• The Meeting Planner's Guide to Dallas

     
    POSTED May 19, 2021
     
  • The Meeting Planner's Guide to Dallas

     
    POSTED May 19, 2021
     
  • The Meeting Planner's Guide to Dallas

     
    POSTED May 19, 2021
     
  • The Meeting Planner's Guide to Dallas

     
    POSTED May 19, 2021
     
  • The Meeting Planner's Guide to Dallas

     
    POSTED May 19, 2021
     

It’s official: Dallas is open for business—and they can’t wait to meet you.

“I know I speak for the entire Dallas hospitality community when I say we are ready for recovery in 2021,” says Craig Davis, president and CEO of VisitDallas. “The Dallas hospitality community led the nation by coming together to seek Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR™ accreditation, the gold standard for cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention protocols. Since then, we’ve seen our convention center, both airports, sports arenas and some of our top hotels achieve this accreditation. When you pair that with vaccine development and the execution of safe events in Dallas and nationwide, I am very hopeful with where our destination is headed in the coming year.”

The Dallas-Fort Worth Arlington Metroplex is the No. 1 visitor and leisure destination in Texas. Both Cvent and Speednetworking.com have named it one of the top 10 cities in the country to host a convention or event. And according to VisitDallas, the city is especially well-connected: It has more daily non-stop flights and access to more non-stop cities than the country’s other top 20 meeting destinations.

So what are you waiting for? Dive into our handy guide to see where to meet and what to do while you’re in Dallas.

WHERE TO MEET

From an iconic convention center to a legendary ranch, Dallas’ venues can accommodate any size program or event.

Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center

Located in the heart of downtown Dallas, the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas (KBHCCD) has been recognized as the best-run convention center in the U.S. Offering 1 million square feet of exhibit space, three ballrooms, 88 meeting rooms, a 1,750-seat theater, and a 9,816-seat arena, the center is connected via a skybridge to the 1,001-room Omni Hotel (which has its own 142,000 square feet of meeting and event space). And for VIP-est of your VIPs, it’s also adjacent to two Vertiport landing pads.

Sustainability takes front and center at KBHCCD, as the center is U.S. LEED-EB and ISO 14001 certified. Planners can also take part in the center’s Good Neighbor Program, which diverts unconsumed food and surplus exhibitor items—such as totes, T-shirts and supplies—from landfills to local non-profits.

Belo Mansion

Built in the late 1800s by A.H. Belo, founder of the Dallas Morning News, this neo-classical revival-styled venue was purchased and restored in the 1970s by the Dallas Bar Association. Located in the city’s Arts District, the venue can host as many as 1,500 guests and features a 7,000-square-foot ballroom with 17-foot vaulted ceilings.

Sixth Floor Museum

The Sixth Floor Museum is located within the former Texas School Book Depository Building and chronicles the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. The venue can accommodate up to 275 guests and can host corporate receptions, awards banquets, conferences and meetings. Out of respect for its historical and sobering subject matter, it is not available for personal celebrations, such as weddings, proms, anniversaries or birthday parties.

Union Station

Built in 1916 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Union Station was once a major transportation hub, serving as many as 80 trains a day at its peak. The Beaux Arts-style building is served by Amtrak and is a stop on the city’s light rail. It also moonlights as a gorgeous backdrop for your private event. The 26,000-plus-square-foot venue offers 11 spaces ranging from 367 to 8,594 square feet.

Four Corners Brewing Co.

Located in the Cedars District, Four Corners Brewing Co.’s event space is called the Stables and can accommodate up to 500 people for a reception. The venue’s century old architecture—with exposed wooden beams and brick walls—includes an outdoor beer garden. Vibrant murals with loteria-inspired images represent the beer brewed at Four Corners, including El Grito Lager and El Chingon India Pale Ale.

AT&T Stadium

Hold a reception for 8,000 at the same address as the Dallas Cowboys. Choose from hospitality suites, End Zone Platforms, locker rooms, an amphitheater and field-level clubs. Or, head down to the turf for a truly impressive event: Imagine holding a concert, trade show or gala banquet on the same field that the Cowboys play on. To give you an idea of the size of the stadium, the entire Statue of Liberty can fit inside with a little room to spare.

Hall of State at Fair Park

The Hall of State was built in 1936 to commemorate the Texas Centennial. Dedicated to four centuries of Texas history, heroism and achievement under the flags of six nations, the Art Deco building houses a collection of more than 3 million artifacts and archives from both Dallas and Texas. It also can host events of up to 500 guests for a reception.

Perot Museum of Nature and Science

With space to host up to 1,500 people, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science showcases collections on both natural history and scientific and technological achievements. The five-level venue has played host to everything from weddings to corporate gatherings. Depending on the floor, you can enjoy a private screening in The Hoglund Foundation Theater, challenge your guests in the Robot Arena or dine with dinosaurs in the “Life Then and Now Hall” with its fossil skeletons of a T. rex and Alamosaurus.

George W. Bush Presidential Center

Nestled on a 15-acre park on the campus of Southern Methodist University, the George W. Bush Presidential Center houses the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, the George W. Bush Institute and Café 43—and all three spaces are available for private events.

The Bush Presidential Library and Museum can accommodate up to 400 guests and includes spaces such as the main lobby, Freedom Hall and the outdoor Ceremonial Courtyard. The Bush Institute, also accommodating 400, features a state-of-the-art auditorium and Hall of State, with an outdoor terrace overlooking the park. Café 43—so named because President Bush was the 43rd President of the United States—is available for private functions during the evening hours and includes terrace seating overlooking the park.

Southfork Ranch

For an event that would make the Ewings proud, host your gathering at the Southfork Ranch of primetime series Dallas fame. Once a popular tourist attraction, the 300-acre ranch, with its iconic white mansion, pools, rodeo arena and barns, began serving as an event center in 1985, and a 63,000-squarefoot conference and event center was built to accommodate up to 2,000 people.

Need more ideas of where to meet? The sales team at VisitDallas are happy to oblige.

“Dallas is a vibrant city with a unique set of attractive benefits that make it an ideal destination for meetings and events. Dallas has the accessibility of two major airports and is less than a four-hour flight from all major U.S. cities, not to mention a depth of hotel product unmatched by other destinations,” says Brad Kent, senior vice president and chief sales officer of VisitDallas. “Our hospitality community has made safety and cleanliness a top priority, and we’ve already been able to host some events successfully. I’m looking forward to recovery in 2021 and seeing friends and colleagues face-to-face in Dallas again.” 

 

The Kimpton Pittman Hotel has opened in Dallas’ storied Deep Ellum neighborhood, serving as the first hotel in the neighborhood and providing doorstep access to some of the city’s most popular shops, breweries, dining and live music venues.

 

In 2020, Houston First Corp. (HFC) reported that the city was slated to host 252 meetings and 611,000 room nights. By March 14, the Bayou City had already hosted 115 conventions and 137,400 room nights. Then the pandemic hit, and meetings and events across the country came to a screeching halt.

We asked Michael Heckman, acting president and CEO of Houston First Corp. (HFC) how the health crisis has influenced the organization’s business model moving forward.

 

In November, Dallas-based Todd Interests opened Thompson Dallas, part of hospitality brand Thompson Hotels. Thompson Dallas features 219 rooms, including 52 suites, two penthouse suites, and two culinary destinations.