900,000 square feet of meeting and event space, and features Arizona’s largest ballroom.
14. LOS ANGELES CONVENTION CENTER // Los Angeles, California
Opened in 1971, this downtown-located convention center expanded from 210,685 square feet of exhibit space to 720,000 square feet.
15. JOHN B. HYNES CONVENTION CENTER // Boston, Massachusetts
Conveniently located 4 miles from the airport, the John B. Hynes Convention Center has a comfortable 360,000 square feet of space.
16. PENNSYLVANIA CONVENTION CENTER // Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Almost 250 events take place here every year and a recent $787 million expansion grew the space by 62 percent, making it the 14th largest in the U.S.
17. MINNEAPOLIS CONVENTION CENTER // Minneapolis, Minnesota
With an award-winning catering service, state-of-the-art technology and 87 meeting rooms, the Minneapolis Convention Center can host groups as small as 30 to as large as 10,000.
18. AUSTIN CONVENTION CENTER // Austin, Texas
This LEED Gold-certified building sits between Lady Bird Lake and Sixth Street, with easy access to Interstate 35 and 6,500 hotel rooms.
19. JACOB K. JAVITS CENTER // New York, New York
The city that never sleeps is home to the Javits Center, which hosts highend events such as fashion shows and celebrity benefits every year.
20. WASHINGTON STATE CONVENTION CENTER // Seattle, Washington
Seated in the heart of downtown Seattle, the center includes on-site parking, a plethora of services and many eateries.
21. RENAISSANCE CONFERENCE CENTER // Detroit, Michigan
Recently redesigned, the facility now features modern décor, state-of-the-art amenities and 20,000 square feet of space.
22. TAMPA CONVENTION CENTER // Tampa, Florida
Beautiful views are just one perk of this 600,000-square-foot space. Located on the Riverwalk, the facility is adjacent to the Sail Pavilion, a waterfront bar and performance space.
23. AMERICA’S CENTER CONVENTION COMPLEX // St. Louis, Missouri
Four separate facilities share 502,000 square feet of exhibit space: the Cervantes Convention Center, the Edward Jones Dome, the St. Louis Executive Conference Center and the Ferrara Theatre.
24. RIVERSIDE CONVENTION CENTER // Riverside, California
With historic downtown’s Spanish Revival architecture as its backdrop, this multi-million-dollar facility gives planners 65,000 square feet of space to work with.
25. GEORGE R. BROWN CONVENTION CENTER // Houston, Texas
Access to the Hilton Hotel via sky bridges, a full-service kitchen and on-site parking are just a few reasons this Houston center rounds out the list.