SAN JOSE -- It could have been worse. On a list released Thursday of the Top 50 U.S. Meetings and Convention Cities, San Jose came in 50.
But hold on. At least it made the grade -- out of a total 1,000 cities reviewed by Cvent, a McLean, Va.-based event management software company that says it runs the largest online marketplace for meeting and event booking.
What's more, the company's first Top 50 list doesn't take into account that San Jose's 23-year-old McEnery Convention Center isn't looking its best during a massive $120 million renovation and expansion that will be completed by next fall.
"For us, the good news is that they're evaluating our current space, which means we can look forward to climbing the chart as expansion happens,'' said Meghan Horrigan, spokeswoman for Team San Jose, a nonprofit collaboration of labor, arts, hotel and business leaders that operates the convention center and several downtown theaters.
"And because of that expansion,'' she said, "we'll be able to book more business and compete with other destinations.''
The list gives the top three spots to Orlando, Washington, D.C., and Las Vegas. San Diego, at No. 6, was the only California city that made the top 10.
San Francisco came in at No. 16, followed by Los Angeles at 17, Anaheim at 31, Carlsbad at 38, Long Beach at 42 and Newport Beach at 46.
Cvent spokesman Nevin Reilly acknowledged that at first glance, San Jose's ranking
"But it's still a pretty strong ranking overall, and shows that San Jose is a strong market for corporate events and conventions,'' Reilly said.
Cities were ranked on a variety of criteria, from number of hotel rooms linked to meetings and conventions and the value of those events to the cities.
Some added good news in San Jose: Most of the convention center renovation work will be done in the next two months, making it easier to continue booking events despite the ongoing expansion construction.
The expansion is expected to increase the current 425,000-square-foot facility to 550,000 square feet; passers-by can now watch 2,000 tons of steel beams being put into place for the center's new lower level and upstairs ballroom level.
The majority of that steel, by the way, is from the U.S.
Contact Tracy Seipel at 408-275-0140.
The top 10 convention cities.
2) Washington, D.C.
3) Las Vegas
6) San Diego
10) New Orleans