When planning a meeting, the first thing that comes to mind is a functional space. You’ll need enough chairs for everyone to sit comfortably, complimentary electronic hookups for laptops and PowerPoint presentations and so on. However, you’ll want to avoid a common mistake event organizers often make—failing to think beyond the meeting space. Oftentimes, planners put so much thought into the meeting itself, they fail to think about what happens once the meeting ends. After the meeting, attendees find themselves in a city they don’t know well with few options to dine out, finding no reason to leave their hotel room due to the lack of nearby entertainment. Don’t be that planner.
This is exactly why Arlington, Texas, is a fantastic destination to plan your next meeting. Pick a place where your attendees will feel like they’ve received an added vacation. Here are seven unexpected reasons to meet in this lovable city.
1. High-tech, High-touch Conventions
Arlington’s most popular meeting space is the Esports Stadium Arlington + EXPO Center convention campus that’s a quick 15-minute drive from the airport. You’ll learn why it received such praise from former conventioneers with its top-of-the-line LED and audio setup. Instead of spotty projectors, you’ll have movie theater-sized screens and space capacity that can expand to accommodate up to 2,500 attendees. The stadium is so sophisticated that guests will feel as if tech giants like Tim Cook or Marc Benioff could walk across the stage any minute to introduce a new product. For those who are looking to plan smaller, more moderate meetings, don’t feel like this isn’t for you—the stadium has plenty of rooms for meetings of various sizes.
One of the added perks of hosting your meeting in this stadium is that it’s in an incredible location that overlooks the city. Your guests will get a dramatic glimpse of all the entertainment that Arlington has to offer such as Six Flags Over Texas, AT&T Stadium and Globe Life Field, the new home of the Texas Rangers, to get them hyped up for what’s in store for them once the meeting ends. They won't have to venture far in between meetings. The convention campus has a picturesque waterfront walking trail next to it.
2. International Cuisine at Your Fingertips
Give your guests exciting options to explore their culinary whims with plenty of options nearby. From Japanese cuisine and authentic Vietnamese noodle houses to swanky eateries that serve Texas-raised filet mignon, Arlington makes it easy for your group to plan a night out. It’s suggested to check out Piranha Killer Sushi, a popular local spot where every dish is a work of art with creative flavors. Or go somewhere you’d be hard-pressed to find in many cities, an Eastern European restaurant. Taste of Europe serves traditional dishes like Ukrainian perogies, Russian borscht, Polish cabbage rolls, Hungarian goulash and much more. The restaurant is so popular that it earned its rightful mention in “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” as well as on Food Network. After the main course, try unique European sweets and chocolate.
3. Affordable Travel for Visitors
If you look at a map of Arlington, you’ll see that it’s centrally located between Fort Worth and Dallas, making it a convenient spot for guests to travel. The Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport has up to 24 airlines flying in and out of domestic and international cities nonstop, which means your guests will have plenty of airlines to choose from to find affordable flights. For guests that are traveling by car, they’ll be pleased to know the city has five major interstates. For many, this means it’s a smooth drive into the area, no matter which direction they’re coming from.
4. Sports Fans, This Is Your Place
Arlington has something that draws sports fans from across the nation to its hub. AT&T Stadium is home to the world-famous football team the Dallas Cowboys. The construction of the stadium was $1.2 billion and it shows when your guests visit. Intricate details and luxury are a noticeable theme throughout the stadium, and the space is designed to make every seat in the building feel like VIP seats. Musical powerhouses such as Beyonce and Taylor Swift have graced the stadium with performances; it can hold more than 100,000 attendants.
With 40,000 seats, the new $1.1 billion Globe Life Field will have a retractable roof for hot summer days, complete with temperature-controlled air conditioning. Due to the venue size, design, central location and state-of-the-art technology, Globe Life Field will host a multitude of events such as collegiate sports, concerts, festivals and other professional sporting events. The Rangers’ former stadium, Globe Life Park, will soon be transformed into the home for the XFL team owned by WWE owner and CEO Vince McMahon, providing more football action to fans after the NFL season ends with the Super Bowl.
In addition to the stadiums, Arlington is home to numerous sports bars and pubs in case your group prefers to catch a game that’s playing elsewhere. They’ll be spoiled with high-definition flat-screen TVs from their comfy seats paired with a delicious menu and plenty of local brews. Be sure to check out Texas Live!’s PBR (Professional Bull Riding) themed bar where, yes, you and your group can ride one of two mechanical bulls. It doesn’t get much more Texas than that!
5. Thrilling Rides
Most participants end up with a day or two of free time to explore before catching their flight home. Arlington is home to not one, but two, Six Flags theme parks loaded with roller coasters and entertainment. Six Flags Over Texas is known for its quirky rides featuring everyone’s favorite cartoon characters like Bugs Bunny, Superman and Wile E. Coyote. If you plan your meeting over the holidays, the park will transform into Fright Fest to set the spooky mood for Halloween. For Christmas, it transforms into a magical wonderland (Holidays in the Park) to get your guests into the festive spirit. Texas is known for its hot weather, which is why Six Flags Hurricane Harbor makes a great place to splash during the summer. The water park is full of water slides including the legendary Der Stuka, a water slide that’s 72-feet high. Find out which one of your attendees is brave enough to conquer the giant.
6. Get Around Easy Without a Car
Your guests won’t feel like they’ll need to rent a car to get around town. The area is home to the Arlington Trolley, an affordable ride for guests to hop on and explore the town. You’ll find the vintage-looking classic red trolleys in various locations, especially within an earshot of convention centers, stadiums, theme parks and of course, downtown Arlington. However, if you stay at one of the participating hotels offering a great deal, you’ll receive tickets for complimentary rides on the trolley. Check here to see which hotels have this perk.
7. The Arlington CVB Is Here For You
We understand that planning a meeting can be stressful and overwhelming. Don’t drink that fourth cup of coffee trying to negotiate with the caterer. Let us help and make it easier for you by doing some of the legwork. Our services are complimentary to meeting planners who utilize hotel rooms in Arlington. We’re here to help you find the right meeting space, caterers, hotels and more so you can focus on other tasks. We will listen to what you’re looking for and/or even brainstorm ideas to help make your vision come true within your budget. Picture a smooth meeting where guests will want to come back for more. That dream is a reality in Arlington, visit us and you’ll see why!