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Austin, TX Event Planning

Key Highlights

Hotels 198
Total Sleeping Rooms 28,820
Committable Sleeping Rooms* 1,048
Committable Meeting Rooms* 62
Convention Center Space 900,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Exhibit Space 247,052 Sq. Ft.
Largest Ballroom 79,525 Sq. Ft.
Average Hotel Room Rate USD $146
Average Daily Meal Cost USD $59
Average Weekly Car Rental USD $270
*Maximum for a single hotel

Austin, TX Meeting Planning Overview

Welcome to the Austin event planning city guide. Maybe it's the historical distinction or political prominence. Perhaps it's the thriving cultural scene or "anything goes" atmosphere. It could even be the intoxicating rhythms emanating from more than 250 live music venues, or even the alluring number of Austin meeting hotels. Whatever the reason meeting planners choose Austin as their next event locale, it's never surprising that more than 24 million people visit this gorgeous Texas City every year.

Though fairly convenient to fellow Texans (being fewer than 200 miles away from Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston), Austin is equally accessible to all travelers. Voted Best Domestic Airport in the United States by the Airports Council International, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport offers more than 350 daily flights with non-stop service to more than 65 domestic and international destinations. Once inside the city, transportation has never been easier or more affordable. Whether guests opt for the $0.50 direct airport bus or one of the public buses making 3,000 stops around the city.

Austin's meeting facilities are equally amenable to guests. The dynamic Austin Convention Center headlines the city's meeting options with nearly 900,000 gross square feet of space. Boasting five contiguous, column-free exhibit halls and two ballrooms – including the largest in the state – the convention center is also conveniently located across the street from 800-room Hilton Austin and the new 1,048 room Fairmont Austin, and two blocks away from the 1,012-room JW Marriott Austin. To top it off, the center is home to state-of-the-art technology that includes a communication infrastructure capable of moving voice and video data at one billion bits per second.

Nearby, both the Palmer Events Center and Travis County Exposition Center round out Austin's large-scale meeting facilities. The two levels at Palmer provide 95,000 square feet of space. Its five meeting rooms are an ideal spot for guests to convene while overlooking the city skyline and surrounding park. Just 15 minutes from downtown, the Travis County Exposition Center features a range of varied spaces. Its 20,000-square-foot Banquet Hall is one of the largest meeting rooms in the city, while the 10,000-square-foot Skyline Club boasts panoramic views of downtown.

Though such spaces predictably draw hundreds of events and meetings each year, smaller, unique Austin event venues certainly do not disappoint. The Contemporary Austin – Jones Center's location offers elegant spaces where guests can enjoy private access to exhibitions and floor-to-ceiling windows that afford striking views of the city. Or add a touch of culture and class to seminars by hosting them at one of the George Washington Carver Museum's three conference rooms.

Looking to take advantage of Austin's 300 days of sunshine? Let tranquil Lady Bird Lake be the backdrop for your event by charting a private cruise for up to 80 people with Lone Star Riverboat Cruises. Back on land, the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum's outdoor terrace and glass-enclosed conservatory are tranquil settings for receptions and black-tie affairs.

Austin's major industries include high-tech manufacturing, software, and information services. In addition to being the state capital, the city serves as headquarters for such corporations as 3M, Hoovers, Inc., National Instruments Corp., and Whole Foods Markets, Inc. Higher learning also holds a strong presence in the city, as Austin is home to the University of Texas at Austin, St. Edward's University, Huston-Tillotson University, Concordia University, and Austin Community College.

About Austin, TX / Additional Info

Situated on the banks of the Colorado River, Austin traces its origins back to nomadic tribes of Tonkawa, Comanche, and Lipan Apache Indians that once frequented the area. It was not until the 1830s when the first permanent settlement in the region was established and named Waterloo. The city, renamed Austin, was later selected to be capital of the Republic of Texas. When it nearly lost this status to Washington-on-the-Brazos, proud Austinites defended the national archives stored in the city by force and the switch was never made.

Today, Austin remains the capital of Texas, and its residents continue to be just as proud of their home's political and historical prominence. Marking the city skyline, the Renaissance Revival-style Texas State Capitol is one of the nation's most distinguished such buildings. Here, visitors can take a free tour of the magnificent structure, or simply explore the capitol grounds where 17 monuments honor prominent Austin figures. The Bullock Texas State History Museum expertly encapsulates the story of Texas with three floors of exhibits and two theaters. Catch a glimpse into the lives of early Texas settlers and soldiers, and end the trip with a look at how Texas' key cities link the great state together.

Though residents of this Southern city certainly have strong ties to the region, Austin's population of nearly 950,000 people is a diverse blend of cultural groups. With a global population hailing from Europe, Africa, Mexico, and Asia, the city proudly celebrates its diversity in its unique neighborhoods and cultural attractions. The city's Blanton Museum of Art is home to one of the most comprehensive collections of Latin American art in the country. Over 1,800 pieces in the collection represent over 600 artists from Mexico, South and Central America, and the Caribbean.

Austin is also home to George Washington Carver Museum, which has played a key role in the collection, preservation, and exhibition of African American historical and cultural material. Austin's Asian influence shines in event sites such as the wildly popular Isamu Taniguchi Japanese Garden at Zilker Botanical Garden, which features a Japanese teahouse, koi ponds, and the famous "Bridge To Walk Over the Moon."

Though varied, Austin's culture is by no means disconnected. In fact, it is the celebration of uniqueness that defines the city. And whether with the Carnaval Brasileiro, Juneteenth, or the popular Austin City Limits Music Festival, celebrate it does. As the Live Music Capital of the World®, Austin's more than 250 locations to see live music keep the party going long after the official events have ended. Jazz, blues, hip hop, metal, and more meet at popular music neighborhoods such as the Red River District, Rainey Street, Warehouse District, South Congress Avenue, and Sixth Street. On the famous and historic Sixth Street, guests can enjoy fresh Mexican delights and smooth margaritas at Iron Cactus, then head to The Parish to enjoy the tunes. Whether guests are partying the night away or spending an afternoon taking in history and culture, they are sure to love this city.

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