Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Pedestrians walk on Main Street in downtown Salt Lake City. For the first time, Salt Lake City ranks among the top cities nationwide for meetings and conventions.

SALT LAKE CITY — For the first time, Salt Lake City ranks among the top cities nationwide for meetings and conventions.

A new report issued by Cvent, a cloud-based enterprise event management platform, announced that Salt Lake City was ranked No. 47 on its list of the top 50 cities for meetings and events in the United States. The ranking was based on meeting and event booking activity in the Cvent Supplier Network.

Topping the list this year was Orlando, Fla., at No. 1, Chicago at No. 2, while Las Vegas ranked third. Salt Lake made the list largely because of its proximity to a major airport and increased activity in the network.

“This ranking reflects our entire community's commitment to the meetings industry and will hopefully encourage even more groups to consider Salt Lake as a destination for their corporate meetings and events, which are key contributors to our local and state economy,” said Scott Beck, president and CEO of Visit Salt Lake. "As we develop our product that (becomes) better known and better perceived by the planners, then we will continue to move up the list."

The company evaluated nearly 5,700 American cities featured on its Supplier Network to create the list. Activity was tracked between July 2012 and June 2013, and the ranking was then determined by a set of qualifying criteria consisting of unique requests for proposals received, total room nights, awarded request for proposals, awarded room nights, and percentage of qualified meeting venues.

Also new to the Cvent list this year were National Harbor, Md., Tucson, Ariz., and Coronado, Calif. Cities that fell off the list this year included Henderson, Nev., as well as three cities in the Sunshine state of Florida — Boca Raton, Jacksonville and Naples.

"There were a surprising number of cities that shifted in our list this year, highlighting the competitive nature of the meetings and conventions industry, as well as the critical role that convention and visitors bureaus play in attracting events," said Bharet Malhotra, senior vice president of sales for the Cvent Supplier Network. "Meetings and conventions are major economic drivers, generating valuable revenue for cities and local businesses that benefit from business travel.”

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: JasenLee1