Welcome to Cvent's Meeting and Event Planning Guide to Dallas – everything meeting professionals need to know about planning successful events in Dallas. In addition to being one of the top leisure travel destinations in Texas, Dallas is also the No. 8 convention city in the nation. That comes as no surprise, since the vibrant city offers an ever-evolving stream of great meeting hotels spanning the entire spectrum of luxury and affordability, flexible event spaces, world-class dining and entertainment options, and cultural institutions. Blending historic charm with modern amenities, Dallas has clearly mastered the concept of southern hospitality with a Texas twist.
Getting to Dallas
Arriving in the city itself is a breeze, thanks to its central location and less than four hours by air from the East or West coasts. Plus, DFW Airport provides nonstop service to 159 domestic and 57 international destinations, while Dallas Love Field Airport, home to Southwest Airlines and other regional airliners, provides a quick 7-mile trip to Downtown Dallas.
Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) offers 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. DART also offers D-Link, a free bus service from Downtown Dallas to surrounding districts like the Bishop Arts District and The Cedars, sleek developments such as Victory Park and Uptown, and areas with a little something for everyone like the Main Street District and the West End Historic District.
Leading the way in large-scale meeting facilities is the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas, one of the biggest in the nation, making it an enticing facility for planners looking for the perfect place for growing Dallas meeting planning needs. Redefining form and function, the convention center uses clean lines and original artwork throughout its one million square feet of space, which includes a 203,000-square-foot column-free exhibit hall and a 1,750-person theater. The facility also features close to 100 meeting rooms, a 9,800-seat arena, two large ballrooms, and more than 700,000 square feet of continuous exhibit space. Welcoming everything from Texas-sized events to small intimate meetings, the convention center's professional staff provides everything from gourmet catering to concierge services.
Conveniently 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 forty meeting rooms are the Dallas and Trinity ballrooms, comprised of 32,000 and 15,000 square feet, respectively. Event planners can take advantage of the Omni Dallas, or use the plentiful meeting space at the city's more than 300 hotels. From the luxury boutique Hotel Zaza in Uptown to the state-of-the-art Renaissance Dallas, hotels in the city are all-in-one options for both accommodations and meeting space. Additionally, more than 16 hotel projects are in the works over the next two years, bringing more than 4,300 hotel rooms to the city’s inventory. Those plans include a brand new Virgin Hotel concept, adding 200 rooms in the trendy Design District and the Statler Hotel, a $175 million project that will convert a 59-year-old Downtown landmark into 161 hotel rooms and 219 residences, and will include meeting, retail, and office space, four restaurants, and a hotel lounge.
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 for up to 1,500 attendees at the historic Belo Mansion & Pavilion, or treat guests to a night of honkytonk, bull riding, and Texas barbecue at Gilley's Dallas.
Or be a part of a favorite Texas pastime at the AT&T Stadium. Here, social event, tradeshow, and conference guests can take advantage of state-of-the-art technology, superb catering services, and event spaces that include the Cowboys Locker Room and Owner's Club. AT&T Stadium is the largest, most technologically advanced entertainment venue in the world. Designed by HKS and built by Manhattan Construction, the stadium features numerous record-breaking features, including two monumental arches, huge center-hung HDTV video boards, a retractable roof, and end zone glass doors. With the capacity to accommodate groups of any size, AT&T Stadium is the ideal location for meetings, banquets, conventions, and conferences.
Dallas Business Climate
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 eleven Fortune 500 companies in Dallas itself. Namely, these top eleven are AT&T, HollyFrontier, Texas Instruments, Dean Foods, Southwest Airlines, Tenet Healthcare, Energy Future Holdings, Energy Transfer Equity, ACS, Celanese, and Atmos Energy. Also a center for higher education, Dallas is home to 13 colleges, including UTSW Medical Center, SMU, UNT Dallas, Dallas Baptist University and Paul Quinn College, the oldest historically black college west of the Mississippi River.