by Matt Alderton | August 12, 2014

The Windy City is now "The Winning City," according to meetings technology company Cvent, which today published its third annual list of the top 50 U.S. cities for meetings and events. For the first time in the list's three-year history, Chicago claimed the No. 1 spot, beating out Orlando and Las Vegas, which ranked Nos. 2 and 3, respectively.

"While Chicago's claiming of the top spot is notable, the Windy City has been working its way up the list after ranking second last year -- between Orlando and Las Vegas -- and fifth in 2012," Bharet Malhotra, senior vice president of sales for the Cvent Supplier Network, told Successful Meetings. "We attribute Chicago's success in part to recent investment in hotel and property renovations, making the city a viable competitor to major destination cities, and an interesting alternative for planners that have held countless meetings in Orlando and Las Vegas. Also helping Chicago is the convenience of its central location and competitive pricing, which are attributes that have benefited many Midwestern and central U.S. cities during the past 12 months based on activity on the Cvent Supplier Network."
The top 10 U.S. meeting destinations for this year are:
1. Chicago
2. Orlando
3. Las Vegas
4. Atlanta
5. San Diego
6. New York
7. Dallas
8. Washington, D.C.
9. New Orleans
10. Nashville
To Malhotra's point, New Orleans and Nashville -- both in the central United States - made it into the top 10 for the first time this year, while another Midwestern city, St. Louis, made the biggest jump from 2013, climbing eight spots to No. 27.
Cvent's list is based on meetings activity in more than 5,000 U.S. cities listed in the company's online directory, the Cvent Supplier Network. The complete "Top 50" rankings are available on the company's website.