Welcome to Cvent's Meeting and Event Planning Guide to Allen, a city guide for meeting professionals. Ranked by the East Texas Tourism Association as among the best North Texas spots for hospitality and shopping, Allen is a conveniently located Dallas suburb that is home to beautiful outdoor spaces, scenic trails, award-winning al fresco dining, a strong arts and culture scene, and more than 180 restaurants. All told, Allen spans 5 million square feet of shopping, dining, and entertainment options, ranging from cutting-edge golf and cable wakeboarding to outlet shopping and concerts like Hall and Oates and Boston, all less than 30 miles from Dallas and within an approximate 30-minute drive of two major airports.
Situated about 35 miles from Allen, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport spans five terminals and 155 gates, offering service to 204 total destinations and direct access to Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) and Trinity Railway Express service (TRE). The airport's estimated 60 million annual passengers can reach every major city in the United States within four hours. Located about 25 miles from Allen, Dallas Love Field serves commercial airline and corporate user needs, accommodating about seven million passengers each year. Owned and operated by the city of Dallas, Dallas Love Field offers a number of shops and restaurants, as well as short- and long-term parking and access to DART service. Once in Allen, meeting delegates can hop aboard TAPS Public Transit, which offers fixed-route and on-demand, curb-to-curb bus service throughout the Allen area, with stops at major shopping centers and Allen Event Center; as well as connecting service to the DART station in Plano.
When it comes to meetings and conventions, Allen boasts big-city convenience and small-town hospitality, complemented by high-tech amenities, personal attention, and plenty of unique venues for groups of 200 or less. Allen's largest conference hotels, the Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Garden Inn, offer 27,000 square feet of meeting space, but the title of largest meeting and event space in Allen goes to the 188,000-square-foot Allen Event Center, a multi-purpose facility and arena that hosts top performers, professional sporting events, ice events, tradeshows, and large conventions. This sprawling facility accommodates 8,100 people center stage; 6,558 people end stage; and 6,125 people for hockey games, and offers space for 150 10 x 10 booths in its bowl, as well as tradeshow expansion to accommodate a stage, show office, and 65 additional booths in the lobby concourse. Additional event spaces include a 300-spectator ice rink, meeting rooms, suites, and a 2,700-square-foot lounge. Meeting delegates can stay in Allen's 830 hotel rooms; large groups have access to 2,000 rooms priced at group rates within 15 minutes of Allen Event Center. The Delta Hotels by Marriott Dallas Allen & Watters Creek Convention Center also offers 90,000 square feet of total event space, with a capacity of 6,660 in its largest space. The 4-star full service hotel has 300 guest rooms, along with an upscale restaurant and destination bar.
In addition to its conference hotels and Allen Event Center, Allen is home to a number of unique venues that happily accommodate group events, many of which keep groups active and entertained. An adult, contemporary bowling alley with a cool retro vibe, Splitsville features 17 bowling lanes, as well as billiards tables, shuffleboard and a full-service restaurant and bar, perfect for private parties and corporate events. TopGolf is a cutting-edge driving range designed for beginner to expert golfers, welcoming guests to hit computer chip-embedded golf balls at targets to rack up points. TopGolf's climate-controlled bays with food and drink service are perfect for groups, as is its meeting and event space for up to 250 people. Groups can opt for more traditional golf events at Allen's The Courses at Watters Creek, which features multiple courses totaling 33 holes, as well as evening golf play, putting greens, a short game facility and a restaurant with a private banquet facility. Active groups can also join a nature walk or public education program at the Connemara Conservancy's Meadow Nature Preserve, as well as rent the Don Rodenbaugh Natatorium's sprawling aquatic indoor center (complete with a flume slide and lazy river) or indoor climbing wall for teambuilding events. The state's largest concrete skate park at The Edge @ Allen Station Park is also available for group rentals, as is the beautiful Cadillac Performing Arts Center at Allen High School, a state-of-the-art facility with a 1,500-seat performance hall and 600-person gathering space coined The Commons.