The A (ffordable) List

GetThere, one of the leading providers of online corporate travel reservation systems, recently announced results from its national survey which identifies the 10 most economical locations for corporate meetings.

For the second year in a row, Jacksonville, FL ranks as the most affordable location for corporate meetings, according to results generated by GetThere's online meeting planning tool -- GetThere DirectMeetings. Columbus, OH, and Raleigh, NC, both new to the list, followed in second and third place, respectively.

"It's important for corporations to understand the cost savings that efficient meeting planning can provide," says Mike Malinchok, director of meetings products for GetThere. "Companies are continuing to reduce expenses and see the value in combining online meetings technology with online travel reservations systems. By integrating these two technologies with cost-effective meeting locations, corporations can achieve even greater cost savings."

To identify the 10 cities, GetThere planned a mock three-night, four-day meeting made up of 100 attendees, with two attendees coming from each of the top 50 most populated cities as ranked by the U.S. Census Bureau. GetThere Direct-Meetings evaluated cities with a minimum of 25 three-, or four-star hotel properties that include business services as part of their amenities, leveraging information from its database of 12,000 hotel properties. The online system took into account air and ground transportation for all attendees, room accommodations, meeting room rates, audiovisual equipment, and estimated food and beverage expenses. Results were tabulated and ranked based on overall meeting cost.