Last year, Exhibitor Media Group, which produces both EXHIBITOR magazine and Find It – Marketplace, the buyer’s guide to trade show products and services, announced an initiative to identify and recognize North America’s best convention centers for trade shows and events. Small, medium, and large convention centers located anywhere in North America were invited to apply, and entrants were evaluated using an objective algorithm weighted to reflect how EXHIBITOR magazine readers value a variety of variables. The myriad criteria considered were categorized into five primary areas:

  • Facility & Functionality
  • Location & Accommodations
  • Service & Execution
  • Expansions & Upgrades
  • Awards & Industry Participation

The evaluation process also included a survey of event planners, show organizers, and exhibit managers who have recently hosted (or exhibited at) events within each facility, as well as a review of entrants’ event spaces, selling points, and innovations, conducted by a panel of corporate exhibit managers.

While individual exhibit managers rarely have a say in where their trade shows are held, they are often the ones most impacted by that decision. This is their opportunity to give credit where credit is due and celebrate the exhibitor-friendly venues that do their part to make trade shows and events as smooth, successful, and painless as possible,” said Travis Stanton, editor of EXHIBITOR magazine, noting that everything from COVID-related health and safety protocols to the cost and quality of Wi-Fi access can have a significant impact on exhibiting companies’ experience at events. “Simply by virtue of being included in this list, these facilities have proven their ability to host trade shows and events of all shapes and sizes while providing world-class service and state-of-the-art accommodations.”

The highest-scoring venues were named among EXHIBITOR Magazine’s 2022 Centers of Excellence, and they will be featured in the upcoming October/November issue of EXHIBITOR, as well as via an online portal where readers can learn more about each of the 30 facilities that qualified for this honor. The portal, housed within the Find It – Marketplace website, enables face-to-face marketers to quickly and easily research potential event venues and learn more about the convention centers that are hosting the trade shows and exhibitions on their annual calendars.

The online portal helps to ease the venue-selection process for the 85 percent of our readers who are tasked with overseeing their organizations’ meetings and events in addition to managing their companies’ exhibit-marketing efforts,” said Stanton. “Additionally, exhibitors who are planning to participate in trade shows being held at these facilities can learn more about each venue, including everything from the number of loading bays to the maximum ceiling height within exhibit halls.”

The venues that qualified for EXHIBITOR Magazine’s 2021 Centers of Excellence include:

  • Anaheim Convention Center
  • Baltimore Convention Center
  • The Broadmoor Convention Center
  • Colorado Convention Center
  • Cox Business Convention Center
  • Denny Sanford Premier Center
  • Duke Energy Convention Center
  • Edmonton Convention Centre
  • Edmonton Expo Centre
  • Enercare Centre
  • George R. Brown Convention Center
  • Greater Columbus Convention Center
  • Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
  • Indiana Convention Center
  • Kentucky Exposition Center
  • Kentucky International Convention Center
  • Las Vegas Convention Center
  • Los Angeles Convention Center
  • Mandalay Bay Convention Center
  • Orange County Convention Center
  • Overland Park Convention Center
  • Owensboro Convention Center
  • Quebec City Convention Center
  • Raleigh Convention Center
  • Renasant Convention Center
  • Resch Expo
  • Schaumburg Convention Center
  • TCF Center
  • Vancouver Convention Centre
  • Walter E. Washington Convention Center

In addition to naming North America’s 30 best venues for trade shows and events, EXHIBITOR will be announcing the finalists for seven special awards next month, including Best Convention Center in four size-based categories, Best New or Improved Convention Center, Best Customer Service & On-Site Support, and Best Health & Safety Protocols (a new award this year). The winners of those awards will be announced during a ceremony held in conjunction with IAEE’s Expo! Expo!

For more information on the Centers of Excellence competition, visit And for more information on all of the 2022 Centers of Excellence recipients, visit

About Exhibitor Media Group
The leader in trade show and corporate event marketing education, Exhibitor Media Group publishes the award-winning EXHIBITOR magazine, a monthly publication featuring best practices in trade show marketing. EXHIBITOR's learning events include: EXHIBITORLIVE, The Annual Conference and Exhibition for trade show and corporate event marketing; EXHIBITORFastTrak accelerated learning conferences; and EXHIBITOR eTrak, professional online learning. Exhibitor Media Group is also the founder and sponsor of CTSM (Certified Trade Show Marketer), the industry's only university-affiliated professional certification program. Learn more at

EXHIBITOR is a registered trademark, and EXHIBITORLIVE, EXHIBITORFastTrak, and EXHIBITOR eTrak, are trademarks of Exhibitor Publications, Inc. in the USA and other countries. All company and/or product names may be trade names, trademarks and/or registered trademarks of the respective owners with which they are associated.