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Las Vegas lands third, behind Orlando, Fla., and Washington, D.C., for top convention destination

The Las Vegas Convention Center is seen May 17th, 2012.

Top U.S. Convention Cities

 In this July 22, 2011 file photo, fans are seen outside the San Diego Convention Center during the second day of the Comic-Con International 2011 convention held in San Diego. Launch slideshow »

Las Vegas Convention Center

The Las Vegas Convention Center is seen May 17th, 2012. Launch slideshow »

A global meetings and event management technology company that connects convention and meeting planners with the places that host them has listed its 50 top meeting destinations in the United States — and Las Vegas doesn’t top the list.

Cvent, a McLean, Va.-based company that offers a variety of web-based software to assist 10,000 customers in 90 countries, placed Las Vegas third on its list of the top cities for meetings, conventions and events. Orlando, Fla., and Washington, D.C., came in ahead of Las Vegas despite its high marks for available hotel rooms, average daily room rate, available exhibit space and relatively low rental car rates.

The cities bested Las Vegas because the company's judging criteria relied on the number of bookings and requests-for-proposals made through the Cvent Supplier Network. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority works with a number of similar companies that help deliver groups to Southern Nevada, not just Cvent.

In making its determinations, Cvent considered the total number of rooms booked through its network, the number of unique requests-for-proposals sent through the marketplace to venues within the city, the total value of requests-for-proposals submitted and the actual awarded value for meetings booked.

Cvent’s list of cities, released this morning, offers a number of comparisons between Las Vegas and a growing number of rivals working to lure convention business away.

The rest of the top 10 cities that fell behind Las Vegas were Miami, Chicago, San Diego, Phoenix, Atlanta, Dallas and New Orleans.

Orlando's Orange County Convention Center

Orlando's Orange County Convention Center - North Building Launch slideshow »

Although Las Vegas doesn’t have the most hotels among the cities listed in Cvent’s top 10, it has, by far, the most hotel rooms. Cvent’s inventory shows Las Vegas with 152,275 rooms in 355 hotels. Phoenix has the most hotels with 597 while Orlando has the second-highest number of hotel rooms with 144,125.

Las Vegas also had the largest amount of exhibition space with 3.2 million square feet, thanks primarily to the city having three of the 10 largest convention centers in the country. They are the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Sands Exposition Center and the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

Walter E. Washington Convention Center

Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C. Launch slideshow »

Chicago has 2.6 million square feet of space, and Dallas has 1 million square feet.

The city also is home to the largest ballroom at 624,000 square feet. The next largest ballroom is located in Orlando: 105,000 square feet.

Of the top 10 venues, Las Vegas has the lowest average daily room rate at $99 a night, according to Cvent. Orlando was a close second at $103 a night. The highest rate among the top 10 were Washington, D.C., and New Orleans, each at $202.

Orlando and Atlanta had an average daily meal cost of $56. The Las Vegas average was $71, shared by Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Phoenix; San Diego; Dallas; and New Orleans.

Cvent reported that Las Vegas had an average weekly rental car rate of $281. That ranked fourth behind Phoenix ($220), Orlando ($232) and Chicago ($236). The highest car rental rate among the top 10 was in Miami at $501.

Other convention venue rivals for Las Vegas that made the top 50 included New York (11); Denver (15); San Francisco (16); Los Angeles (17); Anaheim, Calif. (31); Long Beach, Calif. (42); Newport Beach, Calif. (46); and San Jose, Calif. (50).

Cvent also listed Henderson separately on the list at No. 39, even though Henderson works in tandem with the LVCVA.

Earlier this year, Cvent also produced a list of the top 100 hotels to host conventions and meetings, and 14 Las Vegas properties made the list. Listed in the top 10 were the Venetian and Palazzo (5), Aria (9) and the MGM Grand (10).

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  1. In being McLean, Va.-based I wonder how unbiased Cvent really is.