Top 10 Convention Centers in the U.S.

Last Updated on May 9, 2019 by Greg Bessoni

Great events require great spaces. However, you need more than just a lot of space when planning a large-scale event. You need a venue designed to handle big crowds and people who can make your job easier.

Convention centers, also known as exhibition centers, are large buildings suitable for accommodating several thousand attendees for various events. These events include conventions, major trade shows, concerts, meetings, and more. Convention centers can consist of one or more buildings or levels, hundreds of rooms, big halls, and great outdoor spaces.

There is a vast number of convention centers in the United States, more than 250. California, Florida, and Nevada have the most centers in the States, with a total of 20 facilities each. One of the leading cities for conventions and meetings is the City of Las Vegas. In 2015, more than 21 thousand conventions were held in Las Vegas. 

We discovered 10 America’s leading convention centers – the best and largest ones. First, check the top 3 single-level convention centers:

  1. Las Vegas Convention Center(Las Vegas, NV)

Commonly referred to as LVCC, this center is the largest single-level convention center in the world. Their mission is to focus on attracting ever-increasing numbers of visitors to the area. The LVCC accommodates millions of sq ft of floor space, outdoor exhibit space, 144 meeting rooms, training facilities, and over 10,000 parking spaces. Las Vegas Convention Center is located within three miles of over 100,000 guest rooms – it is adjacent to the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino and the Renaissance Las Vegas Hotel.

  1. Kentucky Exposition Center(Louisville, KY)

Commonly called the Fairgrounds, the Exposition Center is a unique venue for hosting an upcoming convention or a grand event. It is one of the East Coast’s largest convention centers. They offer 1.2 million square feet of contiguous meeting space with 54 meeting rooms, 2 arenas, and 300 acres of outdoor space all configurable to your specific needs. The center also has a great location – it is located just across of the Louisville International Airport.

  1. NRG Park(Houston, TX)

NRG Center offers over 706,000 square feet of contiguous single-level exhibit space that could be divided into 11 separate halls. It features 59 meeting rooms configurable into over 100 variations, 2 major conference centers, 118 loading bays, and more than 150,000 square feet of registration space. They can provide you with exclusive services such as on-site support from telephone and internet, food and beverage, security, and event staffing.

The following centers along with the three above-mentioned create the list of top 10 convention centers in the United States:

  1. McCormick Place(Chicago, IL)

This is one the largest convention centers in North America, having 2.6 million square feet of exhibit space. It comprises four modern buildings – the West, South, and North Buildings and Lakeside Center. McCormick also features 173 meeting rooms, 4 ballrooms, 4 theaters, and 6,000 parking spaces. The entire campus is connected by sky bridges and pedestrian promenades with retail shops and other visitor amenities.

  1. Orange County Convention Center(Orlando, FL)

By hosting numerous conventions, meetings, and trade shows, this convention center infuses the local economy. It is the second largest convention facility in the United States – it attracts more than 230 events to Central Florida and more than 1.4 million attendees. Orange County Convention Center features 74 meeting rooms, 232 breakout rooms, a theater, a ballroom, a lecture hall, 8 food courts, and 6,227 parking spaces.

  1. Georgia World Congress Center(Atlanta, GA)

This congress center attracts almost 3 million visitors to downtown Atlanta each year. Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) has 1.5 million square feet of exhibit space, 12 exhibit halls, 98 meeting rooms, 2 ballrooms, and 3 outdoor plazas. The GWCC Authority campus also includes Centennial Olympic Park, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, International Plaza, the College Football Hall of Fame, Junior Achievement Discovery Center, and multiple parking decks.

  1. New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center(New Orleans, LA)

This center is an essential component of the city’s major business events. With 1.1 million square feet of exhibit space, Ernest N. Morial is the sixth largest convention center in the nation. It consists of three floors and features New Orleans Theater, more than 100 meeting rooms and exhibit halls, a ballroom, a great hall, and plenty of parking spaces. The center also offers retail cafes in the lobbies and a variety of concession stands in the exhibit halls.

  1. International Exposition Center(Cleveland, OH)

Usually referred to as I-X Center, this convention center has been entertaining attendees with great consumer shows, conventions, and meetings for more than 30 years. Their convenient location offers easy access to visitors, being directly adjacent to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. It features over 1 million square feet of contiguous space, 26 meeting rooms, 40000-square-foot exhibit hall, and 7,200 parking spaces.

  1. Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino(Las Vegas, NV)

Mandalay Bay is a 43-story luxury resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada, which offers 2.1 million gross square feet of meeting and exhibit space. North Convention Center offers The South Pacific and Islander ballrooms, while three-level South Convention Center has 2 more ballrooms, the Business Center, exhibit halls, meeting spaces, and other multi-purpose spaces. 

  1. Sands Expo & Convention Center / The Venetian(Las Vegas, NV)

As you can see, Las Vegas is the leading convention destination. Being connected to the Venetian Hotel and close to the iconic Strip of downtown Las Vegas, this Sands Expo Center has numerous dining and entertainment options nearby. It features nearly 350 meeting rooms, 14 ballrooms, 5 large halls, 4 theaters, and great outdoor space.