Gaylord Opryland, Nashville, Tennesse

Cvent has unveiled its annual list of the top hotels for meetings and events in the United States. The event management software company uses booking data from its Cvent Supplier Network to determine which properties make the list. Cvent has ranked the hotels by region, with lists for the United States; Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA); and Asia Pacific (APAC).

Naturally, there has been a bit of a shake-up since last year’s rankings were announced. The strong meetings and events industry has led to fierce competition among hotels.

“Hotels have become increasingly focused on developing more meeting and event business, and as such, have become more sophisticated in competing for the most lucrative opportunities for their respective venues,” said Kevin Fliess, vice president of marketing for Cvent’s Hospitality Cloud.

“Hotels continue to advance and expand their group marketing efforts and are increasingly embracing a data-driven approach to more effectively pursue the optimal meetings and events for their venue. This coupled with another year of notable investment in renovation and other upgrades have led to shifts in the rankings as competition remains fierce even in a robust market.”

Last year’s top U.S. meeting hotel was Omni Nashville Hotel. This year, another Nashville, Tennessee, property has taken its place.

Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville jumped from its second-place position in the 2016 rankings to take the top spot. Its 85 meeting rooms offer a total of 757,478 sq. ft. of meeting and event space. “We are proud to be a major player in continuing to make Nashville a top meeting destination,” said John Adams, general manager, Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center.

The Venetian and Palazzo Resort, Hotel & Casinos in Las Vegas took second place. In October 2016, The Venetian and The Palazzo collaborated with Sands Expo Center to host the biggest IMEX America yet. With 7,094 guest rooms and more than 2.25 million sq. ft. of meeting and event space, the combined properties make a winning event space.

Aria Resort & Casino, another leading Las Vegas property, landed in third place. At the end of 2015, MGM Resorts International announced a major convention center expansion at Aria. The $154 million project will add 200,000 sq. ft. of space to Aria Convention Center and is expected to be completed by early 2018.

The top 10 U.S. meeting hotels are listed below:

1. Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
2. The Venetian and Palazzo Resort, Hotel & Casinos
3. Aria Resort & Casino
4. JW Marriott Austin
5. Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center
6. Omni Nashville Hotel
7. The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa
8. Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego
9. Hyatt Regency Orlando
10. Mandalay Bay Resort

Notable trends:

With three properties in the top 10, more than any other city, Las Vegas maintains its position as the leading destination for conferences and conventions.

JW Marriott Austin in Austin, Texas, jumped nine spots to fourth place, making its first appearance in the top 10. The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego and Mandalay Bay Resort have also made their first showings in the top 10 this year.

The hotel chains with the highest number of properties in the top 100 should come as no surprise. The leaders are Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt.