Event management firm Cvent listed Houston nineteenth on its 2013 ranking of the nation's top 50 meeting destinations -- up two spots from last year. Orlando, Chicago, and Las Vegas topped this year's list. But Houston also came in well behind Dallas, which ranked eighth.
"In the 1980s, there was this silly damn TV show, and so it created a very interesting image for Dallas."
Greg Ortale is president and CEO of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitor's Bureau. He says the oil bust of the 1980s and 1990s long hampered Houston's ability to compete with Dallas for out-of-state visitors.
"Two thousand and two was really when the Hilton Americas [Houston] opened, and the expansion of the George R. Brown [Convention Center] and some of the other things [happened], so a lot of this is just now really getting out there."
The annual Cvent list tracks booking activity at hotels and meeting venues at more than 5,000 cities around the country.