. Northstar Meetings Group to Launch Industry-First Convention Cities Index | Northstar Meetings Group

Northstar Meetings Group to Launch Industry-First Convention Cities Index

The proprietary ranking system will reveal the best destinations for the world’s largest events.

Northstar Meetings Group is publishing the NMG Convention Cities Index (CCI), a first-in-class study that will reveal the best destinations for the world’s largest meetings and events. NMG developed an in-depth, proprietary ranking system for the CCI, with each city’s convention center district evaluated across five weighted categories: total exhibit space, number of hotel rooms within a 15-minute walk, average hotel cost, travel time to the nearest international airport and the city’s risk level for travelers.

The CCI rankings, to be released in the March 2020 issue of Meetings & Conventions and online at NorthstarMeetingsGroup.com, will reveal the top 25 convention cities in the world, as well as the top 25 U.S. cities in which to hold large citywide meetings and events. The complete CCI, including findings by category and profiles of the top-ranked destinations, will be released concurrently as a comprehensive digital reference guide.

CCI Methodology

To determine the rankings, NMG conducted research based on the following sources:

  • Exhibit space, based on published figures from convention venues and/or convention and visitor bureaus
  • Number of hotel rooms near the convention center, determined by using Google Maps to identify hotels within a 15-minute walk (as estimated by Google Maps directions); followed by NMG research on the current number of guest rooms in each qualifying hotel
  • Average travel time to the nearest international airport, based on Google Maps estimated driving time with normal traffic, without delays
  • Average hotel cost, from Business Travel News’ 2019 Corporate Travel Index. The Corporate Travel Index uses aggregated data on hotel costs, taxes and fees from Advito, DVI and Prime Numbers to calculate the average hotel rate. The country average was used for a few cities not included in the index. For the U.S. list, missing cities were supplemented with average hotel costs provided by STR or the CVB.
  • Real-time risk scores provided by GeoSure, a travel safety app, which synthesizes data from sources such as the United Nations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization. Risk scores take into account a number of factors, including water quality, access to medical care, risk to personal safety, probability of property theft, specific incidents of violence against women and LGBTQ people, and political tensions.

A First-Ever Resource for Planners

The CCI will be a much-needed marketplace first and a valuable time-saver for meeting planners, noted Kevin Iwamoto, chief strategy officer for Bizly Inc. "This resource also removes the bias barriers that sometimes confront planners when their managers or stakeholders question the integrity of destination analysis research," he added. "The fact that the analysis was scientifically based using weighted averages and accurate updated destination information, and conducted by a trusted third party, Northstar Meetings Group, reinforces the integrity of the planner’s recommendation."

A First-Ever Opportunity for Destination Marketers

The CCI will be a valuable resource for planners and, as such, a valuable opportunity for suppliers to affirm their destination’s place among the world’s best. The CCI will affirm — in print and online — why these are the world’s best places to hold conventions.


Northstar Travel Group is the leading B-to-B information and marketing solutions company serving all segments of the travel industry, including leisure, business travel, sports travel, incentives, hospitality and travel technology. NTG’s Meetings Group division encompasses well-known brands including Successful Meetings, Meetings & Conventions, Meeting News, Incentive, M&C Asia, M&C China, SportsTravel, Associations Meetings International and Meetings & Incentive Travel. Along with a wide range of print and digital products and services, the company produces more than 80 face-to-face events in 13 countries, serving the retail travel, hospitality, corporate travel, travel technology, sports travel, meetings and incentives industries. 

Northstar Meetings Group also produces the annual Stella Awards, recognizing organizations around the globe that consistently deliver quality service and innovation to meeting and event professionals.


Shalise DeMott, Vice President, Sales