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San Antonio, TX Event Planning

Key Highlights

Hotels 284
Total Sleeping Rooms 37,119
Committable Sleeping Rooms* 1,003
Committable Meeting Rooms* 71
Convention Center Space 741,798 Sq. Ft.
Largest Exhibit Space 514,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Ballroom 131,123 Sq. Ft.
Average Hotel Room Rate USD $124
Average Daily Meal Cost USD $64
Average Weekly Car Rental USD $202
*Maximum for a single hotel

San Antonio, TX Meeting Planning Overview

San Antonio has evolved into a forward-thinking, modern meeting destination amid a city of history and culture. The $325 million expansion of the Henry B. González Convention Center, completed in 2016, allows the city to meet the needs of the evolving meetings industry with innovative design, flexible space, and advanced technology. Transformational renovations and expansions have also taken place at some of the city's other amazing venues, including the Alamodome, the Pearl, the Witte Museum, San Antonio Botanical Garden, and Hemisfair Park, just to name a few.

As one of the nation's top leisure destinations, San Antonio offers attendees an experience that stretches far beyond the conference room. They enjoy a wide array of unforgettable attractions, plus history and culture that can't be found elsewhere. Hospitality is ingrained in the city's atmosphere. A warm welcome is the standard, not the exception.

Texas' economy, fueled by its nearly 30 million residents, makes it a vital state for many national associations and corporations. San Antonio is a natural fit for organizations that want to connect with the Texas market in a destination brimming with history, outdoor adventure, enticing cuisine, and thrilling attractions.

Meeting planners are also drawn to San Antonio thanks to its central location, year-round favorable weather, accessibility, downtown's walkability, price, and variety of options.

One of the top reasons is the city's accessibility. The airport is only 15 minutes from downtown, and coordinating travel in and around San Antonio is simple, allowing planners to integrate a variety of experiences around the city into an itinerary. There are about 45,000 hotel rooms citywide, including 14,000 rooms in the downtown area, all of which are within walking distance of the newly expanded convention center and the famous San Antonio River Walk. In addition, 2,860 more rooms are planned.

Meeting planners and attendees are also attracted by downtown's walkability, since it saves on transportation costs and heightens attendee experiences and engagement, often increasing attendance. The River Walk is also fondly referred to as the “World's Largest Hotel Lobby” and serves as a truly unique backdrop for networking and events.

The River Walk is a Texas icon that has always been popular with guests, but it is very popular with groups as well. The downtown section of the River Walk is lined with restaurants, shops, and entertainment. It is also a hub for many meetings, brimming with activities such as riding the river barge for narrated tours, cocktail and dinner cruises, and river taxis that can take attendees from downtown north to the Pearl. There are theaters such as the outdoor Arneson River Theatre and the historic Majestic Theater, which groups may utilize for special functions.

The River Walk has been expanded twice in recent years, and both sections — the Museum Reach and Mission Reach — offer unique experiences.

The Museum Reach section was added in 2009 and offers cultural and culinary immersion with museums (Witte Museum, San Antonio Museum of Art), public art installations, and Pearl, an 1800s brewery reincarnated as a contemporary urban district with boutiques, restaurants, a farmers market, event venues, Hotel Emma, and the rousing Jazz, TX music venue.

The Mission Reach — added in 2013 — links four of San Antonio's five Spanish colonial missions. These missions were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015. Aside from exploring the missions, visitors can hike, bike, and kayak this stretch of the river.

San Antonio's culinary scene is very much part of its heritage and continues to evolve. The city is the proud capital of Tex-Mex cuisine and the birthplace of chili. San Antonio's progressive restaurant culture has moved into the limelight as acclaimed chefs, along with talented new graduates from the Culinary Institute of America San Antonio, continue to make their mark. With the perfect combination of quality, variety, and hospitality, dining in San Antonio offers incredible food served everywhere from upscale steakhouses to unique food trucks. The most exciting part of this culinary trend is that it's all authentically San Antonio and spread across the city — not limited to the main tourist hubs. You'll find new restaurants throughout downtown, as well as in the burgeoning Southtown area, just south of the convention center, and the Broadway Cultural Corridor, just north of downtown — all very accessible to meetings guests.

San Antonio is a member of the Convene Green Alliance, a grass-roots initiative that seeks to lessen the impact organizations and their events have on the environment.

About San Antonio, TX / Additional Info

San Antonio is often referred to as the Alamo City, home of the revered Alamo, the shrine of Texas liberty and a popular tourist attraction in Texas. Dating back to 1724, the Alamo has served as home to missionaries, the Spanish military, revolutionaries, and royalists.

The city was founded in 1691 by Spanish Franciscan monks as part of Spanish colonization due to a desire to spread Catholicism among the native peoples. Because of San Antonio's rich history that has interwoven many cultures, its street signs were once written in Spanish, English, and German. Visitors are greeted with the sights and sounds of history at every turn: Walk the streets of the King William neighborhood, one of the oldest historical districts in Texas, to enjoy the magnificent Victorian homes, along with an eclectic mix of art galleries and restaurants. Visit El Mercado, the largest Mexican market outside of Mexico. Stroll the grounds of Hemisfair, an art-filled park next to the convention center. San Antonio is a place that seamlessly blends the past with the future. Never losing sight of its heritage, the city continues to expand and innovate, with new attractions, growing facilities, and modern upgrades throughout.

San Antonio is the seventh-largest city and 25th-largest metropolitan area in the U.S., as well as the second-most-populous city in Texas. With its affordability, booming economy, diverse population, pleasurable climate, and high standard of living, San Antonio holds endless appeal as a welcoming tourist destination and an ideal place to live.

Just the Facts

San Antonio is centrally located between the East and West Coasts in the American Southwest and the south-central part of Texas. It is about 75 miles southwest of Austin, about 190 miles west of Houston, and about 250 miles south of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The city has a total area of 467 square miles and is about 701 feet above sea level. The city has a population of more than 1.3 million, while Bexar County has more than 1.7 million residents. In total, the San Antonio metro area has a population of 2.4 million. It also gets more than 34 million visitors a year, which in turn creates an annual influx of $13.6 billion into the local economy. As for its business climate and economy, San Antonio houses the corporate headquarters of companies including Valero Energy, CST Brands, HEB, Whataburger, USAA, iHeartRadio, NuStar Energy, and Tesoro. The city has also earned the following accolades:

  • The only top 10 U.S. city with a AAA bond rating.
  • Ranked in the top 25 as a best performing large city by the Milken Institute.
  • Named one of Forbes' 2016 Best Big Cities for Jobs.
  • Ranked eighth on Forbes' list of “America's Cities of the Future” in 2016.
  • Ranked No. 23 by U.S. News & World Report on its 2017 list of Best Places to Live in the USA.
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