Located smack dab in the middle of Dallas and Fort Worth, less than a three-hour flight from either the West or East Coasts, is the city of Irving. Thanks to its proximity to two international airports—Dallas Fort Worth International with service to 229 destinations and Dallas Love Field with nonstop service to 57—the city is especially accessible for groups looking to meet in the Lone Star State. Add to that a pedestrian-friendly environment that easily connects delegates to the Irving Convention Center and the Westin Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas, and you have a destination with unparalleled convenience and urban amenities. 

Described as a “convention city with character,” Irving packs a lot into a small footprint: history, culture, art, and entertainment can all be had within minutes. Meeting delegates can easily transition from crossing off an agenda to taking in a live show at the Toyota Music Factory’s Live Nation Pavilion. There’s also the outdoor adventure on Lake Carolyn (such as paddle boarding, boat tours, water trikes or gondola rides) and the epicurean options at the Water Street retail development to explore. The city offers 85 hotels and nearly 13,000 rooms with accommodations that range from resort-style to budget-friendly. 

Irving’s meeting “crown jewel” is its convention center, which offers almost 100,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space. Set on 40 acres within Irving’s Las Colinas Urban Center, the venue can accommodate groups of up to 4,000 and includes a column-free exhibition hall, 20,000 square-foot grand ballroom, a junior ballroom, 20 breakout rooms and pre-function space. The on-site café can also be incorporated into events as can the center’s multiple outdoor terraces. The venue was awarded LEED Silver certification for using reclaimed water for landscaping, cooling systems, and other non-potable applications. 

To ensure the health and safety of its visitors and guests, Visit Irving, the Irving Convention Center and area hotels and venues have all implemented extensive safety protocols. Irving’s hospitality partners have reimagined food and beverage set-ups, and room layouts were redesigned for physical distancing. Groups can also choose from multiple open-air venues to host their post-meeting gatherings, from patios and courtyards to waterfront terraces and festival plazas.

For assistance in coordinating meetings and events, planners should reach out to the team at Visit Irving, who will help with selecting a facility to fit your needs and an itinerary to create lifelong memories. 

Lately, I’ve run across two companies offering Bear Camps, and they both definitely piqued my interest. Living in the mountains of Colorado, I’ve had bears cross my back patio early in the morning and at dusk and enter my garage to snack on treats in the freezer late at night when the door didn’t get shut (think homemade ice cream and chocolate truffles).

 

Sheraton Dallas Hotel has introduced a new outdoor event space under its new event programming, Dare to Outdoors. The hotel’s catering team has partnered with Pacific Plaza Park, a 3.7-acre green space in Downtown Dallas. The park features a 31,950 square-foot lawn space and permanent seating, as well as night-sky friendly lights for star-watchers. Three food truck power outlets are available and standard outlets are located throughout the park.

 

Incorporating the host city into the framework of the meeting is an effective way to enhance the content of the conference.

Host in Local Hotel
While attendees might flock to flag hotels, consider a boutique hotel as overflow to showcase the destination. In Lubbock, the DoubleTree by Hilton offers a local flair through design and cuisine; meanwhile, just a few streets over, the Cotton Court Hotel pays tribute to the area’s cotton history.