Guide to Meeting & Event Planning in


Learn why you should host your next meeting, event or conference in Texas.

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Learn everything you need to know about this sunny locale at Destination Texas, Northstar’s premier event for meetings and incentive pros looking to book biz in the area.

Why Texas for Your Next Meeting or Event?

The Lone Star State has lots of news for groups:

  • A Fairmont debuted in Austin
  • The Gaylord Texan in Grapevine unveils an expansion this month 
  • A headquarters hotel is coming to Irving 
  • A baseball stadium is planned for Arlington 
  • Dallas will welcome a Thompson Hotel in June


Dec. 17, 2018, will mark the debut of a 350-room Westin hotel, which will serve as headquarters for the Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas. The hotel will have 16,000 square feet of meeting space.

The Vineyard Tower opens this month at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, adding 303 guest rooms and 86,000 square feet of meeting space. The totals now are  1,814 rooms and 490,000 square feet of event space.


Event Venues, Additions & Renovations

The 1,048-room Fairmont Austin Hotel, which connects to the Austin Convention Center, is now open for business. The hotel has more than 138,000 square feet of meeting space, as well as a Fairmont Spa and six restaurants and bars, including a pool bar and a rooftop terrace.

To Dine For
Now open in Austin is Loro, an Asian smokehouse from two James Beard award-winning chefs, Tyson Cole and Aaron Franklin. The fusion menu serves tasty bites such as smoked beef brisket with chili gastrique and Thai herbs, and Thai green curry sausage with papaya salad, Thai chili sauce and peanuts. The eatery seats 300 for a buyout.

The 297-room AT&T Hotel and Conference Center has expanded its meeting space to approximately 80,000 square feet. The addition includes the 15,000-square-foot Zlotnik Family Ballroom and a new banquet kitchen. 

The 312-room Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa has begun a major renovation and expansion, spending more than $150 million to add 181 guest rooms, which brings the grand total to 493. Construction will be completed by mid-2019.

The Sydell Group opens the 428-room Line ATX Hotel this month with 20,000 square feet of meeting space and five restaurants and bars. A show kitchen overlooks Congress Avenue.

Austin Convention Center 
  • Exhibit space, 247,052 square feet
  • Number of meeting rooms, 54
  • Contact: (512) 404-4000 

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, about eight miles from downtown. Transfer cost:

  • By taxi, $28 
  • By shuttle, $12
  • Room tax, 9% 
  • Sales tax, 8.25% 
  • Total tax on rooms, 15%
Contact: Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau, (800) 926-2282  
2018 Stella Award Winners


Event Venues, Additions & Renovations

A 214-room Canopy by Hilton opens in July with a 3,500-square-foot, top-floor event space. The hotel's Canopy Central will feature a café and a bar.

The 217-room Thompson Dallas is scheduled to debut in June. The property will have a 21,000-square-foot fitness center and a 4,000-square-foot ballroom.

The AC by Marriott Dallas Downtown was unveiled last October with 128 guest rooms and 1,934 square feet of meeting space; tapas-style dishes are served in the AC Lounge.

Terrible history was made there in November 1963; today, the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza tells the story of JFK's assassination from a unique perspective. Events for up to 290 standing and 200 seated are accommodated on the seventh floor. (214) 747-6660 

Dallas Convention Center 
  • Exhibit space, 1,018,942 square feet 
  • Number of meeting rooms, 88 
  • Contact: (877) 684-7322 

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, about 20 miles from the heart of downtown Dallas. Transfer cost:

  • By taxi, $45
  • By airport shuttle, $18
  • By DART, $2.50
  • Love Field, about six miles from downtown. Transfer by taxi, $18; by shuttle, $19
  • Room tax, 7%
  • Sales tax, 6%
  • Dallas Tourism Public Improvement District, 2%
  • Total tax on rooms, 15%

Contact: Visit Dallas, (214) 571-1000

Top 10 Restaurants in Dallas

Enjoy some southern hospitality, Texas-style, at these popular restaurants.

  1. Pappas Bros. Steakhouse - American
  2. Kenny's Wood Fired Grill - American
  3. Uchi Dallas - Japanese
  4. rise- French
  5. Rodeo Goat - American
  6. Mia's Tex Mex - Mexican
  7. Meso Maya - Mexican
  8. Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen - Seafood
  9. Al Biernat's - Steakhouse
  10. Hillstone - American