The New Capital of Southern Cool

Houston area gets savvy with meetings

By Refugio Garcia

The Houston area of Texas is as diverse as it is large, making it an ideal destination for meeting planners seeking to provide attendees with an exciting and productive experience. While Houston offers a wealth of meeting venues, exciting activities and dining options, the surrounding area is bolstered by other amazing host cities including The Woodlands and Conroe—all located in the state known for going big. Whether a client is seeking to provide an incentive trip chock-full of exciting activities or a more relaxing outing—the Lone Star state has something for everyone.

Pro Tip: “When people come here, they feel like they can be themselves because there’s something familiar, there’s something that reminds them of home and their own family, which is a rare quality for a city to have, so people’s comfort level makes us a great destination.”

–  Jenny Bui-McCoy, Public Relations Director, Houston First


Why Planners Love the Houston Area

  • George Bush Intercontinental Airport Houston interiorA straight shot from George Bush Intercontinental Airport Houston (IAH). Planners can rest easy knowing attendees can easily access host cities in the Houston area, including The Woodlands (25 Mi.), Conroe (30 Mi.) and Downtown Houston (22 mi.)—all connected by open highway.
  • Perfect for Citywide events. As the fourth largest city in the U.S., Houston is teeming with innumerable hosting options including top-flight event venues and over 2,300 hotel rooms in the area. NRG Park alone is home to four separate venues including NRG Center, NRG Stadium, NRG Arena, spanning over 1,400,000 sq. ft. along with an expanse of outdoor meeting space.

Read More: Texas: A World Apart

  • The Woodlands is a luxury resort disguised as a township. Attendees can easily access any part of the township by the complimentary Town Center Trolley, but most points of interest, including The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion and upscale shopping are easily accessible by foot.
  • One of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. Conroe packs some unexpected wow to elevate meetings and events, according to Visit Conroe. With a bustling food and live music scene, attendees with have ample opportunity to let loose once the meetings of the day conclude. Conroe will also welcome a new Hyatt Regency Conroe and Convention Center slated to open in May.
  • Queso and then some. Planners would be quite remiss to overlook one of the most vibrant and culturally diverse food scenes in the country. While Houston is famous for cheesy queso, the city’s culinary scene has drawn the attention of celebrity chef David Chang and was featured in the Netflix series Ugly Delicious.

5 Fantastic Places to Meet

Escape the City with a Charming Retreat

pool area at The San Luis Resort, Spa & Conference Center

  • Planners hosting in Texas have the opportunity to offer attendees an expected incentive when meeting in Galveston, Texas. Located a mere 50 miles from Houston, the island town is home to not only numerous luxury hotels and meeting venues, but is also rich in history, art and endless outdoor activities including kayaking, surfing, fishing, golf and so much more.
  • Meeting at Hilton Galveston Island Resort provides attendees with sweeping views of the Gulf of Mexico along historic Seawall Boulevard, just one mile from many of Galveston’s attractions. With 10 meeting rooms spanning 66,796 sq. ft., including the 43,200-square-foot Exhibit Hall and the 348-square-foot Boardroom, Hilton Galveston can accommodate groups and events of any size. Guests can take a breather from the meeting room with a splash in the swimming pool, featuring a swim-up bar, or enjoy a relaxing stroll down to the beach. The resort also offers 24-hour room service, ensuring no guest is left unsatisfied.
  • The San Luis Resort, Spa & Conference Center creates a perfect blend of a luxury vacation with 200,000 sq. ft. of meeting space and 700 guest rooms–all bundled into a 32-acre beachfront property and recipient of the AAA Four Diamond Award.

This article appears in the March 2023 issue. You can subscribe to the magazine here.