by Jessi Minneci | May 10, 2019

While major American cities such as Orlando, Las Vegas and Chicago have a comfortable lock on their status as prime meetings locations, a number of second- and third-tier destinations are trying to capture some of this lucrative market.

Generally less expensive than their first-tier counterparts, such cities have unique settings that can give planners a fresh perspective on their agendas - and provide attendees with new activities and expanded cultural awareness. Here are 10 lesser-known cities that we consider well worth consideration. Each has all the infrastructure needed for meetings - not to mention a full roster of downtime delights - that any planner or attendee could ask for.

GREENVILLE, S.C.

Nestled along the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Greenville is halfway between Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C., and runs alongside the 32-acre Falls Park on the Reedy River - a nature haven complete with a 40-foot waterfall and a floating pedestrian bridge. With 1,000 hotel rooms downtown and more than 9,000 in the surrounding county, there's room for groups large and small.

The Greenville Convention Center (the city's largest venue) has an expansive 280,000 square feet of exhibit space, 60,000 square feet of breakout rooms and a 30,000-square-foot ballroom. For adventure-seeking and team-building groups, local attractions include the BMW Performance Center driving school and Fluor Field at the West End, home of the Greenville Drive minor- league baseball team. The nearby mountains are filled with opportunities to go zip-lining, kayaking and horseback- riding among the waterfalls.

Read about the other nine under-the-radar meetings destinations at our new site, NorthstarMeetingsGroup.com.