Welcome to Cvent’s Dallas meeting planning guide – a city guide for Dallas meeting planning professionals. In addition to being one of the top leisure travel destinations in Texas, Dallas is also one of the foremost convention cities in the nation. That comes as no surprise, seeing as how the vibrant city offers an ever-evolving stream of great Dallas meeting hotels, flexible event spaces and cultural institutions. In fact, visitors can expect to see over $12 billion invested in development to what already exists in this vibrant city. Blending historic charm with modern amenities, Dallas has clearly mastered the concept of updated Southern hospitality.
Leading the way in large-scale meeting facilities is the Dallas Convention Center, one of the largest in the nation, making it an enticing facility for planners looking for a place for large-scale Dallas meeting planning needs. Redefining form and function, the convention center uses clean lines and original artwork throughout its two million square feet of space, which includes a 200,000-square-foot column-free exhibit hall and 1,740-person theater. Welcoming everything from Texas-sized events as well as intimate meetings, the center's professional staff provides everything from catering services to concierge hospitality.
Late 2011, the city of Dallas debuted the center's headquarters hotel. Connected to the Dallas Convention Center by skybridge, the Omni Dallas Hotel has 1,001 guest rooms and incorporates more than 110,000 square feet of meeting and event space. Included among its 39 meeting rooms are the Dallas and Trinity ballrooms, comprising 32,000 and 15,000 square feet, respectively. Event planners can take advantage of the Omni Dallas, or use meeting space at the city's more than 300 hotels. From the luxury boutique Hotel Zaza in Uptown to the well-equipped Renaissance Dallas, hotels in the city are all-in-one options for both accommodations and meeting space.
For an event out of the ordinary, Dallas' special event facilities offer versatile space, world-class service and authentic Texas flair. Host a grand gala of up to 350 attendees at the historic Belo Mansion & Pavilion, or treat guests to a night of honky tonk, bull riding and Texas barbecue at Gilley's Dallas. Or, be a part of a favorite Texas pastime at the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium. Here, social events, tradeshows and conferences can take advantage of state-of-the-art technology, catering services and event spaces that include the Cowboys Locker Room and Owner's Club.
No matter the facility, guests find that hopping from the hotel in the morning to the convention center during the day to the restaurant for post-meeting cocktails is easy in Dallas. Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) covers 45 miles of light rail lines and 120 bus routes – including convention center service – making it a convenient and reliable option for out-of-town guests. Arriving in the city itself is a breeze as well, thanks to its central location fewer than four hours by air from the East or West coasts. Plus, the DFW International Airport – ranked one of the best airports in North America for customer service – serves 36 international destinations with non-stop flights.
Numerous industries thrive in Dallas, including petroleum, computer technology, telecommunications, banking and transportation. The Dallas-Fort Worth area boasts one of the largest concentrations of headquarters in the county, including over 10 Fortune 500 companies in the city itself. AT&T, Comerica Bank, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, 7-Eleven, Neiman Marcus, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Fossil and RadioShack are among the companies based in the region. Also a center for higher education, Dallas is home to 38 colleges, including the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas Baptist University, and University of North Texas at Dallas.