National GetThere Survey Identifies Ten Most Cost-Effective U.S. ‘Meeting’ Locations

GetThere, the leading provider of online corporate travel reservation systems, serving more than 1000 companies, including over half the Fortune 200, today announced results from its national survey that identifies the ten most cost-effective locations for corporate meetings.
For the second year in a row, Jacksonville, Florida ranks as the most economic location for corporate meetings, according to results generated by GetThere’s online meeting planning tool — GetThere DirectMeetings. Columbus, Ohio, and Raleigh, North Carolina, both new to the list, followed in second and third place respectively.
“It’s important for corporations to understand the cost-savings that efficient meeting planning can provide,” said Mike Malinchok, director of meetings products, GetThere. “Companies are continuing to reduce expenses and see the value in combining online meetings technology with online travel reservations systems. By integrating these two technologies with cost- effective meeting locations, corporations can achieve even greater cost- savings.”
To identify the ten cities, GetThere planned a mock three night, four-day meeting made up of one hundred attendees, with two attendees coming from each of the top fifty most populated cities as ranked by the U.S. Census Bureau. GetThere DirectMeetings evaluated cities with a minimum of twenty-five three or four-star hotel properties that included business services as part of their amenities, leveraging information from its database of 12,000 hotel properties. The online system took into account air and ground transportation for all attendees, room accommodations, meeting room rates, audio-visual equipment and estimated food and beverage expenses. Results were tabulated and ranked based on overall meeting cost.
The ten most affordable meeting cities compiled by GetThere DirectMeetings:
1. Jacksonville, Florida
2. Columbus, Ohio
3. Raleigh, North Carolina
4. Knoxville, Tennessee
5. Nashville, Tennessee
6. Indianapolis, Indiana
7. Greensboro, North Carolina
8. Norfolk, Virginia
9. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
10. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
(full story)

My spin: