Three convention centers in Las Vegas made the top of the Wall Street Journal top 30 convention centers list, based on overall space, amenities and convenience. Who else made the list?
The Las Vegas Convention Center topped the recently released Wall Street Journal’s ranking of the top 30 convention centers in the U.S. The Venetian Convention and Expo Center also made the top 10, coming in at number three, while the Mandalay Bay Convention Center came in seventh.
It’s no surprise that the LVCC came in first in the overall rankings, which are based on overall meeting and convention space, amenities and convenience. It has 2.5 million square feet of exhibit space, 4.6 million square feet of space overall, including 225 meeting rooms. Like its fellow highly ranked Vegas convention centers, the LVCC is just minutes from the Las Vegas’s Harry Reid International Airport, has 150,000 hotel guest rooms nearby, and is close to the wide variety of entertainment and activity options available on The Strip — though you may have to rely on motor transport to get to some of them, which dropped the LVCC to 25th in the walkability category.
Another meeting and convention staple, Chicago’s McCormick Place, came in second overall in the WSJ convention center rankings. The San Diego Convention Center came in fourth in the overall rankings but rocketed to first place in the “city and surrounding area” category and came in 5th for walkability. Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center rounded out the top five in the overall rankings. The rest of the top 10 include the Georgia World Congress Center (6th), the Phoenix Convention Center (8th), the Seattle Convention Center (9th), and Dallas’ Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center (10th).
Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania Convention Center topped the walkability list, and the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., also made the top of the walkability list, but was dinged for its number of meeting rooms, meal price, and arts and entertainment options in the overall rankings. If you’re looking for reasonably priced food and beverage, Salt Lake City’s Salt Palace Convention Center came in at the top of the list for centers with the best-priced meals. The International Exposition (I-X) Center in Cleveland also scored well on the affordable meals category and came in first for airport accessibility. However, it came in dead last in the overall rankings due to limitations in meeting space, hotel availability, walkability and food availability.
Also on the tail end of the overall rankings were Houston’s 706,000-square-foot NRG Center, which came in 29th, though it done come in 15th in the exhibition space category. San Antonio’s Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center came in 23rd on the overall rankings, despite scoring high in arts and entertainment, food availability and meal cost.
The Wall Street Journal ranked the largest U.S. convention centers across 12 categories overall, including venue space, amenities and convenience as well as the city and area surrounding the convention center. Seventy percent of the overall rankings depending on how the center scored on spaces — the total space, exhibit space and number of meeting rooms — amenities and convenience. The latter include drive time to the airport, distance to the nearest dry cleaner, and the availability of outdoor space and on-site amenities such as nursing rooms and ATMs.
The remaining 30% of the overall score is derived from the density of restaurants and entertainment options, walkability of the area around the center, average meal cost, hotel guest room availability, and the total number of “pleasant days”— meaning the average temperature was between 55 and 85 degrees — each city had over 2022.
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