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Beyond the Border: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City boasts a vibrant blend of culture, history, and modern amenities, making it an enticing choice for meeting planners

By Amy Durham

Oklahoma City, the capital of Oklahoma, boasts a vibrant blend of culture, history, and modern amenities, making it an enticing choice for meeting planners. With a metro population of 1.4 million residents, OKC, as it’s affectionately known, offers a dynamic urban landscape while maintaining a welcoming atmosphere.

The Great Hall at First National Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
The Great Hall at First National Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma || Courtesy of Visit Oklahoma City

Vibe: “OKC is known as the Modern Frontier, where you will be welcomed with overflowing kindness,” says Shaun Yates, vice president of convention sales and services at the Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We have just never lost our Oklahoma charm.” OKC is renowned for its Western heritage, showcased in attractions like the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum and the First Americans Museum. Its revitalized downtown area, thriving culinary scene, and world-class meeting facilities make it a prime destination for gatherings of all sizes.

Transportation: Oklahoma City is accessible by road via interstates 35 and 40, and it is just over a three-hour drive from Dallas-Fort Worth. It is also just about an hour’s flight from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport to Oklahoma City’s Will Rogers World Airport.

Meeting Venues: The Oklahoma City Convention Center offers more than 275,000 square feet of adaptable space, including an exhibit hall, a ballroom, and multiple meeting rooms. Its central location near hotels, dining options, and attractions—such as Bricktown Entertainment District—provides convenience for both planners and attendees. Nearby, First National Center is a historic landmark skyscraper and a prominent feature of the city’s skyline. Originally constructed in 1931, it was the tallest building in Oklahoma and one of the tallest in the region at the time. Designed in an art deco style, the building now serves as a mixed-use space with commercial, retail, and residential spaces; it also offers several on-site rooms for meetings and events, including its stately Great Hall.

Hotels: For unique hotel stays, the Skirvin Hilton Oklahoma City and the Fordson Hotel both offer historic surroundings. The Skirvin Hilton, built in 1911, offers 225 luxurious guest rooms, upscale dining options, and nearly 17,000 square feet of refined meeting space. Throughout its storied past, the Skirvin has hosted numerous notable guests, including presidents, celebrities, and dignitaries. The Fordson offers 135 loft-like rooms and suites with contemporary finishes. While the West Village District building is more than a century old, modern comforts give attendees everything they need to feel at home in this boutique hotel. Its 14,000 square feet of meeting space spans a main gallery, breakout rooms, a private dining room, and a 5,400-square-foot penthouse with an adjoining patio.

Must-Sees and -Dos: The Bricktown Entertainment District is a bustling hub with a vibrant atmosphere, featuring an array of restaurants, bars, shops, galleries, and entertainment venues. Attendees can enjoy leisurely strolls along the canal or catch live music performances. “There’s an energy here,” describes Yates. “Positivity. Optimism. It’s the kind of place [where] you want to be. It’s the wow factor that makes you realize you picked the right place to meet.”