Exploring the Potential of Second-Tier Cities for Your Meetings

June 4, 2024

Businesses have plenty of options when it comes to potential locations for their meetings, conferences, or events. Traditionally, top-tier cities like New York, London, and Tokyo have been the go-to choices for prestigious events. These urban centers offer numerous facilities, extensive infrastructure, prestigious venues and global accessibility.

However, doing more with less is the new reality for businesses and their planners, as there is increasing pressure to deliver memorable experiences with the same or smaller budget. As a result, second-tier cities are emerging as more attractive options. 

In this blog post, we define city tiers and explore the potential of lesser-known locations for hosting your next business event. 

What Are City Tiers?

In the context of meeting planning, cities are often categorized into tiers, with the first being the most desirable destination. While there is no official list or description of cities and their tiers, generally, a first-tier city: 

  • Is a major metropolitan hub
  • Has excellent meeting facilities, such as large convention centers
  • Has a well-developed transportation network
  • Offers a variety of high-quality accommodations, such as major hotel brands
  • Has amenities and attractions that attendees find appealing 

Examples of first-tier cities include: 

  • New York 
  • Los Angeles
  • Chicago
  • Washington, D.C. 

Meanwhile, second-tier cities are smaller than first-tier cities and are not considered major economic hubs. However, they still have significant financial and cultural influence within their regions. 

Second-tier cities typically have the following attributes: 

  • Developing infrastructure, including transportation networks, convention centers and hotels 
  • Considered up-and-coming business hubs
  • Have affordable and accessible venue options for meetings and events
  • A wider range of accommodation choices, including hotels at more competitive price points
  • More affordable rates for venue rentals, catering and travel

Some examples of popular tier-2 cities in the USA are:

  • Charlotte
  • Columbus
  • Baltimore
  • Denver
  • Indianapolis 
  • Fort Worth

Although lesser-known as event destinations, second-tier cities often deliver exceptional value for businesses and a fresh, unique experience for attendees. 

The Rising Popularity of Secondary Cities

Businesses must balance crafting extraordinary experiences for attendees while staying within budget. This task is made more difficult because costs associated with planning events continue to rise.

According to the  2024 State of the Meetings Industry Report from Knowland, 47% of event planners say that the cost of hotels and other venues is their main area of dissatisfaction. Meanwhile, food and beverage (F&B) and audio/visual (A/V) needs are expected to have a 50% price increase in 2024.

The same Knowland report shows a significant shift in strategy among organizers, with 53% of survey participants considering moving their events to secondary markets as a cost-saving measure. This trend is driven by a growing demand for venues that deliver more value. 

The Advantages of Holding Your Event in a Second-Tier City

Cost-Effectiveness and Flexibility

Additionally, the lower costs of venues, hotels, and overall logistics in second-tier cities can free up more resources for businesses to invest in customized experiences that attract more attendees and boost their engagement. Choosing a second-tier city is a practical solution for organizations working within budget constraints. 

Greater Negotiating Power

In second-tier cities, there is typically less competition for event space and suppliers. This gives businesses more leverage to negotiate lower rates and better packages with convention centers, hotels, and vendors. 

Unique Experience and Local Attractions

Second-tier cities often possess a distinct local flavor and charm that first-tier cities may lack due to their frenetic pace. By selecting a second-tier city for your event, attendees can benefit from a unique, immersive experience, as well as the opportunity to explore its attractions, cultures and cuisines. This can attract more attendees to your event and serve as a networking tool as your guests create memorable moments and foster connections. 

Accessibility and Convenience 

While first-tier cities can offer numerous options for transportation, accommodation, and event venues, the downside is that this can sometimes result in congested traffic and complex logistics. Second-tier cities often provide more accessible options, with smaller crowds and less time spent on traffic, making the overall event experience more efficient and enjoyable. Additionally, the smaller scale of second-tier cities allows for increased flexibility when planning and adapting events.

Plan Your Next Event at a Second-Tier City With Infinix Global 

Choosing a second-tier city is a more cost-effective option that allows organizations to host memorable and productive events. It allows for greater flexibility in budgeting, empowering businesses to focus more of their resources on tailoring the event experience to the needs and expectations of attendees. 

To begin planning your next event and explore the possibilities offered by second-tier cities, contact Infinix Global today. Let us help you create an unforgettable experience that exceeds expectations while staying within your budget.

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