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by Allen J. Sheinman | June 08, 2012

The list

The magazine/website Business Review USA recently designated the following as the best convention centers in the country, thanks not only to their inherent meeting-friendly features, but also due to their positive impact on their communities. Herewith:

10. San Diego Convention Center: BR cites the facility's bold design (the sail-shaped Sails Pavilion recalls the city's maritime past), location (near the uber-hip Gaslamp District) and popularity (it's the home of mighty Comic Con!).

9. Anaheim (Calif.)Convention Center: A recent upgrade made this a state-of-the-art facility, home to many high-volume conventions, including the National Association of Music Merchants and Microsoft.

8. Moscone Center: The center's three-level exhibition hall and two below-ground halls help make this San Francisco's biggest such venue.

7. Phoenix Convention Center: BR lauds the facility's flexibility, which enables it to host everything from national conventions to theatrical presentations.

6. Georgia World Conference Center:
Amenities ranging from a food court to Wi-Fi to a concierge desk helped hoist this Atlanta-based center onto the top-10 list.

5. Dallas Convention Center:
This iconic venue has been home to shows by the likes of Elvis and Queen, and sports the country's largest column-free exhibit hall.

4. Walter E. Washington Convention Center: The Washington, D.C., center's "sophisticated, earth-friendly design" gets BR's kudos, as does its penchant for smoothly hosting many important government meetings.

3. Las Vegas Convention Center: If was good enough for the Beatles, you can bet it will be good enough for whatever group you can muster. And a planned $890 million expansion will only enhance the facility's offerings.

2. McCormick Place: The busy Chicago center is the largest in the U.S., and its Lake Michigan location is sweet, but BR is especially impressed by the West Building with its 250,000 square feet of meeting space and 100,000-square-foot ballroom.

1. Orange County (Fla.) Convention Center: This 7 million-square-foot behemoth has all the space, bells and whistles you could want, but also plays a vital role in the Orlando community as a staging center for hurricane relief efforts.

Source: Business Review USA