Cvent's Houston meeting planning guide provides planners with a wealth of information about meeting space, facilities, attractions, and all of the Houston meeting planning and event planning information planners need. Great things continue to happen in Texas' largest city as it rises to meet the challenges of a changing world. Simply put, Houston never stops. Developments in hotels, restaurants, nightlife, entertainment, attractions, retail, and special event venues pop up at a dizzying pace, enough to keep any meeting planner busy constantly discovering what's new in H-town.
It's "back to the future" as Market Square Park renovated in 2010 is one of the newest pockets of activity in the downtown historic district. This original town center is two blocks from Allen's Landing, where the city's founders—the entrepreneurial Allen brothers from New York—landed in 1836, determined to create the city of the future. Making a comeback as a gathering place for residents and visitors alike, the urban green space was redeveloped as a truly diverse place featuring artwork, performance stage, plaza, dog run, bike share program, meditation garden, and surrounded by restaurants, bars, shops, the newly renovated Hotel ICON, and the stylish Crystal Ballroom at the historic Rice Hotel.
The "super block" in front of the George R. Brown Convention Center draws groups from all over with its stunning "front lawn" Discovery Green, a 12-acre urban park with a Gold rating from the LEED Green Building Rating System. The sky's the limit for special events here just steps from the convention center—fundraisers, festivals, concerts, fun runs, parties, receptions, dinners, even ice skating in the winter. The park offers restaurants, an amphitheater, picnic areas, a dog run, pond, putting green, bocce courts, jogging trail, playground and many beautiful vibrant green spaces - and Wi-Fi.
North of Discovery Green will be a new 1,175 room Marriott Marquis Convention Center Hotel with 100,000 square feet of meeting space, scheduled for completion in mid-2016, that will bookend the existing 1,200-room Hilton Americas-Houston. Also nearby is the BBVA Compass Stadium opened in 2012 and home to the MLS Houston Dynamo. Rounding out the "super block" will be the $40-million Nau Center for Texas Cultural Heritage tourism center, scheduled for a 2013 groundbreaking between the convention center and Minute Maid Park.
The Port of Houston Authority has partnered with Princess Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Lines to offer new service in 2013-14 from the $108-million Bayport Cruise Terminal opened in 2011. The 100,000 square foot Bayport terminal features an exclusive VIP lounge for special events. Princess Cruise Lines plans 27 departures for the 2013-14 cruise season out of Houston and Norwegian plans 75 departures over the next three years.