Site Inspection: Meetings and Entertainment in Irving, Texas

irving

We need to talk about Irving, Texas. From a planning perspective, this city might be the No. 1 spot for your big to midsize meetings and conventions. Located just northwest of Dallas, it is no longer than a four-hour flight to either coast in the country, so your attendees will always arrive fresh and on time.

There are more than 85 hotels to choose from in the area, contributing to the more than 200,000 sq. ft. of meeting space available in the city. Irving Convention Center offers an additional 128,664 sq. ft. of meeting space in the master-planned community of Las Colinas—planned so perfectly that it takes only 78 steps to get from the convention center to The Westin Irving Convention Center Hotel door. And then there’s the rib-eye, gondola rides, big Texas skies, and a rockin’ live music and performance scene, all within city boundaries.

Here’s just a small taste of an Irving itinerary that’s guaranteed to keep your attendees productive and entertained. And full. Did we mention the rib-eye?

Arrive

Fly American Airlines to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) or Southwest Airlines to Dallas Love Field (DAL). It is a short taxi ride from either airport to Irving Convention Center. Attendees can also take the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) bus or light rail straight to the city center.

Meet and Sleep

The 275,000-square-foot, LEED Silver-certified Irving Convention Center is hard to miss. The building’s unique copper architecture and vertical design sprawls over 40 acres in the heart of Irving’s Las Colinas Urban Center, offering gorgeous views of the Dallas and Irving skylines from event spaces.

Its 128,664 sq. ft. of event space includes a 48,576-square-foot exhibition hall, a 19,323-square-foot grand ballroom and 22 meeting and breakout rooms. Beautiful wood furnishings, open and accessible spaces, clever advertising spots and private nursing pods for mothers all help to make attendees feel welcome. And executive chef Eduardo can make a mean eggs Benedict.

Just steps from Irving Convention Center, 350-room The Westin Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas offers 30,000 sq. ft. of event space, including a rooftop pool deck and bar available for private parties and the more than 10,000-square-foot Harmony Ballroom. Its 815-square-foot executive suites offer VIPs an exquisite area to work and rest, while the hotel’s Meza Mescal restaurant and bar attracts convention center visitors with its innovative margaritas and nonalcoholic beverages.

For smaller groups, Texican Court hotel offers more than 3,500 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor event space—and is extremely Instragrammable, with cacti gardens, neon accents, Southwestern decor, and a Smeg refrigerator and outdoor rocking chair for each of its 152 guest rooms. It is located across the street from Irving Convention Center.

A short taxi ride away, the regal Four Seasons Dallas Resort at Las Colinas offers 40,000 sq. ft. of meeting space and stunning golf grounds, the newly renovated Marriott Dallas Las Colinas has 27,294 sq. ft. of meeting space and 364 guest rooms, and Omni Mandalay Hotel at Las Colinas is renovating its lobby and 32,000 sq. ft. of event space for next summer.

Eat

Fact: The steak in Texas is insane. Order the farm-raised, 33-ounce Wagyu Tomahawk rib-eye from The Ranch at Las Colinas and you might have other diners pausing to take a photo at your table. Then, stay for the live country music and drinks. Boi Na Braza at Toyota Music Hall carries out authentic Brazilian meats for tableside cutting until you literally place a small stop sign at your seat to signal that you’ve had enough. And Hugo’s Invitados features organic Mexican cuisine with standout appetizers, such as barbacoa beef tacos and avocado toast. All the restaurants feature vegetarian dishes, as well. Plus, tequila is vegan.

Do

A two-minute walk from Irving Convention Center is the $173 million Toyota Music Factory entertainment complex, which features live music bars, restaurants, an 8,000-seat indoor and outdoor amphitheater, and live convert experiences at the Pavilion every night, ranging from EDM shows to orchestra performances of The Game of Thrones scores (a highlight).

You can also head to Mandalay Canal Walk for a gondola ride along the lake, with singing and imported gondolas from Venice. If your event coincides with the annual Park Place Luxury & Supercar Showcase, supply attendees with fedoras and fascinators for an only-in-Irving car and fashion show.

Need to Know

  • 3 million visitors per year
  • 12,000 acres of master-planned development in Las Colinas, home to 50 Fortune 500 companies
  • 9 ft. larger-than-life bronze mustangs in Mustangs at Las Colinas sculpture by Robert Glen
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