How to Easily Tell If a Destination Can Handle Large Conventions

How to choose a destination

If you're planning a major meeting or convention -- one with thousands of rooms instead of dozens or even hundreds -- your phone will probably ring off the hook with offers from destinations wanting to attract your group. But not every destination that wants to host a large convention is capable of pulling one off.

To determine which destinations have the goods, responsible meeting planners typically follow an extensive vetting process that includes an in-depth analysis of cities' capacity and capabilities. Before you waste valuable time and resources, however, there's an easy way to predict whether a meeting destination will qualify for your shortlist, according to Successful Meetings Managing Editor Alex Palmer: Ask yourself whether the city has hosted a major sporting event.

"Cities that host an Olympic Games, Super Bowl, or Final Four championship not only raise their profile, but raise their meetings offerings -- growing hotel inventory, improving infrastructure, and building entirely new venues that visiting corporate groups can utilize before, during, and long after the big game," Palmer reports.

Of course, you'll still need to do your due diligence. But reviewing its history with major sporting events will give you a bird's-eye view of a destination's potential. Because if they could handle another major event, chances are good that they could handle yours, too.

Case in point: Last year's Super Bowl host, Houston.
"Houston … made a number of improvements to its convention center core," Palmer says. "The investments have helped to make Houston a more attractive destination for planners bringing groups to the city months later."

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