Wednesday, May 19, 2010 | 5:06 p.m.
Las Vegas has maintained its grip as the top destination on the Tradeshow Week 200, a list of the leading conventions and trade shows staged in North America in 2009.
The city's convention centers played host to 45 of the top 200 shows last year, more than twice the number of any other convention destination. Las Vegas has held the top spot in the ranking for the last 16 years.
Las Vegas had six of the top 10 shows on the list, including the International Consumer Electronics Show, World of Concrete, the International Builders Show, ReCon, the National Association of Broadcasters and the World Shoes and Accessories Show.
Tradeshow Week ranks shows by the total square footage acquired by exhibitors, an industry standard, but most destinations pay closer attention to the number of people who attend the show.
"Billions of dollars have been invested in the facilities, amenities and service to make Las Vegas the premier convention destination and that collaborative effort continues to pay dividends," said Rossi Ralenkotter, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, said in a statement issued after the Tradeshow Week 200 rankings were released.
Although Las Vegas beat out convention rivals Chicago and Orlando, the number of conventions hosted and attendance at those shows are down in the first quarter of 2010 compared with the first three months of last year.
The LVCVA reported the number of meetings, conventions and trade shows down 6.5 percent to 4,585 for the first three months of 2010 with attendance down 8.3 percent to 1.3 million people in that time frame.